It’s not easy when a loved one is an addict because we want to help them but sometimes we become addiction enablers. We recognize that the addict shows up with recurring themes that people with addiction struggle with – grief, anxiety, shame, perfectionism, vulnerability, trust, and no boundary setting. The intervention assumes the picture of a gift from the heart from a family that will recognize that he/she cannot start the journey by himself. The Journey of recovery must include the family, team, or circle of supporters in the purposeful event. To that end, the process is not over when the loved one accepts the treatment placement.
This is only the beginning. Once the formal intervention is over, we plan for the continuum of care and service. It is essential that this team remain together, as a unified circle of care and support for each other. When your group disperses we ask that you continue communication as a solid group. This is part of your commitment to the cause. You may elect to do this in person – if you are all geographically close. Other options include a group text, or phone conference.
The Team counseling part of the intervention will discuss how members must be honest and truthful with each other. All disagreements and reservations should be brought to the table. It is common that the addict will reach out to the person he feels closest to. This person may be the chief enabler. He will call the person who will listen to him. The addict may call with a variety of complaints about the treatment site, ranging from complaints about the food, showers, no free time, or the staff who set up the rules. You must recognize that, as occurred in the active addiction, he will go to any lengths to convince you he is a victim and simply cannot tolerate this.
Remember, if you respond, he will only continue to express his pain. Once you absorb and listen, he has placed success and you in harm’s way. You will end up as sick as he is. Initiating or responding to a text from the addict/alcoholic in treatment, even with a single word like “applesauce,” gives him the opening and leverage to continue and you will be trapped.