I recently interviewed a professional interventionist, who has gotten thousands of addicts into a drug addiction treatment center, to find out the difference between what he does out here in the real world and how intervention is portrayed on the TV show. He gave me some interesting information that may help those who are trying to get their loved one into an alcohol or drug addiction treatment center to get the help they need.
Surprisingly, since TV and movies aren’t often very true to life, a ‘real’ intervention is very similar to what’s done on TV: The interventionist meets with family or friends prior to the intervention, lets them know what’s going to happen, sets the ground rules so everyone’s on the same page, and, if necessary, gets them to write something to the addict telling them how they feel. However, with a ‘real’ intervention – which the TV interventions are, but with a major difference – it’s the family sometimes doesn’t have to speak at all; the interventionist is often able to get the person to agree to go to a drug addiction treatment center without family input.
In every case, the drug addiction treatment center they will go to is expecting them, everything has been prearranged, and the addict is taken there directly after the intervention, by the interventionist.
So, what is that major difference?
On the TV show the addict recognizes they have an issue and, although they don’t have the foggiest idea about there’s mediation coming, they agree to participate in a documentary about it.
In a ‘real’ intervention for drug addiction, about 70% of the addicts haven’t even admitted they’re taking drugs. Regardless, the parent, friend or family member knows there’s a problem: Maybe their 4.0 average daughters went off to college healthy, happy, outgoing, and with a close relationship to her family. Just a few months later her grades have fallen, she’s lost 25 pounds, has blemishes, doesn’t look well, is relatively uncommunicative and has quite a different personality.
The family may have spoken to her about it, and maybe even about getting help in a drug addiction treatment center, but she denies she’s taking drugs. Says she’s overloaded with work, not getting enough sleep, has had the flu lately – whatever she can think of to explain the changes without admitting the truth.
But the parents know their kid. They know something’s up, and they know it’s probably drugs. They may even have some evidence – which has also been explained away.
There are millions of people in the U.S., of all ages, who need help in a drug addiction treatment center. And many probably fall into the 70% who, in this interventionist’s considerable experience, won’t admit they’re even taking drugs. Parents, husbands, wives, children and friends should know that a successful intervention doesn’t depend on either of those factors.
Long and short of it, if you think there’s a problem, there probably is. And a drug intervention can help you get them into a drug addiction treatment center so things can be sorted out. Don’t be afraid to contact an interventionist for help, and don’t worry that you may be wrong. Trust your instincts – the happiness, and maybe even the life, of your child, husband, wife, parent or friend could depend on it.