How did I decide to become an interventionist? What got me here? I mean the stress and chaos of the world of drug abuse and addiction was enough – but hey, I decided to go one step further and create a career in the space of drug counseling, drug-rehab and helping families navigate a path of addiction recovery.
An intervention is as much for the family as it is for the addict. When my partner, Phil and I meet with a family, we help them understand how much power they actually have during the intervention. We also walk them through step-by-step on what will happen which includes running a mock intervention.
The misconception so often is that “my loved one is going to a rehab centre; they’re going to come out fixed.” If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, the addict does not go somewhere to have a new chip implanted in their brain and come out a new human. A treatment centre has a beginning, a middle and an end. Sobriety is life long. One day at a time.
Meeting with the family
When we meet families for the first time, they immediately look at the size of Phil’s arms and say, “can you not just drag them to the car and force them to go to rehab?” Nope, unfortunately it’s not that simple. We appreciate how difficult it is for families to watch their loved ones be crippled by drug addiction – making unhealthy choices. The reality is that you can’t force sobriety. Families will also say, “but we have tried talking to our loved one a million times, nothing works.”
- Remember that the drug addiction has an extremely powerful a hold on the brain.
- We explain that when you add professionals into the mix the dynamics instantly change. The addict will start to hear words – not just what they perceive as noise from loved ones.
- We often ask our families during the pre-intervention to draw a picture of what they think the addiction looks like. This helps them to put a face on who they are actually talking to.
- We remind them that their loved one is no longer in charge. The addict is driving the bus.
The Intervention is only the first step
It is also important to remember that the intervention is just the first step to addiction recovery. Every person has a responsibility and needs to commit to their own recovery. Just like the addict has been relying on their drug abuse, their family may be enabling their behaviour by allowing the addict’s constant chaos to affect their own lives.
- The success of an intervention is not solely dependent on whether or not the addict accepts the, “gift of treatment,” but if the family also agrees to get themselves help while their loved one is in rehab.
- The entire support system needs to recognize that this is a family disease and not just the addict’s responsibility to ‘cure.’
Creating a ‘Rock Bottom’
Another misconception we often hear from families is that their loved one needs to “hit rock bottom.” This is not true nor is it a safe assumption to make, as many of the substances available today are not only dangerous but also deadly.
- The plan with the intervention is to help create a rock bottom.
- This is facilitated by professionals with a methodical approach in a controlled environment.
- The goal is to outsmart the beast in the brain, letting the addict know they are loved and not alone.
During the intervention, our team truly becomes a part of the family, and we continue our work with that family while their loved is in treatment. We are there to give our support not only during the intervention, but every step of the way afterwards.
By Zoë Roberts, Coast to Coast Life Coaching
Zoë Roberts and Phillip Prins are the founding partners of Coast to Coast Life Coaching. They are a mobile coaching and interventionist team that offer addiction interventions, health and wellness assistance and life coaching services. Coast to Coast Life Coaching works with people struggling with addiction and self-esteem issues and are dedicated to helping individuals become the best they can be. By coming directly to your home or location of the client’s choice – they remove many barriers to accessing help. Because every person is unique and has different personal struggles, Coast to Coast Life Coaching will create a personalized program dedicated to each client’s growth and independence goals.