The best treatment program in the world won’t make a difference if you can’t get your loved one to enter treatment. Addiction builds defenses around itself so it can keep going. Many people with substance use disorders deny having a problem or they rationalize their behavior. They may believe they can deal with the problem on their own and don’t need treatment. Getting through to someone with a substance use disorder can be difficult and that’s what an intervention is for.
An intervention is when family members and perhaps some close friends get together and confront their loved one about their substance use. Although most people are generally familiar with the idea of interventions, staging an effective intervention requires planning and coordination. Actually confronting the person with the substance use disorder is only the culmination of a lot of preparation. To do this effectively requires the guidance of a trained intervention specialist. This is someone who has been through the process many times, someone who can coordinate the family’s efforts and make sure the intervention itself stays on track. Most well run interventions result in the person agreeing to enter treatment.
Getting to treatment
Whether you have to stage an intervention for a loved one or she agrees to enter treatment on her own, the next challenge is making sure she actually gets to treatment. A lot can go wrong between someone agreeing to treatment and actually entering the facility. This is why, when staging an intervention, it’s crucial to already have a spot reserved in a treatment program and have a bag packed so your loved one can leave right away. It’s easy to agree to treatment in the heat of the moment when everyone you care about is pleading with you to accept help, but if given time think it over, many people would change their minds and find reasons not to go. Transitional services can help you have a plan ready for when your loved one agrees to accept help.
Just as important as having a plan ready is making the trip to the treatment center. Often, people have to travel out of state to enter treatment and they may still not be 100 percent committed. They might get stuck at the airport bar, get lost en route, or just decide not to go. Having someone travel with them to the treatment center reduces the risk that something will go wrong on the way to treatment.
Quality treatment programs have accountability systems in place. Not only do clients enjoy the support of staff and peers, drugs and alcohol are not easily available and most programs test periodically for substance use. However, that level of accountability ends once you leave treatment. The first days and weeks after recovery are typically the most precarious and it helps to have extra accountability. Transitional support can provide that in several ways. First, a personal recovery assistant or sober companion can accompany you to help you stay on track. This is especially important if you need to clean house and get rid of any drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia that might still be in your living space. They can also help you avoid high risk situations, since people new to recovery aren’t always good at recognizing these.
Another form of accountability is monitoring services. This is essentially random drug testing that can document your success in recovery. When people relapse, it’s typically because they’ve gotten to a place, mentally, where they want to use again and they just need an opportunity. If they don’t think they’ll get caught, they might have a few drinks or use their drug of choice. If there’s always a chance of being tested, it’s harder to find that space where your substance use might go unnoticed.
People often find it difficult to make the transition from the supportive environment of treatment to regular life back home. While family and friends often want to help, they may not always understand what someone needs early in recovery. A personal recovery assistant can provide the right kind of support in a number of ways. For example, many people need backup when attending work events, social gatherings, or even family occasions. People leaving treatment often find it helpful to start attending mutual-aid meetings like a 12-step group and a personal recovery assistant can go with you too meetings to make the prospect of facing a room full of strangers less daunting. Loneliness is a major challenge early on as someone new to recovery is trying to build a sober network and transitional services can make you feel like you have someone in your corner.
Applying what you’ve learned
When you enter treatment, you get a great start learning new skills, habits, and ways of thinking. You start living a healthier lifestyle and start practicing healthier ways of communicating. However, it can take a long time to become comfortable with these new skills and new ways of living. Most treatment programs only last 30 to 90 days, not really enough time to change lifelong habits. It helps to have a coach who can help you apply the lessons you learned in treatment to your real life. Treatment is a safe, structured environment but life can be chaotic. Having someone to remind you of what you’ve learned can make the transition to daily life much smoother.
Recovery is the beginning of a new life. Hired Power and our team of dynamic, experienced recovery professionals are here to guide you every step of the way. We offer many services, including helping you choose the best treatment program and transitional services, including interventions, sober monitoring, and personal recovery assistants. Call us today for information on our recovery services: 800.910.9299.