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.
No one chooses to be an addict. Your loved one has stumbled into a deep pit and is constantly struggling to get out. They need your help. As long as you follow some basic do’s and don’ts, you can help pull an addict to safety.
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.
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?”
An intervention is any action or actions which result in an addict arriving at a well-chosen program. I include, “well-chosen,” because, without a program that has a good chance of success in place, an intervention is of little or no value.