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Thread: Intervention

  1. #1

    Intervention

    This goes out to anyone who has ever had or known someone with an addiction... when the hobby is adversely affecting someone you know, what do you do? Anyone who's ever tried to tell someone they have a gambling or a drinking problem knows how much resistance there is to the concept. If anyone has gone through this process, for any addiction, I'd like to hear your thoughts on getting through to an addict.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
    This goes out to anyone who has ever had or known someone with an addiction... when the hobby is adversely affecting someone you know, what do you do? Anyone who's ever tried to tell someone they have a gambling or a drinking problem knows how much resistance there is to the concept. If anyone has gone through this process, for any addiction, I'd like to hear your thoughts on getting through to an addict.

    In my experience, and despite the current hype of 'The Cleaner' or whatever that abysmal show is, the fact remains that someone has to hit their own personal bottom, un-interveened, before the road to recovery can be considered. At least, that is what I've seen among the addicts I've known and loved.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  3. #3

    Unhappy Assuming.............

    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    In my experience, and despite the current hype of 'The Cleaner' or whatever that abysmal show is, the fact remains that someone has to hit their own personal bottom, un-interveened, before the road to recovery can be considered. At least, that is what I've seen among the addicts I've known and loved.
    Assuming that death does not come first. Very hard choice.
    LISA'S FRIEND

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by eastender
    Assuming that death does not come first. Very hard choice.
    Yes, it is a very hard choice but often it is the only choice. I had an ex gf who was forced into rehab by her family a number of times without any success. It was only after she ended up working the streets and hit bottom that she was able to get straightened out. Fortunately she made it but others I knew, male and female, did not.

    No matter how successful an intervention or rehab may seem to be, it is an ongoing process. They have to have something to come back to. Some reason, someone who really does care about them. Beating an addiction only to find your life is still empty and alone leads to relapse. And relapse is often fatal.

    So be aware before you get involved in 'saving' someone that it is a long term commitment. If you save someone's life, you are responsible for it. If you aren't ready for that responsibility, don't get involved in the first place.

    Techman
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    So be aware before you get involved in 'saving' someone that it is a long term commitment.
    I think there is plenty of space in this world for helping one another, yes, even to the goal of 'saving' someone, without necessarily committing to a long-term expenditure of time & energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    If you save someone's life, you are responsible for it. If you aren't ready for that responsibility, don't get involved in the first place.
    Disagree completely. First off, the responsibility thing is an old Chinese saying. A cliché as it were. Secondly, helping someone out is an act of kindness, not one that carries such dire responsibilities with it. It merely means you are trying to do the right thing.

    Of course, the guy who saved my life some years ago committed suicide not too long afterwards. Does that mean he was ducking his 'responsibility'?
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  6. #6

    Red face No Formula

    There is no formula or rule of thumb for the situation described by the seminal poster. Many issues come into play. Probably the most important one is "dumb luck". Sometimes an incident or chance turns things around.

    Without going into experiences there are a few truisms.

    Do not expect a magic transformation. Baby steps are the only hope and babies do fall.

    Consider age. Years of substance abuse does have roots and consequences - physical, mental, psychological ,etc. Be prepared for a long, hard struggle.

    Be very careful about straddling the fine line between helping and enabling.
    If you do not understand this point you may not be in a position to help.

    Regardless it still comes down to being able to look yourself in the mirror every morning.
    LISA'S FRIEND

  7. #7
    This is going to come from the side of the abuser not the "saver"

    When I was abusing substances there were many poeple who tried to save me.
    I had people take me into their homes, I had people who took me to AA and NA.
    I had people call the police on me and put me in jail to "detox"

    I was not ready to quit, so I did not try.
    Even when I thought I was ready, I went to medical detoxes, I spoke to councellors at the CLSC, I called help lines. I kept relapsing for a long time (couple of years)

    One morning I woke up and said I was not going to use and I detoxed and am now sober and have been for almost 5 years. (About 3 relapses in the first year...)

    People were trying to help me for years and it never went anywhere and I am sure I hurt many people by continuously relapsing.

    You CANNOT help some one that does not want to be helped.
    Start by gently showing them what they are doing and how it is affecting you.
    Do not push too hard because you may just push the person away and then where will you be at?

    First and most important though... Call addiction hotlines. If they offer meetings in your area go to them and ask questions from the
    doctors / proffesionals and form a support system for yourself.
    You cannot help others if you cannot help yourself. Be ready to be disappointed. Very rarely can you perform a successful intervention on the first try. Patience is key.

  8. #8
    YVO, you're right...it is an old Chinese saying. That doesn't mean it's wrong. The world is full of people who give just a bit, just enough for them to convince themselves that they've helped someone. Then they walk away. If you get involved, stay involved. If not you really aren't helping. If you can't be there for the long term, then find someone who can or just walk away.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  9. #9

    re Tracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    This is going to come from the side of the abuser not the "saver"

    When I was abusing substances there were many poeple who tried to save me.
    I had people take me into their homes, I had people who took me to AA and NA.
    I had people call the police on me and put me in jail to "detox"

    I was not ready to quit, so I did not try.
    Even when I thought I was ready, I went to medical detoxes, I spoke to councellors at the CLSC, I called help lines. I kept relapsing for a long time (couple of years)

    One morning I woke up and said I was not going to use and I detoxed and am now sober and have been for almost 5 years. (About 3 relapses in the first year...)

    People were trying to help me for years and it never went anywhere and I am sure I hurt many people by continuously relapsing.

    You CANNOT help some one that does not want to be helped.
    Start by gently showing them what they are doing and how it is affecting you.
    Do not push too hard because you may just push the person away and then where will you be at?

    First and most important though... Call addiction hotlines. If they offer meetings in your area go to them and ask questions from the
    doctors / proffesionals and form a support system for yourself.
    You cannot help others if you cannot help yourself. Be ready to be disappointed. Very rarely can you perform a successful intervention on the first try. Patience is key.
    I decided to quote Tracy's whole post because of how well written it is, and how true I know it to be from the perspective of the potential "savee". I have my own particular problem, not an addiction but a mood disorder, in which I often find myself relapsing, and in these times, there's no reasoning with me. Observations about my behavior that are hard to swallow I see as attacks and I blame all of my problems on outside forces. It never occurs to me that I may be the source of those problems.

    One of the reasons I opened this thread was for my own benefit as well. I have never been successfully intervened upon. When it has happened, I felt under attack, and I did indeed have to hit rock bottom and crawl my way back up. And it's happened more than once. So I keep asking myself, must there not be some way to nip it in the bud, avoiding the horrific crash? I wish I could, in my precious moments of clarity, coach my close friends on how to get me to listen when I'm on a downward spiral.

    Another thing mentioned above that cannot be stressed enough: recovery is a terribly long, often lifetime, process that goes in baby steps, one day at a time.
    Last edited by Ignatius J. Reilly; 10-07-2008 at 02:06 AM.

  10. #10

    :(

    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    Of course, the guy who saved my life some years ago committed suicide not too long afterwards. Does that mean he was ducking his 'responsibility'?

    How morbid, and moreso with the winky at the end.

  11. #11
    But congrats on hitting your 600th post!

  12. #12

    Ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    So be aware before you get involved in 'saving' someone that it is a long term commitment. If you save someone's life, you are responsible for it. If you aren't ready for that responsibility, don't get involved in the first place.

    Techman
    After I posted this thread, I spoke to my therapist about the situation. He said exactly the same thing. Without the Chinese (actually I think it is Islamic) proverb in the middle, but essentially the same thing.

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