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Intervention anyone?

Old 02-11-2011, 04:27 PM
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Intervention anyone?

I keep reading about full-fledged interventions...statistics claiming the success rate of interventions as far as convincing the alcoholic to go to treatment being 85% - 90%. Really??? And if so, I wonder what percentage of those that go actually maintain sobriety? Just wondered if anyone here had done an intervention and if so, did it result in treatment and/or long-term sobriety for your alcoholic?
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:39 PM
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my intervention for my wife was done with a restraining order and divorce papers.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:44 PM
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Hi Im Sharon. I am an alcoholic
here in Baton Rouge, La.

By family did an intervention
on me back in Aug. 1990
when they realized I needed
help and they couldnt do it
alone without proper help.

Officers came to my house
to pick me up and take me
for an evaluation over night
in a hospital.

The hospital was a rehabillitation
center beginning on the bottom
floor in the phyciatric ward.

I passed all the test they thru
at me and it was determined
that I had a problem with alcohol
and admitted me to a 2 week
rehab program.

At the end of that time I was to be
sent to a halfway house away from
my little family for 6 weeks. I begged
them to keep me there and that I
would do what ever was needed to
not be sent away.

So I completed 28 days, went home
and continued on with a 6 week out
patiant aftercare program.

I tool the tools and knowledge handed
to me about my alcoholism and applied
it to my everyday living a day at a time.

That was 20 yrs ago of many sober
days collected together to get me
where I am today. Happy joyous
and free.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:04 PM
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Intervention, the show, usually gets people to go..some leave right away, lots relapse, some died, many got sober..there really are no real life reliavble stats..how do you track it?for how long? is this something you are considering doing?
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:22 PM
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I believe for an Intervention to truly work, the addict has to be dependent on those doing the intervention. Does that make sense? I've watched Intervention the show over and over. Most of those people are forced into corners before they agree to going. And even then they may not last.

I've considered doing an intervention on my AS, but truthfully, what do I have to offer him, or worse, take away from him? The answer is nothing. We're not wealthy enough to send him to rehab and we certainly don't pay his rent now. We've thought about this over and over.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:49 PM
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I have read a couple of books about it, and they suggest that you raise your alcoholic's bottom by intervening before they reach it. Supposedly, all the love the alcoholic feels from the letters written by those intervening, as well as the picture that is painted of how alcohol has changed them, makes them willing to go into treatment. And if that doesn't work, those intervening go on to tell the alcoholic specifically what they will no longer do to support the addiction...that they will only support recovery. I agree, Lilly1, that this only makes a difference if you have leverage, as in financially or otherwise. Obviously, in my case, all I have to withhold is a relationship with me and my kids. Maybe that is enough, maybe not. He really has no other friends to speak of b/c he sits at home and drinks every night. He respects my parents and his brother, so he might care what they think, but not sure really how much. I'm not sure what I think about it...it would be less trouble just to walk away, in all honesty. But I'm sort of getting a complex about it...like if I don't try it, I haven't done everything I could do. Don't get me wrong...I love him, and it's not like I don't think he's worth it, but at the same time, I'm becoming ok with the idea that it may never change...
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:52 PM
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Intervention or not, the addict/alcoholic won't get anything out of rehab unless they truly want to go. If they feel forced, they aren't doing it for themselves, they're doing it for others. That's really the bottom line.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:42 PM
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I'd say that the statistics are probably right so far as getting someone to go to treatment, but for anyone in treatment, the statistics are "eh". I think an intervention DOES force someone to look at the damage s/he is causing, so from that perspective, it serves a therapeutic purpose.

But even with the dismal overall "success" rate in the short term, there are a lot of people who later return to recovery. Some people just have to make multiple stabs at it before they are truly ready to do the work necessary for recovery.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:00 PM
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Here's what happened when I did it...

She was livid, but she went for the full 30 days and came out swearing she'd never drink again and she was a new woman. It didn't work. She drank for the next 7 years, and worse than ever.

Or did it? It was where she was introduced to AA, and it was where I was introduced to Al-Anon, and where our daughter was introduced to Alateen.

