Intervention FAQs

Get answers about drug and alcohol interventions in Canada.

  • How do you decide if a person is a good candidate for a drug or alcohol intervention?

    Addiction often impacts the entire family, creating chaos in the home. Family members typically reach out to us when they feel a need for additional support in navigating the challenges of addiction and substance misuse.

    Maybe they’ve tried several times to speak with their loved one about the problem, but haven’t seen any real change occur, and are noticing the negative impact the situation is having on everyone involved.

    I have worked with many families in many different scenarios, including those where the person experiencing the drug or alcohol problem is very resistant to change.

    The substance use could be at an acute medical stage where an intervention would provide a quick resolution to getting your loved one immediate help.

    I meet you and your family wherever you’re at, to help offer your loved one with a safe and structured opportunity to receive help and make changes before things get worse.

  • What style of drug or alcohol intervention is best suited for my family?

    When most people think of a drug or alcohol intervention, they think of the dramatic examples portrayed in movies and reality TV series – the kind with lots of chaos, secrecy, and confrontation.

    This type of intervention is referred to as a “surprise intervention”, and I rarely recommend this style of intervention to families.

    I most often recommend using an “invitational intervention”, which encourages open dialogue among family members. Invitational interventions are based on inviting the person experiencing the drug or alcohol problem to a “family meeting” where I’m able to help facilitate strategic communication.

    This invitational approach is based on honesty and compassion, and it’s my experience that people are most willing to listen and participate when treated with this kind of respect.

    An invitation goes a long way in making your loved one feel like you genuinely care, even if they act upset at the fact that you are moving forward with the intervention.

  • Which family members should participate in the intervention?

    This will depend on your family. I have conducted many successful drug and alcohol interventions where there is only one family member able to participate, and those where we have several family members and some friends involved.

    I work with you to learn about the relationships in your family. From there we put together an iTeam (Intervention Team), and plan what will best support the recovery of your loved one while also beginning the process of healing the family system.

    The goal is to send a strong yet compassionate message, encouraging your loved one to take the next best step available to them.

    If there are family members who are not able to travel to the selected destination, or who live outside of Canada, we use an Owl Pro, which is a state-of-the-art camera system that allows us to connect everyone remotely.

  • What if my loved one refuses to participate in the drug/alcohol intervention?

    We are highly skilled at what we do, and are often able to convince even the most reluctant or resistant individuals to participate in the intervention, which we refer to as a “family meeting”.

    However, we cannot guarantee that this will be the case for your loved one.

    If your loved one refuses to participate, or fails to show up at the agreed upon time, we will have developed contingency plans that will help your family move forward in the most productive way possible.

    We design this process to send a clear message to your loved one, whether they choose to participate or not. Their decision not to participate actually gives your family valuable information as you continue to evolve your strategy.

    The family is changing no matter what!

  • What happens if my loved one refuses to accept the help that is offered the day of the drug/alcohol intervention?

    We develop “what-if” plans to cover all bases.

    On the rare occasion your loved one does not accept help, we often see a change-of-mind within 7-10 days after. And as long as the family “stays the course” on the recommended strategy put in place — the loved one will accept the help eventually.

  • What resources do you recommend to families who aren’t ready or able to work with an Interventionist yet?

    I have compiled some helpful information on my website, including resources for family members, links to scientific studies, and self-help tools.

    How To Plan An Intervention is a good place to start to learn about Invitational Interventions. You could also consider working with us utilizing the CRAFT Model of Addiction

    As an interventionist in Canada, I’m most familiar with online support groups whether you’re in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto, and have listed a couple below that are worth exploring.

  • How far do you travel to do drug & alcohol interventions in Canada?

    As an interventionist in Canada, I travel to many urban centers such as Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, and Toronto.

    From the larger cities we often travel to smaller cities easily. Depending on where your family members are located in Canada, we will choose a destination that makes the most sense for you and your family.

    If there are family members who are not able to travel to the selected destination, or who live outside of Canada, we are able to facilitate remote connection.

  • What happens after the intervention is over?

    We often will travel and escort your loved one directly to the treatment centre ourselves.

    We provide Case Management services in all our Interventions. Case Management allows us to follow your loved one through their treatment stay. We liaise with medical and clinical staff to ensure your loved one is getting the best possible care.

    Case Management also allows us to help develop a strong aftercare program that is very important to have in place before your loved one leaves treatment. We arrange a debrief with the iTeam members within two weeks after the Intervention.

    As well we stay connected to the family to support them while their loved one is away, by offering video check-in sessions with the entire iTeam and to work through issues that often come up in this process.

  • Do you offer Psychiatric interventions?

    Yes. We are qualified to help families looking for assistance with planning and executing psychiatric interventions.

    Substance misuse often overlaps with psychiatric disorders and we are trained and able to handle these scenarios with care.

  • What if my loved one requires specialized treatment that is not available in Canada?

    We are well connected within the addiction and recovery communities, and are dedicated to connecting you with the very best treatment available.

    In scenarios where we are not able to find what you need in Canada, we look to the USA where there is exceptional private treatment available.

  • What are your qualifications as an interventionist in Canada?

    I am both qualified and experienced as an interventionist in Canada. We have amazing testimonials as well.

    I worked in the non-profit and public health sectors within a mental health and substance use settings for several years. In addition to being certified as an Addiction Recovery Coach through Crossroads Recovery Coaching Training, I have received training as an interventionist from some of the best in the field, including:

    • Board-certified American Interventionist Brad Lamm
    • Board-certified American Interventionist Patricia Pike
    • Board-certified American Interventionist Earl Hightower of Hightower & Associates

    My approach to working with families draws mainly on my training with Brad Lamm out of the USA who has developed a hybrid approach, based in part on science, and rooted in compassion.

    This model leverages the close connection you have with your loved one to increase the likelihood that they will accept help.

    I also draw on my personal lived experience with substance use, addiction, and long term recovery. You can read about my story here.

  • Where are interventions held in Canada?

    We have three offices across Canada, however we hold most interventions (referred to as “family meetings”) in the family home and occasionally hotels.

    We can meet your family wherever is most convenient – Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto - or really anywhere across Canada.

    Our offices are located at the following locations:

    • Victoria Office | Drug & Alcohol Interventionist
      1080 Meares Street
      Victoria, BC, Canada ▪ V8V 3K5
    • Duncan Office | Drug & Alcohol Interventionist
      177 Kenneth Street
      Duncan, BC, Canada ▪ V9L 1N5
    • Vancouver Office | Drug & Alcohol Interventionist
      1122 Mainland Street
      Vancouver, BC, Canada ▪ V6B 5L1
  • Do you work with other interventionists in Canada?

    Yes. I work closely with a number of trusted colleagues across Canada and I only work with the best in the field.

    There are always two of us that participate in a family meeting: one that facilitates, and the other to support the family or your loved ones if needed.

  • How much do you charge?

    Costs can vary depending if travel to the location is involved and/or the potential transportation of your loved one to treatment.

    I am happy to email out financial details about the cost of an intervention and what’s included.

    To learn more, please send an email to inquiry@interventions.ca.

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