Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Phase 1 of an Intervention

Phase I - Preparing for an Intervention

There are critical concepts and ideology to generalize before you begin to implement any type of strategy in an intervention. Look below to find several key terms in preparing for an intervention. 

Mental Health Disorder:
Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, etc. 

A mental health disorder and addiction disorder co-existing in a person.

At the beginning stage of denial, Family members of an addict or alcoholic do not want to view their loved one as having a problem or an addiction.  I relate this to "don't ask, don't tell" and "out of sight, out of mind".  Denial is also one of the main factors, if not the main factor, in a person with an addiction.  A person with an addiction lives in denial every second of every day.  Denial is not acknowledging or accepting the fact that they have an addiction and have to stop to save their own life.  This can become severe enough where people with an addiction disorder say they'd rather die drunk or high than live sober. This is a prime example of denial and as a recovering alcoholic, this is a true thought I had at one point in my life.

Family members go through a stage of blaming themselves or someone other than the alcoholic or addict for the addiction. This is another method of denial and prevents efficient treatment. I have made a rule of not saying the word 'fault' at my house and in my classroom. Unless a person is talking about a geological feature, the word fault is detrimental to focusing on the solution. The words fault and blame dissolve progress towards active recovery and have direct negative connotations. 

Hidden Disease:
Currently, doctors aren't able to take a brain-scan and directly identify an addiction disorder as the can for a brain tumor. As addiction disorder is declared a disease by medical experts across the world, addiction is not caused by people that are around you. Know that this research is a clinically proven fact when you think of blaming yourself for a family members addiction disorder. Knowing that addiction is a disease will immediately eliminate yourself from the cause of addiction. 

Rationalization - 
Rationalization is making something seem consistent with what a person believes. A person will rationalize an action with placing fault on an outside source, making their actions / behaviors align with what they think to be true.

Addiction Intervention Support Strategies:

Research Research terms such as addiction disorder, disease of addiction, mental health disorders, common drug names, products used to pass drug tests, etc. Knowing the details and facts of addiction will allow you to focus on the disease and not the person.  It is important that when researching addiction, creditable and validated websites are used.   

Seek a Professional Opinion - This is along the lines of the research 'umbrella', but pick up the phone and call a trusted treatment center and speak to their staff about your concerns. They may be able to offer you free resources and other materials to help you seek help for the individual. In the current times, people are excellent at looking information up on-line, but making a call and connecting with an experienced, professional in the addiction medical field can be life-changing. You will be reassured that you are not in this alone and that there is support in the community that is not only for the individual with the addiction, but the family also. 

Focus - In the beginning stages of supporting a person with addiction,  focus on the disease and not the individual.  Analyze the effects the drugs and / or alcohol are having on the person physically and mentally. Examples: Rapid Weight Loss, Dark Circles around the Eyes, Eyes appear to be sunk into the face, trembling hands, racing thoughts, withdrawn, overly aggressive, short tempered, etc. These are some of the signs of addiction disorder and you will be able to identify them after you completed your research above. 

Logic - Use logic when focusing on the addiction and developing a plan to approach the individual. This is putting a logical response into action instead of an emotional response. Right now, you are most likely feeling a natural, physical response while reading this information. Do you feel anxious, higher heart-rate, tingling in your toes? This is a natural, chemical part of your body's automatic response your brain is sending your body to protect itself mentally and therefore producing an increase in serotonin. These feelings and emotions need to be channeled into a logical response based on facts of the addiction and the individual. 

Who's On-Board? - As you are developing an intervention, you need to know who else is completely on-board. Are the other family members trustworthy, how do they communicate with family / other people, do they have the same legitimate concerns you have, how do they spend time with the individual, etc. If another family member spends time drinking or drugging with the person you are planning this for, you should think twice about including them in this full process. 

In the two treatment centers I've been in for 30+ days each time and participating in the family programs in both centers, I've seen good intentions by family members trying to help the person in treatment backfire and it become disastrous. While the focus was supposed to be on the addiction and ways to heal from the hurt / pain caused by the individual, it became chaotic with verbal assaults, full of rationalizations by all family members and blaming each other.

This also happens during interventions and needs to be carefully considered before approaching your loved one. 

The above information can be applied to anyone that is considering an intervention with an individual. This is based on my experiences as a recovery alcoholic and research I have completed. 

Phase II of the Intervention Process will be Published January 8th. 

Phase II of an Intervention:

  • Accomplishment of Intervention
    • Goal and Objectives of Intervention
  • Location of Intervention
    • Selecting an Appropriate Environment
  • Intervention Members
    • How and Why were these Members Selected?
    • What is their Relationship with the Individual?
    • How is the current status of their relationship?
    • What are the Specific Roles of People in an Intervention Plan? 
    • Identifying the Members Roles Prior, During and After the Intervention?
    • Should a Treatment Professional be at the Intervention?
  • Tone and Language of Intervention
    • Logic and Emotional Responses

No comments:

Post a Comment