A Drug Interventionist On-Staff 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
Many drug addicts and alcoholics, trapped in denial, find admitting that they are powerless over their addiction extraordinarily difficult. If your loved one is struggling to face an overwhelming addiction, you may feel powerless when it comes to helping them. You’re not alone. It’s important not to panic and confront your loved one by yourself. Staging an intervention for an alcoholic or drug addict is a delicate matter. Put it in the capable hands of certified professionals, many of whom are recovering addicts who teach and demonstrate a life of recovery. We’ve been where your loved one is. That’s why we’re available 24/7 to help you stage an intervention the right way and set them on a path to life-long recovery.
Sometimes, confronting a severe addiction won't wait and that is why 12 Keys Rehab maintains a drug interventionist on staff every hour of every day. Our staff is comprised of recovered drug addicts and alcoholics who specialize in providing compassionate, empathetic and expert care to you and your loved ones. For many families, a professional intervention is the difference between an addict entering a drug treatment program and returning to life-ruining behavior patterns.
Drug and alcohol interventions are difficult and emotional for everyone present and they are only successful if the addict admits to his or her self-destructive behavior. As such, every one of our interventionists is specially trained to address the needs of each participant. In a successful intervention, the addict acknowledges that his or her drug- and/or alcohol-fueled lifestyle has become unmanageable and hurtful to others. When this occurs, the interventionist works with the addict and his loved ones to outline a specific plan for recovery.
What Is an Intervention?
An intervention is a structured meeting in which you and others invested in the welfare of your loved one meet with the person abusing drugs or alcohol. During the meeting, you explain to your loved one how his behavior is hurting himself and others. An interventionist, a person who specializes in drug or alcohol interventions, plans the meeting. An intervention can be between one person and the substance abuser or a group of family, friends and coworkers brought together to meet with the substance abuser.
There are two generally recognized intervention models:
- The Johnson Intervention: This is the type of intervention most people think of when they hear the word “intervention.” It consists of a group of people brought together to confront a drug or alcohol abuser with his or her behavior. During a Johnson Intervention, you spell out specific consequences for the abuser. You make it clear what will happen if the person doesn’t accept treatment. You offer a treatment plan. If accepted, your loved one immediately goes into rehab. If not, you follow through on the consequences you outlined.
- The ARISE Model: The ARISE model takes a less confrontational approach and includes the addict in the planning from the beginning. The emphasis is on compassionate teamwork to bring about a change in the person using drugs or alcohol.
How Does an Intervention Work?
An intervention follows specific sequential steps. When you work with a professional interventionist, he or she will walk you through each step of the process and answer any questions you may.
The steps during an intervention are:
- Planning: You or someone concerned about a loved one’s behavior makes a plan to hold an intervention. During this step, a professional should be called in to guide the intervention.
- Get Information: During this phase, the group shares information about the addict’s behavior. Someone should also contact 12 Keys to find out more information about the admission process so that we’re ready to welcome your loved one when he or she is ready to enter treatment.
- Form the intervention team: Intervention is a team effort. Decide who will be there, who will speak, and who will lead the meeting.
- Choose consequences: It’s really hard to demand change, but if your loved one doesn’t enter treatment, you’ve got to have serious consequences spelled out in advance for them. Decide what consequences you and the group will present during the intervention. You must follow through with them if the intervention doesn’t end with your loved one entering treatment.
- Make notes: It’s hard to remember all the details of what you want to say during an intervention. Making written notes can help you keep on track during the conversation, especially when things get emotional, as they might.
- Hold the intervention meeting: Don’t tell your loved one about the intervention. Choose a time and place when your loved one will most likely be sober. If he or she is high or drunk, you are less likely to get your message across. Make sure you have someone ready to take your loved one from the meeting and into treatment at 12 Keys if he or she agrees to go. Be sure to tell your loved one the consequences if he or she chooses not to enter treatment.
- Follow up: No matter what the outcome is, you probably need some support, too. It’s rough planning an intervention, and it can make you feel as if you’ve been through the wringer. You may want to join Al-Anon, a support group for family and friends of alcoholics, or talk to a therapist on your own.
When Is an Intervention Necessary?
If you’ve tried talking gently to someone about their substance abuse behavior, and he or she is in denial, it may be time to stage an intervention.
Substance abuse problems don’t go away on their own. They escalate, sometimes quickly, until the person is in the hospital, or worse. That’s a scary thought, but it’s the truth.
An intervention may save a life. If someone you love isn’t listening to reason, and their substance abuse just seems to be getting worse, it may be time to schedule an intervention.
