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-   -   Intervention (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/221414-intervention.html)

Panther 03-03-2011 10:28 PM

Intervention
 
I am new here. I have been addicted in my past, but my main reason for coming here is because I am organizing an intervention for a friend and I was wondering if anybody is familiar with the process.

Has anybody here organized an intervention or taken part in one? I also have some questions regarding rehabs. I am looking for a medically based rehab. Is there a list of different medically based rehabs? Most I have researched have been psychologically or spiritually based.

FindingPeace1 03-04-2011 12:04 AM

Hey, Panther.
There is an eeire silence on this board around interventions.
I know there are some folks out there that are all about them.
Around here, the feeling is if you force someone to go to rehab, it is only going to force someone to go to rehab. It's not going magically fix them and most rehabs don't work if the person doesn't want it for themselves.
Good luck, but most of us that tried to intervene, failed miserably.

Hope yours goes better than that! :) peace

keepinon 03-04-2011 08:55 AM

very insightful Finding Peace..indeed the 85% rate that is so touted is for getting people to a rehab..not to complete treatment or to stay sober..I think the stats are very skewed...

Cyranoak 03-04-2011 01:58 PM

This is a scary topic...
 
...the consequences of a bad decision can be severe. Having said that, I'll tell you I did an intervention on my wife. To this day, eight years later, she's still pissed about it even though she understands why I did it.

Bottom line? She relapsed almost immediately after coming home-- a 100 percent failure rate. However, it is where she was introduced to the 12 Steps, me to Alanon, and our daughter to Alateen. These programs, years later, helped us to save our relationship and improve our lives.

So, was the $8,000 I spent wasted? Did the program really fail? At the time I thought so. In hind-site I'd say it was worth twice that simply because it showed me the way to Alanon. I'd do it again in a flat second.

And, as others here have already said, there are no guarantees it will work. There are no guarantees anything will work. You make the best decision you can at the time you have to make it, whatever that decision is, and you hope for the best.

I'd suggest you ignore the statistics around recovery. Everything we did failed until my wife, of her own volition, put herself back into treatment and fully immersed herself in AA. She is now 8 months sober. At this moment both her treatment and AA program have a 100 percent success rate for her. Tomorrow it could go to zero percent. It truly is one day at a time.

Lastly, and more important than anything else I've said, please consider going to an Alanon meeting to learn more about the situation you are dealing with, yourself and why you are engaged with it, and to get some tools for coping with alcoholism. You'll be glad you did.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

Verbena 03-04-2011 02:15 PM

I've never been involved in an intervention. I've heard mostly negative comments about how well they work. But then statistics on alcoholism and addiction are pretty much an exercise in "How to Lie With Statistics." Now there's an old book title from the sixties, I believe.

Anyway there are several books on Amazon.com that will take you through the intervention process. Web search things like alcohol intervention, addiction intervention.

Good luck.

Panther 03-05-2011 03:32 PM

I have to say that I am truly shocked at the responses I received. I would expect a forum that is supposed to be offering support for loved ones - to be a little more well informed and open minded. I have been an addict, I know addiction. And as someone who has been addicted, I can tell you that when someone is addicted they are not able to think clearly or rationally. My parents confronted me on my addiction numerous times and I thought they were completely nuts. But had they done an intervention, I would probably have been saved years of suffering. The only reason I got sober - was because I ran out of my supply of Vicodin and realized I either had to figure out another way to live or risk breaking the law trying to get more and getting caught. If my drug of choice had been alcohol, or if I was already caught up in a life of crime (as many addicts are) I can tell you quite honestly, that I would probably not be sober right now.

This is not just about statistics. Although I am quite appalled at how easily you manage to throw statistics aside and instead rely on biased accounts. No one is out to gain from these statistics. I am not going to make money if you chose to believe them or not. But they are true. 85% is not a small number. And if you ask me (or anyone else with an ounce of reason) it beats waiting to see if the addict paralyzes themselves or someone else in a car accident, dies of over dose, or commits suicide. Let us look at the possible outcomes here and then you tell me that statistics don't matter.

But let's say you still poo-poo statistics, you cannot deny the scientific research that has been done. An addicted mind is a very sick mind. An addict is not going to all of a sudden have a "change of heart" as many of you would like to believe. The body has come to PHYSICALLY depend on the drug. It is not an act of will. If someone told you - either you stop drinking liquids or I will leave you, what would you say? That is what the addict hears when you tell them to stop taking whatever they are taking. They think you're crazy.

