There comes a time in the life span of addiction when the addict’s family just can’t take anymore. The addict is in full denial and will not take the steps to get into rehab or do anything at all to quit using or drinking. Nothing anyone says or does makes any difference. Every day is the same routine and life continues to get progressively worse. What can a family do to change this broken record or loop they are all stuck in?
They can call a professional interventionist and have an addiction intervention done to save their loved one’s life.
A well trained addiction interventionist does many things but most importantly he brings hope and he makes things change dramatically for the better; for everyone! He brings a level of experience and understanding of each situation and simplifies everything into a workable and winnable solution. An addiction interventionist prepares the addict’s family for what will come during the intervention, what will be said and done by the addict and how to handle all of it safely and with love. He will address all concerns and worries but ultimately he will ensure the addict gets to treatment safely and willingly. The interventionist will control the entire process from start to finish meanwhile keeping everyone engaged and winning.
There are several types of interventions but the most utilized and popular is the Johnson Model. Others have been developed over the years but all are performed with the sole purpose of getting an addict or alcoholic to relinquish control and start to accept the love and help offered by loved ones. An addict usually has everyone close to him immersed in denial, confusion and total chaos so a well done intervention is handled by keeping things simple and not letting the addict take control. Instead an interventionist opens up and controls communication between all parties involved so that solutions can be made and the chaos can stop. It is the time that family finally gets their freedom back and the addict begins treatment and a new life ahead.
Remember an addict is scared to stop and change the course of his or her life. Addiction is insidious, destructive and deceitful to everyone, including and most especially the addict. It is a trap that progressively steals the spirit of a human being and replaces it with emptiness and fear. Addicts want to be helped but the fear of quitting and leaving their only perceived source of safety and comfort is too much to bear. An intervention is the bridge that reconnects the wayward addict to family, friends and most of all, hope of a better life.
The most common question we hear while preparing a family for their upcoming intervention is, “what if he refuses go treatment? Here are the facts; over 90% of those intervened on will go to treatment, typically on the same day. On a very rare occasion it may take another day or two depending on extreme circumstances. We pride ourselves in our work as do most all professionals working in addiction recovery. But let’s face it, an addict has the right to say no at any time and refuse treatment, but why do they statistically almost all go? Because addiction is miserable. That’s the truth. No matter how stimulating the high is or how physically or mentally hooked a person is to their addiction, everybody wants out and wants a normal life again. Bottom line is that it’s scary and it means that we have to see life as it is instead of the behind the protective shield of the chemical.
There should always be a plan of action prepared by your interventionist with the family and friends of the addict, one with back-up plans and contingencies for everything the addict will throw at you. Your interventionist knows addiction from both sides and can predict what will happen, therefore preparing the family and friends for how to respond or not to respond. Sometimes a person will refuse adamantly though, to the point where you just know he isn’t going to go anywhere. They are just trying every last manipulative tactic they know before giving in, hoping that if they yell loud enough or repeat it enough with conviction, those who enable him will give in.
But this time there is someone different in the room, the professional interventionist, along with all available family members and friends which takes away the ability to disperse or divide and conquer. There is a unified front to deal with now that poses a great disadvantage to the addict and his manipulation of that group of family and friends. An addict can run and hide but the dynamics of addiction and co-dependency dictate that there are certain rules in this game. Number one rule is that the addict needs his or her family, mostly the chief enabler. Your interventionist will work with those who have enabled the addict to strengthen them and weaken the addict’s manipulative tools.
Addicts under pressure can seem desperate and dangerous. They are merely rattled and scared, not typically dangerous to themselves or anyone else. Very rarely someone may take to desperate measures but more than 9 out of 10 will threaten everything including suicide to change the flow of the intervention but result in a predictable hollow scare tactic.
In my opinion, an addict saying “NO” to treatment is par for the course but not nearly a reason to change course or end an intervention, or not do one at all. An intervention continues until the addict enters treatment and the family and friends feel confident with their upcoming steps in their loved one’s recovery process. Again, most addicts don’t want to be addicts, even the ones who swear to you that they are happy with it. They’re not. Addicts want to be like everyone else and to shed the destructive and monotonous lifestyle of addiction. It’s just extremely scary to stop what has been a normal in one’s life and to go somewhere to change, somewhere different and new feeling vulnerable.
It is too easy for families and close friends to justify not doing an intervention for someone just because they fear they won’t go. Statistically they want to go but fear the unknown. Do your homework, find the right treatment center for your loved one and then arrange for an intervention to do it right. Please don’t let this be another worry and reason not to save someone’s life. We are here to help you now.
