Intervention is the most inportant thing for a recovery. First of all you need to set aside a time where the family is together. Make sure the addict is in a fairly good mood. Make sure he/she is in the mood to talk.
Then approach the addict and ask (don't tell) him or her if it is OK if you all had a family talk.
The first thing the the family must do is inforce the fact that you love the person very much and care about their welfare. And that you would do anything in your power to help them.
Then it is time to let them do the talking. Ask the person if there is anything they would like to discuss about the issue at hand. Don't push it! Let the person open up to you. If the person backs off, then let it be for awhile and try again another time. The person may just come to you as their family for intervention after you have broken the ice.
If the addict opens up right away, just listen. Don't say anything unless they ask a question that needs an answer. This is "tough love" and it is not easy. It is a long and hard road.
Don't dwell on the intervention for long periods of time or the addict will have a melt down. Be there as long as they need you to be and know when to cut it off.
The most inportant part of intervention is to let that person know you care and love them and want to see them healthy and strong. Reinforce their skills, their lives and their self esteem.
Over time you may start seeing some changes. But, there is no promise with intervention. It is like " You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
Intervention will not work unless the addict is ready for recovery. Then and only then will he/she open up and talk about it freely. You have to be strong and calm through this. Try not to loose your temper, that will be a demise for all involved.
Once intervention is on it's way and the addict shows exceptance, then it is time to think about counseling.
Many people get sober without an intervention. Lots of others die sick and alone. Intervention is not the most important aspect of getting sober--the person who has the problem getting to the point where they WANT to change is the most important aspect of getting them to recover. That MIGHt be an intervention, it might not be.
When to do an intervention?? And how?? My unequivical suggestion would be to contact a person who specializes in addiction medicine. It is unwise and potentially harmful to attempt to intervene on your own, unless you are armed with a heck of a lot of knowledge. The kind of knowldege that msot people jsut don't have or would take years to acquire.
An addiciton specialist is the best way to go. There's jsut so much to know and it's so important. I can't IMAGINE trying to do it alone or without at LEAST trying to go to AlAnon. For one thing, you risk being ineffective. You risk making the addict MORE resistant to help/change--pretty much the LAST thing you want. Alcoholism and addiction affect the whole family...it's not as simple as "fixing" the addict and everything being OK at long last. In other words, there's more to an intervention than jsut an intervention.
In an intervention, you need to have a plan for what to do if the person says "yeah, ok, you're right, I need help." What plan to choose??? What conditions to impose? You need to have a plan if the person says "you're nuts. I don't have a problem. I wouldn't do it if you weren't such a pain." What are you prepared to do then?? what's the best for your family?? These are complex, difficult questions to answer, and are best answered with the guidance of someone who knows the ins and outs of addiction/alcoholism at the professional level.
Without some guidance from a professional (and really, I don't mean your pastor, unless she also has an MSW and specializes in doing interventins and treating addicts), you risk your "intervention" jsut being another case of you pleading with your loved one to quit. How's that been working so far?
Intervention is very important. If the person is ready for it. Then and only then is the start to recovery and rehab. Hopefully the person will realize they are killing themselves and that the ones that are trying to intervein are the ones that love and care about them. That is the first breakthough before rehab.
Have you ever seen a person in a locked padded room on a mattress on the floor in four star retraints? Well, I have. And it is not a pretty sight watching that person go through DT's for days. Going into fits of rage and having to be sedated. Ever been part of a 5 person take down just so you can sedate them? Well, I have.
My uncle was killed in a head on colision going 45 miles an hour and died 3 days later after being in a vegitative state. My mother has been dry now for 13 years and only after family intervention did she realize how much we loved her and wanted her to live, then decided to go into 30 day rehab.
Yes, intervention is the first step to recovery.
I realize this is off-topic in a way, but then it might be argued, so is a "response" to a post of perfectly reasonable and professionally santioned advice that jsut doesn't seem to jibe with your experience.
So these people you saw in DTs and restraints--these were your clients?? Or other alcoholic family members? And the only reason I ask is tha tyour "response" to my post is so definitive....
And when you say your mother has been "dry" for 13 years...um...to someone trained in alcohol recovery, the term "dry" is, well, suspect. Is she sober? Meaning functioning well, not prone to depression or rage, does not expereince intense cravings? Things like that?
I'll say it again...intervention MAY be the first step to recovery, and Carrie, it sounds liek it was in your mother's case. But it isn't always. It's great if you can do it. But for one thing, even with the best plan, a great specialist helping you LEAD the intervention, addiction and alcoholism are SOOO fierce, they may not work every time. At the other end of the spectrum, when the adict/alcoholic gets to that sweet spot of "I'm ready to do things diffferently" and they REALLY want to get sober, NOTHING will stop them. Rehab is not even a requirement, though it is the cultural norm at this point cuase it gives the person the best shot at recovery. But how many people ahve you heard of who go through treatment 7 times and still never "get" it...So, yeah, I agree. If you cna do an intervention and it brings about that change in the person with the substance abuse problem--AWSOME...like hitting it out of the park. It's jsut that it's a very complex, difficult process that does nto always succeed,and people should know that going in.
If you are questioning my background, I don't mind at all. I have earned every moment of it. And miss it very much having to retire early due to illness.
To your first question, yes they were my clients or patients. I agree 100% that intervention will only work if the person is willing and ready for recovery. Some deffinatly find it much to invasive and as if you are trying to force them into sobriety. In that case, the person has no intention to stop drinking.
I spent 4 years working both alcohol and drug rehab. The person has to want to recovery in order to go to rehab unless it is court ordered in some cases as DUI etc. You are right, the way to sobriety is a very rocky road, and unless you have someone who is willing to change, it is useless. Take my X husband for instance. He stayed on the wagon for 18 years. A woman brought him back down. He is still drinking. This is a man that went to AA four nights a week if not more. Staying sober is the hardest thing to achieve.