Watch for these three signs a drug or alcohol intervention may be necessary:
- Health problems arise: Addiction reaches dangerous levels when cardiovascular, liver and brain issues begin to surface. Abnormal test results are good to share during an intervention to help drive home the gravity of the situation
- Others are endangered: Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to fights, intoxicated driving and violent crimes, all of which harm others. An intervention can be especially important if children or a spouse are in danger by being around the addict
- The individual seems compelled to use: If your loved one has to have alcohol with breakfast or takes drugs while at work, the abuse is beyond the person’s control and they’re in need of an intervention.
- Isolation: This is a common characteristic of advanced addiction. Your once social loved one may now prefer being at home alone or they may only want to associate with fellow abusers.
- Sneaky behavior: Deception is common among addicts. Your loved one may display deceptive behavior by hiding bottles of alcohol or prescription meds in an effort to disguise their addiction.
Should We Involve an Interventionist?
It’s always better to work with someone like a professional at 12 Keys to develop your intervention strategy. Sometimes you only get one chance with an addict to make an impact. You want an intervention to be as effective as possible so that your loved one agrees to enter treatment.
There are, however, certain situations in which you must work with a professional interventionist. These situations include:
- History of mental illness: If your loved one has a history of behavioral or mental health illness, you should work with an experienced interventionist. Mental illness may predispose people to act irrationally during or after the intervention, which can be dangerous if they don’t agree to treatment.
- Any history of violence: You don’t want to put yourself or any of the intervention team members at risk. If your loved one has a history of violence, they can flip out during the intervention and hurt someone. Interventionists at 12 Keys have the experience to handle these dangerous situations.
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors: Take this seriously. Any mention of suicide — past or present — should call for a mental health professional at the meeting.
- Multiple substances: If someone you love is taking multiple substances, an intervention may be all that stands between them and death or an emergency room visit. This is a serious situation that calls for strong measures, and you need someone with experience to lead the work.
What Are the Risks of an Intervention?
As with anything you try, there are risks and rewards with an intervention. The reward, of course, is success. The person you love walks out with someone who takes them to 12 Keys Rehab, and your loved one is on the road to recovery.
But sometimes, that doesn’t happen. The risks of an intervention include:
- Anger: Your loved one may become so angry that he or she cuts off from family and friends entirely. If this happens, you may not have the contact you need to help convince your loved one to enter treatment. No matter how positive and constructive you make the atmosphere, it’s still easy for an addicted individual to feel attacked. Working with an intervention professional from 12 Keys helps prevent or ease reactions in this type of situation.
- Denial: Denial among addicts is a powerful force. It can keep people mired in substance abuse for a long time. If you can’t break through that denial, be prepared to help later on. It may be the only thing you can do after a failed intervention.
- Failure: Even if there are professionals present during the intervention, your loved one will only successfully recover from addiction when he or she is fully committed to sobriety — you can help steer them and motivate them towards recovery, but there’s always a chance your intervention will fail if your loved one simply isn’t ready. Be patient and remember: many addicts reveal that a failed intervention was actually the first seed planted in their mind and one of the biggest motivators when they eventually made the decision to fight for sobriety.
Who Should Be Involved in the Intervention?
Carefully choose the family and friends you want to include in the intervention. A good starting place is immediate family and close friends. Each person should be someone the addict loves and trusts, so that when they speak, their words are impactful as well as truthful and sympathetic.
Some people to consider as part of the intervention team include:
- Immediate family: Spouses, parents, siblings, children, boyfriend/girlfriend
- Close friends: Friends who are in contact with your loved one on a regular basis and childhood friends
- Coworkers: Any coworkers you trust who have direct experience with how your loved one’s behavior has affected his or her work
- Professionals: A family doctor, if available, can be a good ally
- Intervention specialists: 12 Keys' specialists are available 24/7
Make sure that everyone at the intervention understands the ground rules of the meeting and can share direct, personal experience and stories of your loved one’s behavior.
Your intervention specialist will help you best organize an effective intervention. They will consider the unique circumstances surrounding your loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse. Your interventionist will support you through planning and facilitating the intervention, as well as, coordinating the next steps, should your loved one accept going to rehab.
How Do We Prepare for Success or Failure of the Intervention?
You can prepare yourself for either outcome by taking the following steps:
- Work with a 12 Keys interventionist right from the start. This sets you up for success and gives you access to a professional and their network of contacts to help the person you love.
