Honest Talk About Success Rates
Is Intervention The Solution?
Quite naturally, one of the most common discussions we have with families is about “success rates and intervention”. Naturally, the hope is that the person we are intervening on decides to go into treatment or do whatever we are requesting right away. After all, we are very concerned and have come together in a very loving, thoughtful and powerful way to help them know how making this decision may be critical to changing their life! Many people do agree to get help on the spot and it is an incredible relief.
However, when we step back and reflect on what we are really doing, we realize our goal is to disrupt the addictive or mental health process that has been going on for how long…one year, five years, twenty or more years? Addictions and mental health disorders pose considerable risks to a person’s well-being and can be unfortunately be lethal at any time.
- As such, one of the most important goals for most families in an intervention is to make absolutely sure they have reached out to their loved one in the most loving and caring way possible.
- We need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have provided the most powerful and hopeful opportunity we can that offers them a way out of the trap they have gotten into.
If we wish to dramatically increase the probability of someone beginning treatment, we can have secondary and tertiary options other than an inpatient program (when this is reasonable). These could include an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or a detox program.
What would you consider a success? Suppose you came together as a family and the person you intervened on didn’t enter treatment immediately? However, for the first time in years, everyone involved was on the same page, openly talking about their concerns with love and kindness. Everyone had a plan for how to take care of themselves and begin to heal even though their loved one didn’t seek treatment right away. Further, you knew, without question he/she absolutely knew help was available from any family member. You had created an opportunity that had never existed before. Would that be a success? Now suppose three weeks later your loved one finally decides to seek out help and he reaches out to his brother to start the process. Is that a success? How about three months later? Maybe seven months? Are those successes?
In my intervention practice, this is a common place occurrence. We work extremely hard to provide a respectful, loving and powerful intervention that is enduring. We want the family to benefit as well. Success, as you can see from the description above, is not as simple as it may seem. The decision to try and save a loved one’s life is, in and of itself, a success. Allowing things to complacently continue at their own pace, is the one thing that addictive disorders thrive on.
Regardless of who you hire or how you proceed, trust that the strength of your love and the courage it takes will be central to interrupting the process of addiction and mental illness. Your loved one’s life may depend on it.