Statistics show a much higher completion of treatment and success in long-term recovery for those who have been intervened upon by a professionally-guided, informed and committed family. This is largely because intervention sets up accountability, support and a healthy family environment that no longer enables dysfunction and disharmony. Where adolescent substance abuse is concerned, research shows that the parents have far more impact on the adolescent’s treatment and recovery than the treatment program itself.
Addiction is a brain-based disorder that doesn’t act like any other medical or psychological disease. It plays by its own rules. It takes control of the whole family, rendering loved ones every bit as confused, hurt and desperate as the person taking the drugs or caught in any other self-destructive cycle. Diseases that impair the brain, by definition, impair clear thinking, good judgment, insight, free will and moral behavior. This makes it imperative for the family to intervene because the addict is effectively unable to help themselves. This disease is progressive: internal distress, family distress and consequences all get progressively worse until the cycle is interrupted by a crisis. Intervention is a strategized interruption, creating a controlled crisis for the addict in order to avoid overdoses, car accidents, DUIs and other irreparable outcomes.
The over-arching goal of intervention is to stop the multi-generational cycle of addiction and dysfunction within the family with attention to protecting the well-being of the children. Dr. Blair’s approach to addiction treatment, while grounded in her core therapeutic principles, is more directive in nature. The family’s focus is to lead by example with healthy rules and boundaries in place, rather than allowing the lowest functioning person to establish the rules of play.
Intervention is an uplifting process for the whole family, based on a repeatedly proven simple premise: the very illness that created so much heartache has the capacity to create just as much joy and abundance. Intervention personifies power in numbers, in the team approach, in knowledge, in kindness and in dedication to loving your family in the highest way. All these things collectively create greater mass with which to pull the addict away from the cliff.
Dr. Blair’s interventions offer:
- a comprehensive assessment to determine both the clinically indicated level of treatment as well as recommendations for the “best fit” treatment centers and/or plan. Co-occurring problems, treatment history, family needs and finances are amoung the factors taken into account. True for any complex disease, treatment for addiction requires a holistic approach addressing the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of a person.
- education about the disease of addiction, recovery, relapse and a detailed outline of the most effective family responses.
- full preparation for intervening with the targeted patient. The family is fully informed, committed as a team to go the distance and practiced at effectively responding to any and all reactions from the patient.
- meeting with targeted patient. If the patient declines treatment, this phase will necessarily include continued work with the family until treatment comes to fruition. This may involve flexibility on the team’s part. For example, we may begin at a lower level of care if it is deemed safe (low risk of the patient creating an irreparable consequence) and course-correct along the way. Based on hundreds of interventions, it is Dr. Blair’s experience that if the family follows through on the necessary changes consistent with a healthy family environment, the targeted person will ultimately accept the therapeutic plan.
- facilitation of treatment center arrangements and consultation with the patient’s clinical team during treatment; liaison between the clinical team and the family to ensure a collaborative process and keep the family fully informed.
- continued work with the family to stabilize a solid family recovery approach and the new healthy rules of play in preparation for the patient’s discharge.
- ongoing meetings with family and patient following treatment to review recovery and relapse plans. Families are given a detailed road map for Year One based on a well-researched program mandated for recovering physicians and pilots – these groups have a greater than 90% success rate over 5 years. Everyone is strongly encouraged to schedule regular monthly or bimonthly family meetings to take care of any concerns immediately and stay on course. Families should also meet during any and all transitions during the first three years.
- individual help for family members. This is a contagious disease that strips away the energy, clarity and self-care of everyone in its path. It is often critical for family members to accept some help in coming to grips with their own trauma, fears, grief and exhaustion.