drug intervention specialist

Does My Child Need a Drug Intervention Specialist?

Table of Contents

A drug intervention specialist is someone who can work with your family to help diagnose a substance abuse disorder. Then, as a mental health specialist, an interventionist can help create a strategy to address the substance use disorder in your teen.

A professional interventionist has a deep understanding of family dynamics and how addiction affects those. They can take the lead on the intervention process, and in many cases, improve the likelihood of the person with the drug addiction getting help.

Successful interventions can be an important part of helping someone get treatment when they otherwise aren’t willing.

These professionals often have a strong educational background and clinical experience in addiction recovery and substance abuse treatment.

How do you know, however, if your teen needs an intervention?

The Signs of Teen Addiction

Teen substance use and addiction are more pervasive than many parents realize.

Teens use drugs and alcohol for different reasons. These reasons include peer pressure, self-medication of undiagnosed mental health conditions, and because they’re readily available. You can find out about teen addiction to marijuana here.

Behavioral signs of addiction in teens include:

  • Problems in school and declines in academic performance
  • Missing activities or school
  • Destructive behaviors 
  • Getting into trouble at school
  • Hostility or defiant behavior
  • Decreasing interest in hobbies and activities
  • Changes in social circles and friend groups
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Being secretive
  • Demanding more privacy than in the past
  • No respect for authority
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Disappearing for periods

Psychological addiction signs in teens include:

  • Frequent emotional instability or mood swings
  • Extreme highs and lows
  • Being deceitful or manipulative
  • Lacking motivation
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Paranoia or fearfulness for no reason
  • Unexplained changes in personality or attitude

Physical signs of substance use or addiction in teens are:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Excessive thirst, which is most common with marijuana use
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Nosebleeds
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Being involved in accidents or sustaining injuries
  • Runny nose
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Bruises, sores, or cuts
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Clenching teeth

Other things to watch for in teens include:

  • Drug paraphernalia like needles, baggies, bottles, eye drops, straws, tin foil, or scales
  • Drug residue, including powder, stems, or seeds
  • Strong perfume or cologne scents
  • Missing medication
  • Missing cash
  • Burns on the lips or fingers
  • Tiny pupils
  • Wearing long sleeves even when the weather doesn’t call for it

What Can You Do If You Think Your Teen Is Using Drugs?

If you suspect your teen is using drugs or struggling with drugs, the most important thing you can do is to stay calm. Other steps to take include:

  • Have an honest conversation with your child. You have to realize that your teen is likely struggling quite a bit. You don’t always have to understand what they’re going through to communicate. Instead, try to listen. You may learn more about the situation, which allows you to figure out the next best steps.
  • Don’t be an enabler. Too often, parents slip into these patterns. You might be in denial about what’s happening, which can lead to enabling behaviors. You might also want to remove consequences for your child to protect them. Enabling can include ignoring dangerous behaviors, acting out of fear, and blaming other people for what’s happening.
  • The third thing you can do is find help. Addiction in teens and young people is a serious situation, and it’s also complex. Addiction affects the brain and behavior. There can be underlying co-occurring disorders, and you need someone who understands these complexities to help. This is where a drug intervention specialist could be helpful to you, especially if your teen otherwise refuses help for their substance use.

Bullying and Substance Abuse Risk Factors

People who are bullied tend to engage in drugs or alcohol based on their social or family life, personality traits, or environmental factors. One reason is because of peer pressure. If their friends are engaging in drugs, they want to fit in with them. They also may feel if they do drugs with their tormentors, they will no longer be bullied. Another factor is that without parental supervision, kids are at risk of substance abuse, being bullied, or being a bully themselves. If parents do not provide a good example to their kids by doing drugs in front of them or not attempting to get clean, their kids will follow the same unhealthy actions. 

A third factor is a kid’s personality traits. Kids who have angry personality traits can end up abusing drugs as well as harassing their classmates. The environment you live in also makes a difference in your interest in drugs in that young people who grow up in areas with high crime rates, are surrounded by substance abuse, or experience violence at home are more likely to use drugs as a coping mechanism.

Bullies and Substance Abuse

Bullies normally have a low self-esteem and bully others to gain a sense of control and power. Bullies are more likely to be aggressive and break the rules without any remorse. Bullies will also self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in order to mask their underlying mental health issues that are the cause of their aggressive behavior. They will also socialize with others who exhibit the same behaviors which will encourage those behaviors to continue.