The problem in many cases is not just the addiction. The problem is how people PERCEIVE addiction. How you see something can either free you or limit you. And I have noticed on this forum that there seems to be ONE way of thinking and everything else is considered unenlightened. I find this ironic since the new science behind addiction contradicts much of what I read in the posts.

I am not here to debate. I came here to find support because I am organizing an intervention for a friend. I thought I could also offer advice as a former addict and as someone who works with addicts. But I see that in general, many of you think you know everything when it comes to addiction, so I have little to offer in that regard.

I wish I could be more diplomatic. But, frankly, I don't have the patience for diplomacy when I'm dealing with adults who can very well read the research themselves.

Panther

Kindeyes 03-05-2011 03:50 PM

I am going to venture into these troubled waters and hopefully I will be able to do so without calling names or insulting anyone. God help me.

We did an intervention with our son about 4-1/2 years ago. He was pissed to say the least but he went and he stayed the entire time. As was stated above, that was where I began to recognize my participation in the disease. And it was ex-addicts who taught me how best to deal with my son. It helped to save my entire family from getting pulled under by alcoholism and addiction. It was a wonderful place, with wonderful supportive and knowledgable counselors.

He stayed sober for four months. He still carries his four month coin with him. And he cherishes those four months sober.

When he relapsed, he asked to go to intensive outpatient. That is where he met his girlfriend and they relapsed together.

Four years later, after hitting what I thought was the bottom (moved from alcohol, to meth, to heroin). He asked to go to treatment again.

He relapsed within a week of getting out. Straightened out again. But he continues to struggle with addiction. It is heart breaking. I continue to hope and I know that the intervention, the treatment centers, AA, NA and all of things he has been exposed to have given him the tools to recover. But he has to use the tools--I can't use them for him and expect him to get well.

Now before you go bashing me or others in this forum, you might give consideration that we are people who love people who are cursed with the disease of alcoholism or addiction. We put up with a lot of spewed anger and resentment from these people we love. We slowly learn to turn the attention toward ourselves and try to be healthy people because we can't deal with the disease of addiction if we aren't healthy ourselves.

Please......be respectful and thoughtful in your responses.

gentle hugs

jamaicamecrazy 03-05-2011 03:59 PM

Yowza,
I do not know the statistics. They can always be skewed and frankly it is only my situation that is important to me so if I am the exception to the rule then the statistic is of no good to me. Rather than vent your frustration at the response, I would like to hear another kind of view if you have one. Although I know Al Anon has worked tremendously for me, and I think my husband would benefit from a stint in rehab, I don't buy the "one cure fits all" mentality. It seems that we don't hear about many other forms of recovery that are not 12 step programs. I would like to hear about those as well. Perhaps you feel that the folks are being closed minded but in actuality they are just speaking from their personal experiences and what they know. It is good for you to share what you know or have seen as well. I do know from experience that "forcing" someone to go to rehab takes the control and decision away from them. They may give up the substance but the mentality is still there unless that part of the addiction is addressed.
It is unfortunate that you id not feel the support you were looking for. Please keep us posted on what goes on with your situation. I think the more we learn from a variety of sources, the better off we are.

Floss 03-05-2011 04:23 PM

I agree with Jamaica. I'd like to learn from a variety of sources too. And the thing is, I had only been thinking about whether an intervention would be the way to go with my ex. He becomes psychotic when he drinks and I think he's undiagnosed bipolar. He beat up his own brothers two weeks ago in one of those states. These are brothers he adores. He wasn't in his right mind. He needs help. Do we just stand there and watch him jump off the cliff?

Jazzman 03-05-2011 05:04 PM

I can share my experience with interventions. A couple family members and I read up on interventions and we had a professorial facilitator lined up. We set a date and scoped out a couple centers and did the insurance homework. A week prior to the planned date Mel decided to check in herself voluntarily.

She relapsed a shortly after and voluntarily checked into a second rehab several months later, then relapsed shortly after completing that program. After we were divorced she voluntarily checked into a third program and relapsed again a few months after completing that program. She passed away in Sept of 09 from cirrhosis.

I'm a recovered cocaine addict and have been clean for 28 years. What I learned from my experience with addiction is a much more in your face basic reality than what you learned from your experience. Some people get clean and survive, some people die. An intervention would not have saved Mels life.

If you plan an intervention I would read up on it and seek out professional help. Good luck.

Panther 03-05-2011 05:22 PM


Originally Posted by Kindeyes (Post 2887291)
It was a wonderful place, with wonderful supportive and knowledgable counselors.

He stayed sober for four months. He still carries his four month coin with him. And he cherishes those four months sober.