They say it's the first drink that gets you drunk. The intervention just may have been a different kind of first drink for her-- her first step towards sobriety. I'll always be thankful I got the guts to do the intervention.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranok

P.s. **ck statistics. They are meaningless in the context of your personal relationship to addicts and alcoholics.

Originally Posted by HeyImme View Post
I keep reading about full-fledged interventions...statistics claiming the success rate of interventions as far as convincing the alcoholic to go to treatment being 85% - 90%. Really??? And if so, I wonder what percentage of those that go actually maintain sobriety? Just wondered if anyone here had done an intervention and if so, did it result in treatment and/or long-term sobriety for your alcoholic?
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:40 PM
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Ha! You make me laugh, cyranok...I like your style
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:11 PM
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I read an interesting article about interventions and what they found was that it may work for some people but there are others where it can actually cause more harm if not done properly and handled by those experienced in the process.

If done poorly, or by ill trained professionals, it can push the addict to a very emotionally precarious place esp if there is a dual diagnosis (i.e. it can backfire on those with high risk of suicide for example).

Properly trained people can make that distinction and so the article recommended seeking professionals in assisting with the process.

Anyway, it was a perspective about interventions that I hadn't heard before which I found interesting.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:28 AM
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I am a recovered alcoholic and last summer I met my neighbor who told me she is leaving her husband because he started drinking again after a year of sobriety. He hit bottom fast, and she told me he was spending hundreds a week on alcohol.
My sponsor suggested an intervention, but when I raised the issue at a couple of my AA meetings, the guys told me: if he doesn't want to, there is no point.

I think an intervention does work, but there has to be willingness on the part of the person.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:28 AM
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I think an intervention is mainly geared toward breaking through the denial--sort of giving the addict a shake by the shoulders and getting them to acknowledge there is a problem. From there, though, it really does depend on the readiness of the individual to stop. If they truly want to continue to drink and use, they aren't "done" yet.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hurtandangry View Post
my intervention for my wife was done with a restraining order and divorce papers.
sounds familiar.

And initially it didn't work. After about 6 months, she finally decided to earnestly work on her problem. She says she would have done it without the intervention and divorce papers....Quack, Quack, Quack.

I'd say YOU have nothing to loose by trying it. No intervention, probably no change in behavior. With intervention, you MIGHT see a change in behavior. There is no way to know.

What do YOU have to loose by trying? What might you gain if it takes?
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:39 PM
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The first time my ex verbally abused me (was out of character for him), I left him. He came to me 3 weeks later and said he joined AA and stopped drinking. That was 2 1/2 yrs ago and he's not drank since.

Now having said this, my ex went on to cheat on me 6 months ago and I left again, and never went back. He did join 12 steps 2 months after I left and he seems to be working on himself.

Sometimes the pain of losing someone you love is enough for a change. It all depends on which mental illness they are fighting.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:45 PM
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Multiple stabs..I like that..it seems to be the rule rather than the exception, but it is lifelong disease so makes sense..
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:49 PM
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I think what happened with my RAH was an intervention. I had been reading for years about interventions. I had felt "hopeless" for years about his daily drinking (and how both of our lives had become so chaotic and crazy). Yes, I watched many episodes of the show as well, sometimes even with my AH when he was in the throws of his addiction. I remember just crying and crying, watching those episodes, wishing I could try something like that.

The "intervention" for my RAH seemed to happen over a few years & a couple of "confrontations" with family members over this "few year period." About a year and a half ago, I hit my bottom and left with our child. Then, my RAH began spiraling downward, appearing to hit his bottom. That's when his family members and I attempted an intervention. It ended up not working at that moment. However, it became the impetus for *the* intervention that ended up working.

I ended up "coercing" my AH into rehab. I called several rehab facilities. I even visited a few in advance. I had never seen my AH so ill. I just felt if he didn't get help soon, he might not make it. The facilities that pretty much dismissed me with the usual, "Ma'am, *he* has to be the one to come here on his own!" were the ones I knew I couldn't work with. There were some places that said the addict/alcoholic had to be sober. Because I didn't know if my husband would be sober or not when I went to get him, I decided not to go with that facility. (Of course, in the end, my husband was the one who had to agree to go so these facilities were correct.)