You are absolutly right in you post. You have to want to stop or all is lost.
The patients I dealt with were there on their own accord, so they were willing to listen. And yes, I have been through so awesome moments where I thought my life was in danger with someone in the DT's. This one time we had group meeting and a fight broke out and every male from every unit had to come and help brake it up. That day I will never forget. Once the patient is passed the stage of withdrawl, only then are they able to communicate properly and listen. On the flip side, there are those that finish the program and are discharged and go right to the nearest bar. Everyone is different. All I am saying is that intervention is worth trying. All you can do is loss. At least you know you have tried. All you can do is hope the person one day will realize that they are killing themselves.
I spent most of my 23 years in health care in a hospital setting on every unit and 5 years as office assistant. Then the 4 years in rehab counseling.
I was trained as a mental health technician and had to attend 6 months of 8 hour class room and then internship. They gave that class right at the facility itself. I think the hardest part was dealing with adulesents. Angry, deppressed, suicidal, you name it.
So like a CADC certification kind of thing you mean?? Doesnt' really matter...
I jsut did some cursory internet browsing...and found a couple things of note.
Fist off, at lovefirst.net you can read about a Hazelden book written about how interventions work. Hazelden is probably the second most well-known treatment facility in the US, and they publish hundreds of recovery-related titles, used by addicts and alcoholics nationwide daily.
Second, at About.com, you can read about what interventions are all about. The man who wrote the info I found has been in recovery himself for about 18 yrs and has a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Here's a portion of what he wrote:
Some Risks Involved
Professional intervention is not an option for every family and every situation. The decision to choose the intervention path is one that should be made carefully and with the advice of an experienced counselor. There are some potential risks.
As one health care professional put it: "There are a fair number of substance abuse treatment centers who have stopped doing these interventions because when the intervention fails, as it sometimes inevitably does, the family can be further torn apart by all the bad feelings about the intervention. Not a small point for a family already on the edge of destruction from having an actively alcoholic member."
"The intervention may fail if the alcoholic doesn't make some important transitions during and after formal treatment, but the alcoholic identified patient may very well storm out of the intervention session and the family will have to pick up the pieces of a failed intervention on top of the rest of their problems."
There are others who believe no intervention can be successful in the long run, because of their experience that most alcoholics can't be helped until they are ready to reach out for help on their own. Although the confrontation itself may in fact put the alcoholic in the frame of mind to be "ready" to get help, it can also be a point of resentment in the future.
Apparently, too, it has come into vogue to NOT completely ambush the person with the probelm behavior, be it an eating disorder or drug use. Soem interventionists have the family disclose that they have contaced the interventionist for help several days before the intervention is scheduled, so the person being confronted does NOT feel so ambushed (which I personally think couldn't possibly really be all that bad--I mean, I can't imagine being confronted that way, after YEARS of trying to deny and hide....Plus it would give the target patient a couple days for it to sink in that oh wow...my bacon is really cooked now...they haven't done THIS before, I must really be on my last chance here--which I would think would only bring a problem drinker, let's say, CLOSER to accepting help that is offered if the problem has gotten big enough for the family to seek out an intervention.)
And then there's the story of the old black man who died in Little Rock, AR last week at the age of 78. He was the first black man who got sober in AA in Little Rock--in 1961. He said that back then they put the white drunks in the hospital and the black drunks in the nut house (the State hospital.) When he got out and was advised to go to the AA meetings, he mainly went for the coffee and cigarettes. It was hard, because in those days, things still weren't even close to being completely integrated in Little Rock, and the people didn't all accept him the same. But the program took hold, he got sober, stayed sober, and went on to write several internationally known books on recovery from alcoholism (The Steps We Took), and to found a treatment center in Littel Rock called Serenity Park.
RIP Joe McQ.
Getting sober is hard....but sometiems people jsut want it that bad.
So. All this to say that the intervention is not some mighty, magical cure-all, but rather a comlex, hard thing to pull off. They can work!!! They are great when they work!!! But they should never be taken lightly. And again, the main ingredient in getting a person recovered form probelm behavior, whatever it may be, is THAT PERSON getting to the point of deciding they are WILLING to do what it takes to change. It can be an intervention. Yes indeed. There's jsut a lot to think about before confronting your loved one in the living room.
If I'm not mistaken, the qotes from the book are exactly what I am trying to say.. Please re-read my post over your last post. I am saying that intervention is important,yes. But does not work for those that do not want to stop drinking. It did not work with my X husband. So I know the pro's and con's of intervention.
Why do I feel I am being questioned here on my knowledge? I am very confident in what I have learned in 23 years and it was a hard road getting there.
And what do you exactly mean "So like a CADC certification kind of thing you mean?? Doesnt' really matter... "? Every day I went to work it took all the consintration I had and it was the only thing that mattered. I took my work very seriously and put everything I had into it. Trying to help someone reach recovery. It wa not easy, but I loved my work.
I always said "If in a one hour one on one session with a client or patient, I was able to say ONE thing that hit home to them, I have done my job".
I take it you have worked the field and have a degree and an abundance of knowledge to go with it. You are challenging me on things I have already agreed are true. I joined this board to be of some help as admin knows. And that is what I plan to do. Be some help.
And if it matters at all, I was taught by a Psychologist. I also suffer from passive aggressiveness. I'm sure you know what that is.
Thanks for the tip on the book. I will go to Barnes and Nobel and work up on my knowledge.
God, grant me the serenity to except the things I can not change,
Corage to change the things that I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.