WHAT FAMILY NEEDS TO KNOW

Alcoholism and drug addiction affect the entire family system and similarly, recovery can positively impact the family system. Family members quite often play a critical role in supporting their loved ones to seek help and enter treatment. In fact, it is often the family member or friend who makes the initial call to gather information and explore treatment options.

For this reason, we see the role as helping family members to navigate and understand the treatment and recovery process. The commitment is to help individuals and families find the appropriate level of care to address their addiction issues.

Is it true that I need to let my loved one hit “rock bottom” before he/she will consider treatment?

Absolutely not! Perhaps one of the biggest myths that family members have heard and come to believe is that there is nothing that can be done when someone is in active addiction except wait around for him/her to “hit bottom” and suddenly decide to enter treatment.

Family members, friends, employers and other significant others can often have great influence on when a person seeks treatment. Alcoholics and addicts do not have to lose everything in order to get the help they need. It is possible to arrest addiction at any stage, and intervention is most successful when early interventions take place.

The decision to enter treatment is usually made a result of significant consequences that result from the drinking or using. As family members you can start the process by identifying your own enabling behaviors that might be preventing your loved one from feeling the consequences of his/her addiction.

There are also professionals, called Interventionists, who are trained to work with families to help support their loved ones to choose treatment and recovery.

What should the family expect after treatment?

The program emphasizes that recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is a process and not a destination, so it ensures that every client, regardless of where they are coming from, has a complete continuing care plan at discharge.

This plan is formulated through recommendations from the multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, nutritionist, wellness staff, and spiritual counselor. The team provides each client with ongoing professional referrals depending on their individual needs.

This may include recommendations for: individual therapy, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Group Therapy, Extended Care placement, Recovery Residence placement, medical and psychiatric referrals, and Addiction Coaches.

What self-destructive behaviors are appropriate for intervention?

Any self-destructive behavior can be addressed in an intervention: alcoholism, alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, drug abuse, drug addiction, gambling, sex addiction, eating disorders, computer addiction, internet addiction and any other self-destructive behavior.

Generally, people think of substance abuse as being most applicable to intervention. In fact, that will be the example used throughout this discussion.

However, any addiction or compulsive behavior is appropriate. Even an elderly person, no longer able to live alone safely yet resisting assisted-living arrangements can be helped through the intervention process.

Why is it necessary or desirable to conduct an intervention?

Because nothing else has worked.Most people attempt to change a person or situation through reason and discussion, usually one-on-one. When this fails, frustration may lead to anger. This can go on for years.

Appeals to reason and one-on-one discussions rarely produce change in someone engaged in self-destructive behaviors.
On the other hand, an intervention that includes several people meaningful to the person, that is executed in a controlled and logical way that focuses on changing everyone’s behavior at least for the moment, is highly effective.

What can my family expect to happen during an intervention?

In order to prepare for an intervention, family members and friends gather to discuss the details with the interventionist. They jointly decide what form the intervention will take, identify who should be included in the intervention, develop education and treatment plans, develop an intervention plan and schedule, and then execute the plans.

Family and friends often enter this process with apprehension and frequently with a high level of frustration and anger. They often feel betrayed, confused, guilty, and defensive. They sometimes blame each other as well as themselves and the addicted person for their difficulties.

All can expect these feelings tempered or resolved during an intervention. Sharing and expressing feelings gives purpose to the rehashing of old pains, and allows the family and friends to receive comfort and to begin to resolve the built up rage and hurt that has influenced many of their relationships and interactions.

These intervention meetings transform the family in ways necessary for lasting change to occur.

And this cohesive group approaching the addict offers something much better than a confrontation. The group creates a different world for everybody to live in.