Something I found out long ago in my own recovery was that without finding true purpose in life, I would never beat the addictions that had conquered me. Without a doubt, purpose is the real cure for addiction. Everybody has an opinion or several opinions on addiction and whether or not it can be beaten. Regardless of which position a person takes, whether they’re an addict in recovery, one who feels they are recovered, an expert in the field of addiction or a family member or friend connected to someone with addiction issues, there is one common denominator that will be found in both successful and unsuccessful cases that dictates their success, PURPOSE or the lack of it.
I don’t believe that anyone ever decides on being hooked on drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, hoarding etc. I think that the stimulating power of such compulsive behaviors sneaks itself into the cracked door of broken or lost purpose in a person’s life. I meet new people frequently and their families and friends always take the time to tell me how great of a person their loved one is, despite how mad at them they may be currently. When I dig into their history a bit, there is always something that happened to them that changed the course of their life and took their focus off of their purpose, i.e. loss of job, divorce, infidelity, family disputes, failed goals, death of loved ones etc. Gradually the addiction grew larger and eventually became the person’s new purpose in life whether they wanted it that way or not. The characteristics are all the same, good friends gone, bad friends now in, foul ups, errors, laziness, narrow minded behavior, more and more removed from reality and into a world of selfish delusion.
Every person has to find their own path toward purpose again by taking the first step, accept there is a problem greater than you and stop doing it. That’s an obvious statement if there ever was one but it all starts with a decision, even if it starts as someone else’s, hence the intervention. From there a person needs time away from their problems to actually let their brain settle and re-focus on life’s priorities. We have to confront what we have done to ourselves and others and find ways to make up enough damage to be forgiven by those closest to us but most of all to forgive ourselves. Everyone in recovery needs a clean slate but a short leash until proven otherwise. We as addicts need a chance to believe in ourselves and our abilities again but also have to humble ourselves that we have a lot of work to do to make up for lost time. With the support of family, friends and support groups a person can get back on track and start to have realizations again about what they can do versus what they cannot.
What matters is taking the time to strip away old destructive behaviors and developing new and constructive ones while living under new guidelines with healthy boundaries. Along this path is the cure for addiction – PURPOSE. Purpose doesn’t have to mean being a millionaire or being famous. Purpose is more on the lines of what families describe as the real person inside, someone who makes people laugh, has a great sense of humor, kids love them, people love them, charismatic and caring about others. One has to find out who he really is again. Being successful isn’t merely about amassing material things. Addicts are notorious for obsessing on having money and things things things! Things are a distraction and to put it bluntly, the less a person has, the more they appreciate what they really possess. Money and things will come along the way but true purpose is love for oneself and his family and friends. Nothing else really matters and life is full of rewards.
If you’re someone stuck in the world of addiction or you know and love someone who is, there is always a way out and many ways to find your purpose again. We at New Life have all lived through addiction and found our purposes in life. Life is full of booby traps and tough times but addiction is not an option anymore. We want to help others find their purpose just like we have so if you need assistance or just need someone to listen, please call and let us help you find your cure for addiction. Call 844 688-8555 any time of any day.
Before or during our family day meeting to prepare for the upcoming intervention, many people ask us,”If we intervene will he hate us for doing it?” “Will he never talk to us again?” This is a grave concern for most families, especially the chief enablers in those families because of the fear of losing their addict or alcoholic. When we love someone we love them unconditionally, no matter what their flaws or weaknesses may be. Addiction becomes the addict’s personality, how people see them and eventually it becomes accepted that the addiction is just part of how things will always be. So if we love that person we have to love everything about them as a whole, including the addiction, right? Over time we accept that the person is simply an addict and won’t ever change.
In all my years of treating clients and doing interventions I have personally seen roughly 1% actually hold it against their families for sending them to treatment. And if you’re an enabler and you’re reading this you are probably asking, “what if my child is part of that 1%?” What if, what if, what if……. Try to take a minute and stop asking the what ifs and speak with a addiction specialist or interventionist and really hear what they have to say. If you can do that you are more than half way there to saving your loved one’s life and eventually hearing “THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME WHEN I NEEDED YOU THE MOST”.
