Intervention HandBook

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Intervention HandBook

1. Demonstrates the necessary knowledge, ability, and skill for assessing the physical, emotional, and mental capabilities of concerned persons to carry out an intervention.

2. Demonstrates commitment to ABCI principle that the primary goal of intervention is to secure immediate help for the chemically dependent person first and foremost.

3. Demonstrates commitment to ABCI’s principle that pre-intervention counseling sessions for concerned persons are short term an time limited and should not be prolonged to the extent that immediate help for the chemically dependent person is postponed.

4. Ensures that during the intervention statements by concerned person to the chemically dependent person are not shameful or demeaning but instead take the form of "I-statements" that describe facts and feelings.

5. Has completed an ABCI approved training and certification process for Board Certified interventionists.

6. Treats all persons included in the intervention process with care and concern, and works to preserve the dignity and self-respect of the chemically dependent person.

7. Demonstrates a commitment to help families by directing each family member involved in the intervention into their own process of recovery. NATURE OF DISEASE

We believe…

·Alcoholism/chemical dependency are diseases that are

* Primary
* Progressive
* Chronic
* Fatal

·In the later stages of the disease the person is incapable of the spontaneous insight needed to seek remedial care, largely due to

* Blackouts
* Repressions
* Euphoric recall
* Their combined delusional thought process

·Those living with chemically dependent persons often become emotionally distressed to the point where they

* Enable the addiction to continue despite best intentions
* Attempt to manipulate the situation to make it “go away”
* Show similar symptoms
* May require remedial care

Completion of two levels

Level I – Through an educational-therapeutic process the significant others can
identify their misunderstandings of the disease process, see it (and their
own behavior) for what they are, and commit themselves to no longer
protect the addicted individual from the consequences of his/her

Level II – The addicted person can be helped to see the love of those around
him/her and the negative effects of his/her addictive behavior, and to
accept treatment as appropriate.

·This disease is successfully treatable with the concurrent approaches to

* Attend to physical complications
* Reduce the symptoms of mental mismanagement
* Expunge the emotional distress
* Rebuild family communications
* Establish a workable spiritual connection



Don't Talk

The home of a chemically dependent person often becomes a household of conspiracy and cover up. Often family members do not talk about the problems caused by alcohol and other drugs. They do not talk about any problems. An unwritten rule of silence encases the whole house.

Dependent Family Behavior
·After a brother and sister sit silently watching their parents fight about their mother's drinking, neither child initiates a conversation with the other about the incident even
when they are safely by themselves.

·The spouse and children of a chemically dependent person have an undeclared agreement to not are "family secrets" It does not occur to the children to talk about
the bizarre behavior of their parent to a neighbor, relative, or friend.

·There is a false hope that if a problem or negative event is not talked about , it may not be real. If drunkenness, the embarrassment, and the disappointment are not verbalized, maybe they are not really there.

Don't Trust

The disease of chemical dependence does not allow for honest or consistent behavior. Therefore, there is no basis for trust to be established in the family or a chemically dependent person. In order to trust, there first must be a feeling of safety.

Dependent Family Behavior
·A mother stays up waiting for her daughter. She doesn't know if her daughter has told the truth about her plans for the evening. Her daughter's drinking seems to be
more than just experimental use.

·A child asks her mother why she is feeling so sad. The mother says she isn't feeling sad. She may try to smile or hum or say something light and pleasant. The child knows her mother is sad, but does not question her any further.

·A wife/mother comes home from a party very drunk. The children watch their father assist their mother to bed. The next morning the father tells the children to play very quietly because mother is coming down with the flu. The children do not correct the lie.
Don't Feel

Real feelings get lost by chemical dependence. Because there is no trust, each member of the family also learns not to feel. Feelings of anger, disappointment, sadness, and fear are held inside. Only certain feelings (and attitudes) are recognized as appropriate.

Dependent Family Behavior
·A chemically dependent father does not show up at any of his daughter's volleyballgames even after promising to attend time and time again. Instead of sharing her
feelings of pain and disappointment, the daughter says, "It's okay. I didn't play very
well anyway."

