Sunday, July 6, 2008

Calling a Treatment Center for Alcoholism Intervention

Maybe you're asking yourself if an intervention will make matters worse. NOT acting will make matters worse. Once you have made the decision to make the call, you probably want to know what to expect. Each alcohol treatment center has its own procedures, so understand that there is likely to be some differences between them.

The people at the alcohol treatment center will ask you questions about the situation with your loved one and will do a clinical assessment of what needs to be done. Is an intervention necessary or not. If intervention is needed, you will be referred to an interventionist, who will determine exactly what needs to be done and discuss that plan with you. Arrangements will be made for in-house treatment and all of the insurance details, etc. will be worked out before the intervention occurs. If travel is involved, those arrangements will be made as well.

What happens during an alcoholism intervention?

The intervention needs to be organized. The interventionist will work with you to plan the intervention. You will likely meet with this person several times, either in person or over the phone. You will have to assemble a group of family, friends, co-workers and perhaps clergy to coordinate your participation in the intervention.

Once the participants are selected, the interventionist is likely to call a pre-intervention meeting with everybody. During this meeting you will learn about the disease and you'll be encouraged to document the impact it has had on each member of the group. The interventionist will discuss the plan with the group and tell each participant what is needed from them.

Each person will prepare a written statement for the intervention and each statement will be rehearsed at this meeting. It's important to be a team, that each member of the group understands the necessity to hold firm their commitment to helping the loved one.

The group will assemble at a pre-determined location for the intervention. The interventionist will direct the meeting, which can take an hour or so to get through the agenda. Each member of the group will share their statement. These statements are non-judgmental, loving and need to communicate the person's care for the addict.

During and between statements, understand that the addict may react poorly toward your compassionate outreach. Remember, there is nothing wrong with them and it's your problem. They may argue. They may deny anything you say. Expect the worst.

The addict's circumstances may be dire, but there is nothing wrong with them, so be patient and hold your ground. If there is going to be fireworks, the interventionist is the one who can handle the conflict. You are there to show your love and concern. You are there to share how the addiction is hurting you.

If the loved one is willing to go into treatment, and all of the arrangements having been made, they can immediately be taken to the center. If the center is local they can be driven, or if a plane flight is necessary, they can be taken to the airport and put on a flight. They will be met at the destination airport and taken to the treatment center.

The interventionist will report to the treatment team all of the findings from the intervention, from the assessment to the group meeting. The professionals at the center will have an excellent head-start to help your loved one get on the road to recovery.

The addict is not the only one who will receive help, as most centers will offer you assistance as well. You were the one to "blow the whistle" so to speak and do not be hesitant to allow their support and counsel. The addict needs treatment, but so do those who live with the addict and the family members who have shared in the suffering.

Support groups like Al-Anon are excellent for husbands, wives and family members. The emotional toll the addiction takes can be enormous and people need the help and support of others who have walked through the tunnel of living with the addict. Many churches have addiction support groups, which bring an added spiritual/religious component to the spouses and family.

Ned Wicker is the Addictions Recovery Chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center He author's a website for alcoholism support. For more information about this author please visit: Article Source:

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