FROM THE FRONT LINES SERIES
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.
In your preparation for doing an intervention, you are bound to get advice about how an intervention should be done, but be forewarned: A family member, friend or someone you met at a support group who’s been involved in one or two interventions isn’t necessarily giving you advice you want to bet the farm on—maybe yes, maybe no.
Most families go into an intervention knowing there will be objections, but with no real plan on how to handle them. The key is in the word, ”plan.” The simplicity of it is this—an addict will object, so plan to handle the objections.
Some people say an addict or alcoholic who is in denial hasn’t hit bottom, but this concept is very problematic when applied to real-life. First, there is no such place as “bottom.” It’s an abstract idea.
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.
Many believe that if an addict does not admit to having a problem, he does not know he has a problem. We are taught to see this as a lack of self-awareness on the part of the addict. I can assure you, it is not. It’s simpler than that.
When I began working as an interventionist, I found that many families believed they needed to get their addict to admit to needing help before treatment will work. This may sound logical but as an to me it’s always been puzzling.