Under certain circumstances, an Intervention may be advisable. It used to be believed that one would have to wait until the addicted person “hit bottom.” Bottom is the point where the addict has to admit absolute, total defeat and has no question about the need to stop using. However, especially today with many addicts and alcoholics using a variety of drugs at once, “bottom” can equal imprisonment and/or death. We are stunned at how many young people are using and sometimes injecting serious life-threatening drugs. They are in their late teens and early twenties and are already at the top of the drug “food chain.” There is nowhere else to go, but gone.
In 1980, Vernon Johnson – one of the pioneers of interventions of this nature – suggested that the dependent person can learn to comprehend the reality of his or her addiction is this information is presented in language that he or she can understand. Additionally, he did NOT recommend that the family/friends wait until the addicted person “hit bottom” and advocated early intervention.
Intervention is a collective, guided effort by the significant persons in the alcoholic/addict’s environment to bring about a crisis through confrontation and thereby to remove the person’s defensive obstructions to recovery. It is a way to introduce the addict to their “bottom” NOW, rather than to wait until the inevitable outcome wherein the stakes are much higher.
It is designed to break through the wall of denial, rationalization and blame by which the addict seeks to protect his or her addiction.
There is no malice involved and is, in fact, considered “a profound act of caring.”It is planned in advance and rehearsed. All participants must agree in advance about the goal, and that goal is to help the addicted person to accept the need to enter treatment immediately.
Each person involved speaks about his or her concern for the addict, but also confronts the addicted person with specific evidence that he or she has lost control of his or her drug use, all presented in language the individual can easily understand.
An Intervention is led by a skilled and experienced Addiction Counsellor and is carefully arranged and executed.
Interventions are delicate events and require that all supporting family and friends be on the same page. Most alcoholics and drug addicts will not change until they are absolutely required to do so. This always requires each person in a relationship with the alcoholic/addict to hit their “bottom line” of what they are prepared to tolerate moving forward and to realize, often sadly, that they are not in control of the addict, any more than the addict is in control of their alcohol/drug use. Often, we must examine if there is any evidence that what we have been doing – out of fear and love – has affected any real change in the alcoholic/addict’s behaviours at all.
Contact Partners Addictions and Family Services at 905-476-6913 for an exploratory session concerning the appropriateness, wisdom and costs of an Intervention. If the family is at their wit’s end, desperate for change in their loved one’s drug/alcohol activities, interventions can move fairly quickly and need not be prohibitively expensive. There are lots of Treatment options available and we are experts at helping the addict before, during and after the journey to sobriety and a meaningful life.
If you, or someone you love, is struggling with drugs, alcohol or another compulsive and self-destructive behaviour, call Partners Addictions and Family Services right away. We can help.
Partners Addictions and Family Services.
No waiting lists. Ever.
905-476-6913 • firstname.lastname@example.org