·A husband finds that his wife overdrew the checking account due to a spontaneous shopping spree. He does not express his feelings of anger at her irresponsible

·A teenage son has been suspended from school again, but his parents cannot express feelings of anger and fear. The situation is not discussed.

The Family Rules

Don't Talk Don’trust Don't Feel

Whether spoken or unspoken, these family rules often apply within the families of chemically dependent people.

·How do these rules apply to your family? Give a few examples.


The Group Effort

The first step in intervention is to gather together everyone concerned about the chemically dependent person. This might include immediate or extended family members, a spouse or partner, and close friends. Other people who might be asked to be involved include the person's employer, doctor, clergy, or a school counselor, or administrator. If the chemically dependent person has been involved with the juvenile or criminal justice system, a probation officer, parole officer, or other professional might also be included in the intervention team.

In forming the team the counselor has to ask two questions:
1. Who are the most significant people in the user's life
2. Will they come to the counselor's office and get involved?

Taking Action

The second step is to encourage detachment. Detachment does not mean you no longer care about what happens to the chemically dependent person. If fact, quite the opposite is true. When you are no longer entangled in the emotional ups and downs of the other person's alcohol or other drug use, you are finally freed to intervene.

Intervention usually involves confronting the person about his or her use and the problems it is creating for himself or herself and others. There is a need for a "united front" among those present, so that the person who is delusioned can better hear you. When you are detached, you can present feelings and incidents in a nonjudgmental, caring way. You can act responsibly to help prevent the person you care about from further harming himself or herself. Detachment allows you to intervene in a way without feeling responsible if the person makes a decision you feel is wrong.

Forming the Team

Everyone on the intervention team should learn the following about chemical dependence:

1.Alcohol/drug dependence and its effects on the user
·the levels
·the symptoms

2.Enabling: its effects on the user, the family, and others
·defenses and memory distortions
·behavior, attitudes, and feelings

3.Intervention Process
·overall view
·methods to use to show concerns about alcohol/drug use

The interventionist has two tasks to perform with team members:

1.To evaluate each person as to the knowledge of the disease of chemical dependence and his/her emotional capability to detach from enabling.

2.To prepare each person in the intervention process.

Your Intervention Data are the chemically-related facts or events which you are going to present during the Intervention Session. Your data should follow the guidelines below.

1. Data should be chemically-related behaviors or events. It is extremely important that all date is drinking/chemically-related. If data is not chemically related, we take the focus off the fact that our chemically dependent person has a disease for which he/she needs professional help. For example, "Dad, last Friday you were drinking and driving; you were arrested and charged with a DUI." This piece of data is chemically related and tells the chemically dependent person that it is the chemical use which is causing his/her problems and his/her harmful consequences.

If the data had been stated as "Dad, last Friday you were arrested for reckless driving", then the data is not appropriate for the Intervention Session because it is not chemically related. The chemically dependent person can deny that this incident was unusual (Everyone breaks the speed limit now and then) and can deny that the chemicals were the cause of the irresponsible drinking behavior ("I was in a rush - It was a rough day and I was upset").

We have to tell the chemically dependent person with every piece of data we present that it is the chemical use which we are concerned about and which is the cause of his/her problem, harmful consequences and inappropriate behavior; it is the chemicals for which the person needs help.

2. Data should be witnessed or documented chemically-related behaviors or events. In other words, we have to be sure data really happened and that we are reporting that data as it happened. For example, "Mom, Tuesday morning you were shaking, your face was pale, and you looked sick and scared." This piece of data was witnessed and was reported as witnessed. A piece of data such as "I think you are having an affair; or I think you go to the bar instead of working late at the office" is speculative and is a guess, not a fact. This means that you report incidents which you have personally witnessed. You cannot report data which other people have witnessed.

3. Data should point out facts about total chemical consumption or usage. Some of the items of data should focus on the amount of chemicals the chemically dependent person is presently using, such as "Mom, you have five prescriptions for Valium, all from different doctors. You take 20 p

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