The thing to remember is that treatment isn’t what our minds can make it out to be. Treatment is rehabilitation, betterment and most times fun. It’s a place where people genuinely care for others as a profession and a lot of them who work in treatment facilities are recovering addicts and alcoholics themselves. The reason to intervene may seem logical but to put it bluntly, we are stopping the progression of destruction and bringing your loved one to safety and onto a clear path to recovery; a much better life! The odds are that if they are in treatment and learning coping skills and learning to love themselves again, they will love you that much more.
Fear can make us do the worst and most careless of things and in the case of addiction, fear prohibits us from change. Preservation of what we have and want to keep is normally the thought process here. We fear that our loved one will hate us or stop talking to us because we dare to stop the destruction and intervene. That destruction is real and many times kills people. It is true that we can love someone to death.
No matter what your fear of intervening is, anything is better than what is going on now. All it takes is one glimmer of hope in an addict to start with and the sky is the limit. They won’t hate you or stop talking to you. They will thank you when they are in a clear state of mind and loving life again.
If you would like to speak with one of our intervention specialists, we are available 24/7 at (844) 688-8555.
A common concern, and of course a very good one is “what if he or she hides or runs away from the intervention to avoid going to treatment. We know that by the time an interventionist has been called in to help a family, there have been at least a few attempts from that family or friends at getting them to stop using and to seek treatment. Running and hiding is a common way an addict will avoid the inevitable outcome of rehab. Usually when confronted, and addict will use a variety of manipulative tactics to push away anyone who presents getting sober including, anger, postponement, divide and conquer, pitting other family members at each other and of course running. Addicts are creative when quitting the drug is pushed upon them.
Intervention is all about preparation. We know that running and/or hiding is in the front of the addict’s mind when he or she is confronted. So we prepare for it. Every person’s situation, their environment, their demeanor and their response to pressure is particular to that person so we have to be prepared for the possibility that a person may try to run and hide. Truthfully, 90% of those being intervened on DO NOT run and hide. Most will stay to confront it, usually to deny the severity of the problem or to talk everyone out of it. Most addicts are curious and actually looking for a way out of the mess they created with their addiction. Most want to argue some at least but for the most part, they are looking to see what will happen next and usually underneath all of the denial they are relieved that you came to them with a solid plan that isn’t the monster they feared in their own minds.
I cant say that I’ve ever had a true “runner” in many hundreds of interventions over the years. They normally walk out if they leave at all and we are already positioned in the room to handle it with the right people in the right places, a person to go smoke with them, maybe a disabled vehicle, or their anticipated destination already prepared for their arrival, only to turn them back to their family and the intervention. Again, every person is unique and each will turn to their most convenient escape route when confronted but the one thing the addict never has is a plan. It’s always what we have because we prepare for what we know to expect and we always win.
As an alcohol and drug interventionist the most common question we’re asked is “What are you going to say to get him or her to go?” This is asked for two reasons, first because families and friends are, by this point, out of ideas. They’ve tried saying and doing everything to make their loved one stop using and choose treatment, but to no avail. The other reason is because they are looking for a “magic pill” of sorts, the one missing thing that someone experienced knows and will share with them, to make this problem finally go away. There is no magic pill. Addiction took a stretch of time to be created and definitely did not happen overnight. However, an intervention is the one way to make that addiction start to disintegrate almost immediately. There is something very extraordinary in organization and group/family unity led by an experienced drug intervention specialist. The mere presentation of this very thing says more to an addict than most understand until they witness it themselves. Since addiction thrives on separating and manipulating to survive, the powerful presence of group unity speaks volumes and therefore starts to crush the destructive behaviors mastered by an addict.
Going back to what to say or do to make them go; there are many things that will be said or done, or even not done to find the addict’s willingness to accept treatment. Underneath, most people stuck in addiction want help but cannot and will not let their guard down. Pride usually plays a huge roll here along with embarrassment and shame. After a while, the drinking and drugging feels like the only thing he or she is any good at anymore. All self-confidence is gone and the future is something that cannot be confronted. Therefore, speaking to the addicted is done with and premeditation and care for these exact feelings. Your interventionist will coach you and your family and friends on what to say and not to say and he or she will lead the intervention. He will inform and prepare you for the direction the intervention will take so that you can be a prepared participant and not a spectator. Your interventionist will learn from the family and friends, who the addicted loved one truly is, and who each of your support group is to them, so that the dynamics are understood and used to their greatest advantage and best outcome. Your interventionist has counseled thousands of addicts and alcoholics in his or her career and knows what to say and do in the stressful and tense setting of an intervention. Every addict needs to hear and see something particular to let their guard down and allow outside help in. Call us and find out how intervention can help someone you love. 856-981-5444