- Set up for an immediate admission. Contact 12 Keys before the intervention to find out all the information you need about admissions. We can arrange for transportation to 12 Keys and can help you figure out the insurance paperwork and anything else you need to cover before the intervention. If the substance abuser agrees to treatment, we’re ready and waiting to help.
- Take care of your own emotional needs. An intervention is hard. You need support afterward, too. Make sure you have a therapist, counselor, friend or spiritual advisor you can talk to. You can feel sad, angry or upset — no matter the outcome of the intervention.
What Should We Do If the Intervention Does Not Work?
It’s sad, but not every intervention works. Don’t give up hope. There are several steps you can take if the intervention does not work:
- Think about why it didn’t work. Clear your head. Make sure you’re not upset or angry.
- Enact the consequences discussed during the intervention. Yes, it’s hard to do these things, but necessary to show the substance abuser that you meant what you said.
- Keep in contact. Do your best to stay in contact with your loved one. This way, if he or she decides it’s time to get help, your loved one will know you can be a resource.
- Try again. There’s no rule that says you can’t try again when things calm down. Sometimes a second intervention works because the addict has started to become aware of how hurtful his or her behavior is to others. A second intervention may be what it takes to get your loved one to 12 Keys for treatment.
How Can We Help the Intervention Be Successful?
To help an intervention be successful, you can:
- Contact 12 Keys for advice and to set up admissions.
- Work with a 12 Keys interventionist who has the knowledge, skills and experience to successfully handle an intervention.
- Stay calm and focused.
- Pick a time and place that’s private, quiet and respectful of the substance abuser’s privacy.
- Keep the meeting to adults only. Children may not understand what’s going on, and it can be scary for them.
What Should I Avoid During an Addiction Intervention?
There are certain behaviors you should avoid during interventions for alcoholics and addicts:
- Don’t sugarcoat – This doesn’t mean you should be condescending or brutal. It simply means you shouldn’t feel compelled to make excuses for their behavior or lie to cover things up
- Avoid soapbox sermons – Moralizing, lecturing, preaching or threatening could backfire. Chances are, when using this approach, you won’t convert them in a single intervention. The goal is to get them to agree to rehab. Keep your focus on that.
- Don’t blame yourself – You may be tempted to take some or all of the blame upon yourself. Doing so only robs your loved one of the opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions, present and future.
- Avoid making it about you – Be heartfelt and sincere when it’s time for you to speak, but remember the focus should be on your loved one’s recovery and not venting all your emotional frustrations. Get this wrong and the feelings of guilt you heap upon them may drive your loved one to drink or abuse again.
What Happens After the Intervention?
After an intervention, one or two things will happen:
- In the WORST-case scenario, the substance abuser refuses help. When that happens, remain calm. Thank everyone for trying to help and talk to the interventionist about what to do next. You may need to wait a while and regroup. You should enact the consequences presented during the intervention to the substance abuser. You may need to try again at a later date.
- In the BEST case scenario, the substance abuser agrees to treatment. When that happens, make sure you have someone ready to transport your loved one to 12 Keys or have another form of transportation set up. Call 12 Keys and speak with the admissions department so that we can help you set up transportation and go over anything else you may need to take care of, such as gathering your loved one’s clothes and personal items to send with them.
Checking into 12 Keys after the Intervention
Our goal at 12 Keys Rehab is to make your journey toward recovery as seamless as possible by removing obstacles which otherwise might stand in your way...
Expenses such as medications related to your treatment at 12 Keys Rehab are considered a cost of doing business...
As such, we will pay for any prescription medications as well as meals, activities, and most incidentals, including the gym.
The real recovery begins following the addiction intervention. After entry into 12 Keys Rehab, our physicians and specialists help your loved one withdraw from alcohol and drugs safely and with medical assistance. Next, your loved one will work through one-to-one treatment, small group therapy and individual therapy. Not only does 12 Keys Rehab employ a multidisciplinary approach to recovery, but our staff is composed of many recovering addicts, making us uniquely positioned to provide compassionate, empathetic care.
We believe that one must learn how to live life in the world outside rehab to be fully recovered. That is why we give your loved one some access to cell phones and computers. He or she will also maintain contact with family members and business associates. Learning how to cope with outside-world stressors without alcohol and drugs is essential for life-lasting recovery and our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you deal with everyday events soberly and effectively.
Contact 12 Keys and discover how our drug interventionists can help your loved one begin a path to a sober lifestyle.
Are you ready to help your loved one start their journey to recovery with an intervention? Below is a timeline of what you can expect during the intervention process.