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Has anyone ever attempted an intervention?

Old 03-12-2010, 11:34 PM
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Has anyone ever attempted an intervention?

I've been watching that show lately and I'm kind of amazed at how far gone some of those addicts were, yet they were able to turn their lives around. Anyone here ever try an intervention? What was the outcome? I have thought about trying to do one, but I'm doubtful it will work.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:35 PM
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When people ask about your addicted spouse/child/family member/friend

Do you try to save face by being vague and hinting that they are just fine? Or do you tell them the truth that they are a drug addict?
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:37 PM
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I had people tell me they were worried about me etc. Until, i came to terms with my drug and alcohol problem didn't matter what anyone else had to say!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:43 AM
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We did an intervention with our son 3-1/2 years ago. It was a painful process. He went to rehab and stayed for the duration. He came out and was fine for a while. But he relapsed and is currently drinking, smoking pot, and his newest addiction...oxy.

In retrospect, did it work? In some ways, yes......for me it worked. They worked with our family (we traveled 1-1/2 hours each way three days a week for a month) to help us with our part of the addiction cycle (co-dependence). And it helped ME. Here is what my son's intervention did for ME:

1. It helped me recognize my role in his addiction and correct MY behaviors.
2. They helped me understand that my son now has all of the tools he needs to be clean and sober......but it's up to him to use those tools.
3. It gave me peace of mind knowing that I have done everything I can and I can now face my son's addiction with (sadly) acceptance.
4. It helped me in other aspects of my life....to live MY life and not try to live other's lives for them (staying within my hoola hoop......keeping MY side of the street clean etc)

So.......did the intervention and subsequent treatment "cure" my son. No. It didn't. Was it a waste of $10,000. No it wasn't. Would I do it again for him? I've done it once. He has the tools. He knows what he needs to do. So I don't regret AT ALL putting him through treatment. Will I do it again for him? No.

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Old 03-13-2010, 09:13 AM
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Years ago, my family did an intervention with my alcoholic uncle. My uncle agreed to go to treatment with the intervention specialist. He left 2 weeks later....he died 2 years later. He never "got it"- his brother, my other uncle who has been in the program for 25 years- says now that he believes some people will never get it- that isn't their path. Good luck to you if you decide to move forward...they work for some people.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:03 AM
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Thumbs up Intervention.....

Hi Everyone,

I did not have a formal Intervention but was confronted by my husband two times 10 years apart. I had been to tx once & stayed sober a year here & there until 1984.

I had divorced my second husband & moved back to where my first husband & son lived. I started drinking every day after work & all day on weekends. My youngest daughter was dx with Juvenile Diabetes/Insulin Dependent at 11 years old. I quit drinking for three months - slipped around for three months & was hospitalized for a medical detox July 9th & my Sobriety Date is 7/10/1988.

This time I sobered up for me, myself & I !!!!!!! I asked for help and boy did I get a lot of good help. I also got help for my depression at the same time. I attended AA every day for one year & also went to Alcohol Tx. again.

My husband & I watch Intervention together every Monday night here. He does not drink anymore but takes Oxycontin for Chronic Pain....as a result
of the TV Show, two of his doctors & his frequent falls (he is an amputee on crutches) he has changed to Generic Oxy & is taking less & just told me how much better he feels since he cut back. He just turned 73 this week so I am so proud of him. I surely think watching Intervention has helped him think more about his quality of life.


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Old 03-13-2010, 11:30 AM
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I've been a part of a couple of them.
I think it all depends on the expectations. If you expect it to make them do anything, or change, that will probably be a problem. If YOU need it, feel it would be helpful to YOU to be able to tell them how you feel. And then, let go. Then I think it is worth it.

It can also be a good learning experience. You'll find out what you can expect from the other people who love the addict. If they can't be honest there. Or tell the addict how they feel, or what they can expect. If they can't say, "no" there. Well, when the team is gone.. and they are alone, and the addict show's up at their door, calls them. They probably will not be able to say, "no" then either.

My experience? Alot of people will talk about the addict.. but not always to them.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:27 PM
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I had one done for my daughter including state to state escorting. It was just the three of us and was easy.

Three back - to- back rehabs later, she relapsed almost immediately, upon returning home.

She cleaned herself up and relapsed again and cleaned up once again on her own. She has the tools and it remains her choice to use them or not. I respect this.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:15 PM
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In addition to 'Codependent No More,' which seems to be the text of choice recommended on this site, I would check out a book called 'Love First' by Jeff Jay. It is highly instructive not only in helping families come to terms with their loved ones addiction, but also in helping them plan interventions.

