Tag Archive: intervention

  1. Intervening So an Addict Hears You

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    Patrick Kennedy’s account of family intervention with his father is one many people know well. Senator Kennedy was not aware he was walking into a room with family and a professional interventionist. This group was ready to convince him to enter into treatment. Senator Kennedy took one look around and walked away. Angered by the attempt to intervene in his personal affairs, he stopped talking to his son. Learn more about why interventions are important but it takes time to get an individual with addiction to hear the call to action.

    What Works

    The past 13 years have demonstrated that individuals with addiction greatly impacted families by the choices and decisions made. Families are often under-served and under-recognized. Learning to fight for an individual’s life from addiction takes time and dedication. Some of the following guidelines can be helpful when trying to find the right support for a family member:

    • Reaction and response
    • What to say and do
    • When to step in or away
    • Conducting a successful intervention

    New Kind of Intervention

    Getting an individual into treatment may feel like it takes a miracle but it can happen only if a professional is brought in to support the entire family. Imagining interventions is one way of doing it but also thinking of highly uncomfortable situations is sometimes a barrier to getting an individual necessary help. Interventions do not have to be big and dramatic to be effective. Quiet moments can be more successful than large surprise show downs.


    CRAFT has three steps for an intervention:

    Create a list of treatment options

    It is not about handing an individual a card to get well soon and seek help. The loved one has no way to provide self help at this point. Someone will need to make the calls, ask about insurance, wait lists and admission criteria to set up an individual for success.

    Identify wishes

    When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there will always be glimmers of motivation for change. Learning to recognize moments like this will provide moments to bring up treatment. A dip conveys a sense of frustration or inability to do anything. When a person expresses sadness, embarrassment or shame, this is a result of the drug use and that individual may be more or less susceptible to help in that moment.

    Practice what to say

    Families who learn how to communicate in a gentle and positive way have more ability to listen and engage with the individual. This can be done by scripting out what to say and practicing it with the interventionist and one another. Practice what it feels like to hear both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as it relates to how the person may respond. By communicating calmly and with respect, detach from emotions and be prepared with possible treatment options. The intervention will then have the best chance of success and providing a bridge of opportunity between addiction and recovery.

    Sustain Recovery provides support for adolescents in recovery. Call us to find out how we can support your journey back from addiction to health, healing and recovery.


  2. Beware These Enabling Behaviors

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    At some point, most people with addicted loves will be pressed with the question of whether they’ve ever enabled that person’s addiction. It’s natural to get a little offended by this question, but in reality, the line between the right kind of support and the wrong kind–the enabling kind–can be a tricky one to dissect. It’s hard to imagine kicking an addict out of the house, cutting off their food funds, or ending the friendship between you and them.

    Helping or Enabling?

    How do you know that you’re enabling a drug addict or alcoholic? If you’re making it easier for them to abuse drugs, either emotionally or practically, that’s enabling – even if you’re keeping them housed, bathed, and sane in the process. If you have to leave work early to pick up your daughter after your husband drunkenly forgot, that’s not enabling, but  if you’re picking your husband from the bar because he got too drunk to drive home…that’s enabling.

    On a broader note, if you find yourself doing anything more than your share in the relationship or friendship for the sole reason that an addict is using drugs or alcohol…you’re enabling. It’s a difficult urge to shake, the natural instinct to help our loved ones however possible, whenever possible. What you determine to be helpful in a single powerful instant, may not be helpful at all.

    What To Do

    This is a lot more complicated than “nothing vs something.” The point isn’t to send the addict to dig themselves even deeper, it’s to encourage them to get out. Say you have a child who refuses to wash his sheets. If you do it every week for him, he’ll never do it himself.

    You don’t have to let an addict hit rock bottom in order to stop enabling them. You need to try to get them into treatment before that time comes. After a while, your words may feel useless to you, but for the person struggling, that persistence can make all the difference when a moment of clarity strikes. Additionally, you can and should seek out services for this purpose exactly (conversation).


    To get into contact with an interventionist, or to get your loved one into treatment today, give us a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

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