This is not the first story I have heard of the intervention going well, but the recovery being rocky. I find it strange that people are quick to blame the intervention. Is it not more likely that the choice of recovery could be the culprit? Basically, the intervention is only part of the solution. It is the first step. The second step is picking a good recovery center. Now, there are MANY different types. Some are based on religion/spirituality, others on psychology and on and on. I believe the best rehabs are based on a MEDICAL model with scientific research at its base. Why? Because they have hard facts to support their treatment. I am all for spirituality. I meditate and read the Bible almost every day. But I think God gave us science for a reason, and I don't think he gave it to us so we could ignore it.

I have spent the last two months researching rehabs. If they mention anything about getting to the "underlying cause" of addiction (ie psychological problems causing the addiction), I go on to the next one. From my research I have found that the majority of rehabs are based on outdated theories of addiction. AA itself was founded well before any research had even been attempted. Carl Jung who gave the foundation for AA knew nothing of genetics or how the body becomes physically addicted.


Now before you go bashing me or others in this forum, you might give consideration that we are people who love people who are cursed with the disease of alcoholism or addiction. We put up with a lot of spewed anger and resentment from these people we love. We slowly learn to turn the attention toward ourselves and try to be healthy people because we can't deal with the disease of addiction if we aren't healthy ourselves.

Please......be respectful and thoughtful in your responses.

gentle hugs
Like I have stated previously - I respect everyone's struggle and effort. I am not here to bash you. However, I am also not here to sugar coat anything or water down the facts so that I do not offend. We are talking about a very complicated illness here. This is life or death. People are dying EVERY DAY from this disease.

If by challenging what you believe, you feel attacked, I am sorry. But how do you think I feel when I have people following me around from post to post harassing me (you know who you are)? Is that supposed to be pleasant?

This is a forum which implies Open Discussion. Anyone should be able to discuss new ideas and theories without being branded a trouble maker.

Panther

Panther 03-05-2011 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy (Post 2887302)
I would like to hear another kind of view if you have one. Although I know Al Anon has worked tremendously for me, and I think my husband would benefit from a stint in rehab, I don't buy the "one cure fits all" mentality. It seems that we don't hear about many other forms of recovery that are not 12 step programs. I would like to hear about those as well. It is good for you to share what you know or have seen as well. I do know from experience that "forcing" someone to go to rehab takes the control and decision away from them. They may give up the substance but the mentality is still there unless that part of the addiction is addressed.
It is unfortunate that you id not feel the support you were looking for. Please keep us posted on what goes on with your situation. I think the more we learn from a variety of sources, the better off we are.

Jamaica -

Thank you for your response. Basically, the scientific research supports the theory that addiction (particularly alcohol addiction) is a physical illness. Now this is not "illness" as in "that person is really sick in the head" but illness as in cancer. The physical changes that occur in a person's body because of addiction are profound and wide spread. Every organ is affected down to the last cell and even down to the last organelle (small microscopic organs within the cell). Because of these changes, will power is no longer able to control the substance. The substance now controls will power. Experiments done on animals (rats, mice, etc), babies and long range twin and adoption studies all prove that addiction is a complex disease determined by genetics, exposure to the substance and physiology.

Now, the tricky part is that most treatments for addiction were developed before ANY scientific research had been done. Most rehabs, counseling services, and self-help groups are based on outdated theories that were first developed during the 30s and 40s. This explains why they have such poor success rates! I myself work in the substance abuse unit at a juvenile hall and despite the fact that the kids also get recovery services (lectures, private and group counseling, antidepressants) there is a very high relapse rate. Some of the kids are in there for up to 8 months, and within a month of being free they are back behind bars for using drugs again. Why? Are they all hopeless lost souls? Or maybe they never got proper care in the first place? The research supports the latter.

An intervention gets an addict help before something permanent can happen (death, insanity, suicide, jail) and it is a success in 85% of cases. But following the intervention, there needs to be proper medical care, otherwise it was all for nothing. That is not to say the addict does not at some point realize their situation and regain their will, because with the right course of action they will. But it cannot happen before they get proper help.