Even if the intervention does not have the effect of getting the loved one clean/sober, they are still valuable, as others on this site have alluded to. Interventions:

a) Allow family members to state publicly that they are aware of the problem;
b) Allow family members to acknowledge that they have made their own mistakes in the past, which they are now trying to own;
c) Most importantly, they help the family publicly set boundaries. The addict has the choice to get clean or not, the family has the choice to let the addict know, to his face, what behavior they will be accepting of and what behavior they clearly will not accept.

On the subject of telling other people, I don't think it does much good to needlessly advertise the fact that he is an addict. It is only worth mentioning when his actions have created consequences which have now been shifted on to you. Lying or obfuscating in order to get the addict out of his own mess does no good for any of you.

On an unrelated note, I wouldn't read too much into that TV show. IMHO, it makes a cheap spectacle out of other people's suffering for the purposes of entertaining the audience for an hour between re-runs of Seinfeld. If some of the people on the show do in fact get clean/sober and stay that way, terrific. But in the bigger picture, reality TV is ultimately TV, not reality.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:29 PM
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my family did a somewhat intervention for me and yes, i feel like it helped me but i really wanted what was being offered. in my opinion, interventions only work if the addict wants to work a program. like the others said, the loved ones get to state their boundaries and how they feel and in that emotional moment, the addict may very well agree to rehab but that is only the beginning of recovery. the real work for the addict begins after rehab and there is nothing more the family can do to make the addict work their program or prevent them from relapsing.

i feel that if an intervention is to help you feel better, then go for it. keep in mind, the results may or may not be what you expected. you and your family are in my prayers.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:32 AM
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Well, not really a full-on intervention with a counselor involved, but in the summer of 2008, my then BF, now husband, his DD and his two stepsons confronted his AS about his drinking and he agreed to go to the emergency room. My now A stepson spent almost two weeks in the hospital going through DTs and was diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis and cyrrhosis. Around Nov.-Dec. that year, he turned to crack cocaine, was kicked out of the house, has been in jail a couple of times for check fraud and was arrested for crack posession. We recently found out he's drinking again.

I think interventions only work when someone really is ready to quit. My A stepson is clearly not there yet. And I completely agree with Cynical in that the TV shows have spawned a lot of opportunistic people with no qualifications.

Hugs, HG
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cynical one View Post
In the past 11 years, I know of ONE real-life intervention that worked for the addict. However, she had already decided she was done and was ready at the time. Interventions are more for those doing the intervention, a way to vocalize boundaries, and if there is a weak link, it's not going to work anyway so why pay a stranger thousands upon thousands of dollars to have a family meeting? Since the A&E show 'Intervention' first aired, the number of "professional interventionists" has increased 1000x. If I chose to watch a train-wreck show, I would choose something like 'The Real Housewives of Orange County', at least they volunteer to sell their dysfunction and are not tricked into it for the explicit intent of money and ratings by exploiting the still suffering addict.
Having been there/done that, I agree. An intervention is for the family, not the addict.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:51 PM
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I really like Intervention. When I started watching the show, it made me feel less alone to see a "normal" family that had an addict as a member. It made me feel less like my family was odd and we'd done something really wrong.

It also gave me hope that my brother could pull out of his addiction. I would see these people on the show that were as badly off as my brother and it would make me realize that if he wanted to get better... it was possible.

Maybe the way they trick the addicts into appearing on the show is not the best, but in the US, isn't rehab very, very expensive? If it gives these people the opportunity to recover, then by all means, I think Intervention is doing the right thing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:35 AM
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I dont watch the show anymore (watched it twice) and to be honest I get tired of people telling me to watch it..I lived with it for years now and am at the point of trying to heal myself.
however, my family, coworkers,boss,friends and even the police and even his doctors who know my AH tried the intervention. It worked he went into rehab BUT 4 hours later signed himself out. He has a young couple who enables him that he is staying with. We all sit and wait and wait and wait for him to hit rock bottom and go into rehab. he kjnows he needs it, he knows he is an addict but he has to make that decision and get help.
there is no more contact with him with anyone, thats the hardest part but again he knows why.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:51 AM
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Depending on what the addiction is. My son is addicted to crack cocaine and he has been to rehab twice, meetings, counseling, and a phone intervention. Yes, he wants to quit crack but he can't. It controls the mind. He doesn't control his own mind. My belief is Intervention does not work long term. It gives hope until the next relapse and the next relapse, and the next relapse.
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