Continuing to use is a direct path to problems while a life in recovery is full of new opportunities. Things that I couldn’t imagine doing when I was using are now my reality.
I don’t know how a trauma in my family a few generations back might show up in my life, that is until I recently passed up buying a pumpkin. I stood in front of a beautiful pumpkin at a farm stand. It was marked half price and I stood in front of it, frozen, unable to decide if I wanted to buy it. I walked away from that pumpkin feeling sick to my stomach.
I think conducting a formal intervention is a very important part of dealing with a loved one’s addiction. We don’t know if they are going to recover, but by doing an intervention and by sticking with the intervention process for several months, families can be assured that they tried everything they could to help.
It wasn’t until the COVID-19 crisis that her life totally fell apart. Overnight, she had to start homeschooling, her daily activities were totally disrupted, and the stress of having three kids (and her husband!) in the house all day long drove her to drink more and more.
Our goal with an intervention is to help someone see the consequences of their substance use, to shine a light on something that they are missing. We want to help them choose recovery at a point before rock bottom.
To determine how to help someone, it is necessary to hear the stories of the people around them. To find the right facility for a person in need, we need to know whether the issue is an addiction or a mental health problem or both.
Recovery takes time. A successful plan often involves attending treatment, months of therapy, and a lifetime commitment to change.
Nevertheless, we have to prepare for the days following an intervention. Most of the time, the same thing happens: the person we intervened on will paint me as the enemy.
Vivitrol is a relatively new medication used to manage alcohol or opioid dependence. It’s a long-acting injection of the drug naltrexone, effective for about 28 days, which offers the convenience of a once-a-month injection over taking a pill every day. Vivitrol is a “hard stop” to opiate addiction; once it’s in the body, it’s impossible for the person taking it to get “high” from opioids.
I don’t know how I got to 12 years, but I do know that I stuck out going to recovery meetings; I have few that I regularly attend, week after week, year after year. My friends are in these meetings. I recognize just about everyone in attendance, and I look forward to going and catching up with them weekly.
Returning home, after treatment, is where the rubber meets the road in recovery. Most treatment facilities have family programs where clinicians begin working with the family as soon as the patient checks in. This can be key to long-term success, for both the patient and the family.
For someone to successfully recover, work needs to be done in his or her daily living situations. This takes time. There is a saying that anyone can stay sober in a treatment facility. Additional time and energy must be spend on recovery on return home.
A 30-day treatment program is only the beginning of recovery; the most important part of treatment is what happens when someone returns home. After care for rehabilitation is essential to the full recovery process. Maintaining sobriety in the confines of a treatment center is easy, but when someone returns home all of the stressors and triggers will still be there.
I liken my approach to addiction interventions to that of getting an airplane ready to fly. Just as a pilot must exhaust a list of external factors in order to fly successfully, a successful intervention requires just as much forethought.
There are 3 steps in AA that directly relate to rebuilding social capital that we broke during our addiction, steps 8,9,10. By working these steps, we rebuild the relationships that we neglected during addiction.
As I observe people in recovery meetings, I have observed that the people that jump into the program and "work it" seem to have the best success. An adage is "meeting makers make it". But why is it that meeting makers make it?
AA has a guiding principle, that of anonymity. This principle allows anyone to pop into a meeting, check it out and remain anonymous. No one needs to know that you went, and no one needs to know about your journey.
It’s clear that long term use of ADHD medications can be harmful and addictive, especially when used by individuals who do not suffer from ADHD. However, it is a lot less clear how to solve the problem, especially since we inevitably come up against the interests of huge pharmaceutical corporations.