Marijuana Induced Psychosis and Teens

As more states move to legalize marijuana, the use of the drug is skyrocketing, especially among teens. Health benefits have been associated with the drug, with evidence that it can help with serious medical issues ranging from cancer to epilepsy. However, many questions remain about the drug and it’s safety as there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use – including a psychotic episode or cannabis-induced psychosis. Below we discuss the research behind and symptoms of marijuana-induced psychosis, why treatment for this health issue is scarce, who is being affected, and where you can find help.

Symptoms of Marijuana Induced Psychosis

So what is causing a cannabis-induced psychosis? Other than the levels of THC, researchers are looking into a few factors such as genetics and environmental issues that may play a role in the development of the symptoms. It’s important to note that some teens may be predisposed to developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, and it’s crucial for a clinician to take this factor into consideration when determining the cause of a psychotic break while using marijuana. As of now, most health officials and researchers agree on one thing – using high-potency cannabis comes with a risk. Symptoms of a cannabis-induced psychosis may include:

  • Feelings of grandiosity and invincibility
  • Thoughts and speech become disorganized
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Anxiety, restlessness, agitation, and paranoia
  • Feeling detached from your own mind and body, also known as dissociation

What Is an Addiction Intervention?

In substance use and recovery, an intervention is organized to confront someone you love about their addiction. As part of an intervention, friends and family will attempt to talk to the addicted person about how their substance use affects everyone around them.

The entire process must be planned and implemented by a professional counselor with experience in this area.

How Does An Intervention Work?

Treatment centers can help you plan drug intervention programs and connect you with a drug intervention specialist. A drug intervention specialist is a counselor who’s trained to prepare for confronting someone with an addiction. Successful interventions can be a very positive, life-changing experience for everyone involved. 

  • When talking about teens or young people, the interventionist must be specifically trained in this population.
  • The goal is to put someone in a controlled environment where they’re most likely to listen. 
  • In some cases, formal interventions are a surprise, but increasingly specialists give the person notice they’ll be speaking with them.
  • An interventionist will work closely with friends and family of addicted individuals during the planning process. Their goal is to help prepare you for what will ultimately come. An interventionist can also help you start working on negative dynamics stemming from your child’s substance use. Another role of an interventionist is to help connect you with affordable treatment center options for alcohol abuse or drug abuse. 

Intervention professionals take the lead during the meeting, which removes some of the stress that would otherwise be on you as a parent. 

  • A trained counselor during an intervention can help you focus on the most important things you need to say.
  • After the actual intervention, the specialist can keep working with you while your teen participates in a treatment program. 
  • They can also guide you through what you might expect when your teen finishes their treatment program on the road to recovery. 

Types of Interventions

There are various models used to implement interventions for drugs and alcohol.

  • The Johnson Model is the most frequently used. This model involves family members and guided interventions. In this model, your teen wouldn’t know about the meeting beforehand.
  • In the Invitation Model, there’s a family approach. The family participates in a workshop along with the teen dealing with substance use, and they then talk about how the addiction affects the entire family.
  • A third model is the Field Model. There’s a confrontational approach similar to the Johnson Model. The interventionist is, however, trained in crisis management. This model might be useful if you believe your child is a danger to themselves or others or have a co-occurring mental health disorder like bipolar.

The Benefits of Working with an Intervention Specialist

A drug interventionist specialist can help you tremendously if your teen is using drugs or alcohol or showing signs of addictive behavior.

An interventionist is a neutral third party who can work to soothe intense emotions. Your teen may also respond better to an outsider than to you as their parent. An interventionist can help improve the likelihood that your teen will accept help.

Without a professional to help you, if you try to talk to your teen on your own, it can quickly turn into an explosive situation. It’s also stressful for you as a parent to try and stay composed. An interventionist can keep things on track and stop conflicts before they become more significant. 

If you’re interested in learning about drug intervention programs and treatment plans explicitly geared to the needs of young adults, please contact the team at Silver Lining Recovery by calling 833-847-6984. We can help you learn more about the disease of addiction, co-occurring mental health issues, and the recovery process.