Having been an addict for over 20 years, and a professional interventionist for 17, I’ve seen and experienced quite a few patterns. One pattern I’ve seen over and again has been around the reasons I, and others, relapse. And there are really just a few major culprits; perhaps the most common one is when - after graduating successfully from treatment - a person returns to his same environment…
Four days before Christmas, I came to Paradise, California, a little hamlet in the Sierra-Nevada foothills. I was hired by the well-to-do parents of a 32-year old addict who would fly into a rage every time they mentioned he needed to go to a treatment program.
It’s common for families to get stuck proving their addict is, in fact, an addict. They feel a need to convince themselves or others that action needs to be taken, so they do things like search the addict’s room, follow him around with GPS, smell his breath, or round up empty bottles, baggies, hypodermic needles, prescriptions, and other evidence of drug use.
Even as a professional interventionist with a long-standing track record of success with other people’s families, when it came to intervening on one of my own family members, I found myself in the same position you might be in, trying to wrench other family members around to my viewpoint which I was certain was the correct one—lol.
When people ask me how I succeed, I tell them I do a lot of planning, and then I plan some more…
I was disappointed to find a treatment center that used psychiatric drugs, touting its services as being “holistic.” It used to be that holistic meant something. It was akin to all-natural and all-encompassing.
No matter what the drug—when I took it, bought it, prepared it or used it—I knew that what I was doing was inherently wrong. But, that didn’t stop me.
A lot of families ask me, “if we can’t get our loved one to go to treatment, why should we believe a stranger would do any better?”
They say the difference between a reason and an excuse is which side of the table you’re sitting at. Reasons for putting off doing an intervention are easy to come up with: doctors’ appointments, court dates, weddings, vacations, “let’s wait and see,” and everything in between.
If drugs or alcohol were an addict’s fundamental problem, recovery would be easy. Simply detox the person and you’re done! But—that isn’t how it works.