I was about five months abstinent from alcohol when I received a diagnosis of a precancerous condition. Living in an unsafe collective house, in addition to this added stress, I didn’t know how to reach out for support.
I started drinking…and couldn’t seem to stop.
My Fake “Intervention”
My housemates decided to stage an “intervention.”
They said that, as a condition of staying in the house, I would have to pay them and their friends $15/hour to “supervise” me 24 hours a day to make sure I wouldn’t drink. This included one of them coming to my graduate school classes with me and sleeping in my bedroom!
I have no idea where they thought I’d get that kind of money. Another “friend” later told me they’d pitched the idea to her as a money-making scheme.
I didn’t know that at the time. I just knew I was scared, and that these people – people who once seemed to be my friends – had turned into monsters.
The Impact of Ill-Intentioned Friends
I went out and drank, terrified and in pain, and woke up in the emergency room. Luckily, my mother came to rescue me. We took my cat and got out of there, never to return.
I could have died that night, all because ill-intentioned people decided to play “intervention.” That’s why I’m adamant about friends and family members getting professional help. And for those of us who suffer from addiction issues, it’s vital we find a trustworthy (not self-serving) support system.
By talking with hundreds of people in active use, people in recovery, and people with loved ones in recovery, I’ve learned one very important thing: it’s hard to know how to handle the moment someone needs to face their addiction. It’s a fine art, and loved ones who have had to pay the price of a family member’s addiction are usually angry, which only makes the person want to use more.
Finding the Right Interventionist
Addiction is a disease that impacts everyone around us, and there are times when we truly need the input of an unbiased professional. Family members and friends can also benefit from an interventionist because they’re often too emotionally invested (or in my case, greedy) to take a full inventory of the problem.
If you’re ready to seek out the guidance of a professional interventionist, it’s important to find the right person. And that means you’ll need to ask the right questions. To simplify the interview process and make an informed decision, here are some essential questions you’ll want to ask potential interventionists:
- What are your credentials?
- Why did you become an interventionist? How many interventions have you done?
- What is your fee? Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?
- What’s your success rate for getting people into treatment?
- Do you have experience working with my loved one’s specific addiction?
- Can you recommend treatment facilities or services for my loved one’s addiction?
- What happens if my loved one refuses to go to treatment? And what if he/she walks out during the intervention?