A good book on addiction Under the Influence by Dr. Milam. A good book on intervention Love First by Jeff Jay. They also have a website with more info. LoveFirst.net

Panther

jamaicamecrazy 03-05-2011 05:51 PM

Intervention is the first step. Detox I would think is the second. Learning strategies and coping mechanisms would be next. But the difficult part is using them in an environment that is not controlled-LIFE. And that is ongoing. What exactly is a medical model? And how do they treat the addiction differently? I think I understand what you mean about the physical addiction part of it but it seems that often if the addiction is addressed physically-there is still an underlying "cause". Anxiety, OCD, sleep disorder,personality disorders. Removing the alcohol does not necessarily treat the mental addiction and the obsession can easily manifest its way onto another substance. Would it be possible for you to share a link to the scientific research or facts that go into a medical model? I too wonder why we don't hear about many "new and improved" methods of treatment other than the AA model which is decades old.
That having been said, I hear folks say that in order for AA to work and be successful you have to follow it and work it the way it has been set up. Not cut corners or adapt it to your own needs. Kind of like a diet. If you sneak in a few candy bars or stop being diligent about portion sizes or healthy choices, it is not going to work. I don't mean to trivialize addiction. I am just putting it in a context that has helped me understand.

jamaicamecrazy 03-05-2011 05:55 PM

Our posts "crossed". Thanks for the info. I will look into these. I'm not sure how many people know or hear about them. I always try to look at all sides. But of course I am going to side with the one that works best for me!

Panther 03-05-2011 06:31 PM


Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy (Post 2887432)
Our posts "crossed". Thanks for the info. I will look into these. I'm not sure how many people know or hear about them. I always try to look at all sides. But of course I am going to side with the one that works best for me!

Yes, I write long posts sorry. The difference between treating addiction with a Psychological Model and a Medical Model - is like the difference between treating Schizophrenia with a doctor or a priest. How you approach a problem greatly effects the outcome.

To illustrate my point I have found two mission statements from two different rehabs. One is based on the old Psychological Model and the other on the new Medical Model. Here are some excerpts -

Psychological Model: "All too often, people will quit using alcohol or drugs for a while but fail to address the reasons that led to alcohol and drug abuse in the first place. This is where most treatment programs disappoint. We say, let's do it right the first time so you can get on with your life!"

Medical Model: "The main thrust of our inpatient program is to help patients recognize that alcoholism and addiction is a primary, progressive disease, rather than any manifestation of moral consequence, character weakness, or psychological dysfunction. We teach patients to approach their disease as a treatable condition with a high potential for recovery."

zrx1200R 03-05-2011 06:40 PM

edited. I have nothing to say.

Jazzman 03-05-2011 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by Panther (Post 2887388)
I find it strange that people are quick to blame the intervention. Is it not more likely that the choice of recovery could be the culprit?

I don't think anyone blamed the intervention, only that they can backfire as well as succeed in getting someone to agree to rehab. And recovery is indeed a choice.

Are you so sure you would have made a different choice had your parents staged an intervention? I would submit you were ready to make a change when you were ready to make a change. I find it curious that you claim you have experience with addiction and make a statement like that? It wasn't your parents choice to prolong your addiction. I'm sure they were struggling plenty with what you were putting them through.

You have to realize the room you're walking into here. There are lots of people here who have have lived all these nightmares, and you're making broad assumptions and generalized statements based on too few responses.

Panther 03-05-2011 07:55 PM

Jazz - in what way can it backfire? Where's your evidence? You're making claims without solid facts. At least I provided some sources.

And I told of my experience to illustrate the fact that I wasn't ready to make a change. If they sold Vicodin over the counter at the closest grocery store, I can tell you in all certainty I would probably still be addicted. I had gone through my supply, my dad's and my brothers. And that doesn't include the time when I was addicted before. That is why I feel for people who are addicted to alcohol because there are addicted to something that is so widely available. The only thing that saved me was the fact that what I was addicted to is hard to get. This forced me to get sober and that is when I started doing research to treat myself. That is how I know what I know.

And I never claimed it was my parent's choice. You are putting words in my mouth. I merely stated that an intervention would have cut short my addiction. I am not placing blame. By acknowledging that an intervention would have cut short my addiction, I see that interventions can do that for other people. Its simple logic.

If the information I offer works for you, then it does. If you don't want to accept it, fine. Que sera, sera.

MayaandMe 03-05-2011 08:15 PM

Hi Panther,

What are you imagining the outcome of the intervention as being?

What do you imagine happening if there is no intervention?

From my experience both with an alcoholic father (who is now 20+ years sober) and with during a four-year relationship with my alcoholic ex (who is still drinking), neither was ready until they were ready. Both abused alcohol as a way of self medicating and the roots of the alcoholism were indeed psychological.

I hope that your friend listens and takes the offering of help. He or she is lucky to have someone who cares so much.

Take what you like and leave the rest.

Jazzman 03-05-2011 08:15 PM


Originally Posted by Panther (Post 2887551)
I merely stated that an intervention would have cut short my addiction.

You mean.. you assume it would have.


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