I set up the place I was going to take him in advance. I had called my insurance company. I had spoken with the facility. I had prearranged everything. I first picked my husband up and asked him to come have lunch with me. Because he technically had to "consent," I asked him to go with me to a rehab facility during "our lunch." He was too sick to eat. He had lost so much weight. He was shaking. His eyes were yellow and bloodshot. He was in very bad shape. Initially "at lunch," he refused to even go to the facility but I just wouldn't take no for an answer. (I didn't know if it would work but neither of us had anything to lose. I wanted to get him to at least "try" rehab.) He was really reluctant but agreed to basically "just check the place out." I didn't care. As long as he agreed to go there with me. I had already mapped directions to the place so straight from "our lunch," we drove to the facility. (It was an hour and a half away in the country). Once we got there, the counselor was awesome. (The counselor was already expecting us). He asked all of the right questions. He separated us and talked to each of us separately. My husband kept saying he would check the place out "another time!" I told myself that if I had to do a sit-in at this place refusing to drive him back until he agreed, I was going to do it. I felt like we were "this close!" to getting him to agree to stay. I could see that my husband was broken himself. He was at his bottom. He didn't fight me like he had in the past, turning arguments around and starting to quack. He was truly broken at that time, as if he didn't have the strength to fight me on this. *Finally,* my husband agreed to enter this facility if we could go back home together to get his belongings. He also said, "I'm going to smoke a joint once I get home to get my stuff." The counselor (a recovering addict himself) said, "Go ahead. Smoke a joint. Do whatever you're going to do but come back!" My husband must've wanted this recovery himself because we went back home and he packed his clothes. Part of me feared that he might take off. He didn't. We drove back the hour and a half drive again out into the country where the rehab facility was. It was dark by then.

At the point my husband agreed to "check out" the rehab facility, he was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and so sick and tired of being high/drunk, alone in our house. He was ready but needed the push into rehab. He has been sober for 11 months. (I have been with him for 15 years/separated a year and a half. He has never been sober for more than a a day all the years I had known him until he entered rehab 11 months ago. Every day he is sober is a miracle.)

I understand that there are "right ways" to do interventions. However, each series of circumstances probably have to be considered. Everything had come together. My husband was ready.

Bottom line, however, the addict/alcoholic has to be ready (even if he does not have the ability/control to get/be sober on his or her own) and the addict/alcoholic has to want it. I believe that my RAH was in a place where he just couldn't get started on sobriety but was desperately wanting it.

I would not recommend what I did necessarily to anyone. It worked for us because all of the circumstances had come together, making it the right opportunity for my husband and for our family. As part of my husband's rehab experience, I realized and learned that *I* really needed to do my own recovery work as well!

I haven't moved back home yet. After my husband reaches one year, I am considering moving back home. (That will be next month).
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:11 AM
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It would not have worked for my husband. The extended family didn't care enough to participate either. My XAH walked out of 3 treatment centers. He was determined to stay in addiction even though he would cry he wanted to stop. He hated AA from the times he got DUI's and judges forced him to go. He said he didn't believe in God and used that as an excuse to not like AA. He just wanted to use more than he wanted to stop. Love didn't matter. He chose partying or getting messed up (alone) over and above family. He had every excuse in the book. It wore me out , the family out, his doctor out. Years later I felt giulty I hadn't done an intervention and talked to him about it after we were divorced. He said it wouldn't have worked. He is still using. I had to let him go.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:08 AM
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One heck of a fight......

I read intervention has a very low success rate. If it only serves to "wake them up" I don't think that matters really because my AH acknowledged for a year that he was an alcoholic. He admitted it to his family even. However, that didn't change his drinking at all.

I thought if step one is admitting it what is step 2? I had gotten him to acknowledge he was an alcoholic? Why the heck was he still drinking?

Oh I know...... He has to recognize all the problems it is causing us..So I set about to show him. I bought a video camera. I tried showing him his obnoxious behavior but he turned it off immediately. I was friggn crazy he said. His behavior did not change.

I read a book that said "You can influence your AH. I was one and what changed me was those dear to me holding me accountable." So I proceeded to hold him accountable for his actions. The more I stood up to him. The worse it got. MUCH worse.

Finally, I could take no more. I packed up and left. I thought he is not getting away with putting on this face to the outside world.

So I left a disk on several of the neighbors doors. I left 4. 2 neighbors brought them back to him with assaults on my character, and a police complaint as well. He knew what was on that disk. I had showed him many times.

THAT CHANGED HIS BEHAVIOR. The day he got them back, he immediately put down the bottle, at least for the moment. Permanently? Time will tell.

I also didn't just go stay with someone. I signed a lease on a place so I was obligated to it regardless of how my relationship with AH went. I knew I would be weak again and his sweet talk would coerce me eventually. Mind you, I didn't even have a job. So I put myself in a position where I had to put things in gear for myself to take care of myself. No choice.

Now, a month later, he of course talks the sweet talk and has tried to convince me to come back again and again. (I have not moved back, nor do I intend to anytime soon.) Oh! How he has found God and changed!

This is my response to him and course of action in regards to him:

"That ugly horse will rear its head again sooner or later. I know this. I will spend time with you. However, when it begins to rear its head, we can talk about it and work through it together if you choose. If you can't hear me, or choose to pursue the ugly, I will leave, (and I do). If at the end of this "trial period" (6 months) if I am not convinced there is real change. We are done. I will file papers. I will not come back ever. I give you my word."

So essentially, in my mind, I have given him a chance to walk the talk. He has hit bottom, in his mind, because I left and took almost everything. He walks around in shell of what used to be a beautiful home with flowers and love. He has only a radio and lots of books to keep him company most days.
He is struggling financially right now as well. I believe had I not crippled him, in addition to exposing him to people whose opinion of him mattered, when I left, he would still be hanging with the bottle. I didn't even leave him a radio. He had to buy it.

The down side is I will spend the next 6 months watching for signs of the ugly, but it is harder to see because I am not there. I am finding no evidence at this point. However, I spent a good portion of this last weekend with him. I left for 3-4 hours saturday morning. When I got back there was no evidence to be found but he had the look and behavior of his drinking days. So am I really accomplishing anything other than giving him drinking time?

I, personally, want hard evidence. I want the proof that he is drinking again and I will have no problem moving on. It is just a matter of time, me thinks........

We started attending church together this last week. He intends to go to a mens fellowship. I am going today to visit with the leader of the fellowship and explain what is happening and why he is there.. Why? because I don't want him gaining sympathy for his plight. His old habit is to gain sympathy from the outside world about how bad his life is. I think if the pastor is aware of the truth, he will be able to guide him towards real change as opposed to becoming an ally to the victim. The church and men's group are his idea. I am going along for the ride at this point.

He said that he quit drinking one time before and he knew he was going to cave. So he called the church he was attending at the time and they never returned his call. Thus he fell.

It seems to me he is reaching out for help to the church I guess. He refuses AA. So I am thinking this is my next best step or maybe the pastor has an AA group there and will begin to lead him to that.........?????????

Any hoo......... I personally could not stand by and let this destroy my marriage without one heck of a fight. He has one good chance here.

If he blows it, I know, without a doubt, I did all I could (because I believe in the power of me! ) and I shall quietly slip away and let him live the h*ll he has chosen for himself.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by passionfruit View Post
....... I personally could not stand by and let this destroy my marriage without one heck of a fight. He has one good chance here. If he blows it, I know, without a doubt, I did all I could (because I believe in the power of me!) and I shall quietly slip away and let him live the h*ll he has chosen for himself.
Ditto to this above. I felt the same way and basically did the same thing - left him alone with his demons. It's been 90 days sober and 45 days separated. In that time, I have learned that I have work to do on ME and to detach from him and his journey.

I never thought of an intervention, because in my situation, he wasn't bothering anyone else with his drinking. Heck, no one else knew, especially his family. He only told them the truth after I moved out. I do believe in raising the bottom, but you have to be prepared that it may not work and that was very hard to accept at first - it took me almost a year to finally make good on the "leaving" part.
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