Intervention show

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Has anyone seen the show Intervention? I watched it the other day. It was about a herion addict. She did go to rehab and has been sober since Sept. 2007 - sometimes I wonder if we should have done that? We took our son to rehabs we could afford, had him committed and took him some more - but I guess until he was ready it didnt matter if we forced him or not - sometimes I think some people do well with being forced to go - but who knows I just know we didnt do an intervention and I wonder if we should have? Hindsight is 20/20.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I have seen it off and on over the last year or so. The interventions do not always work and I am glad they show those also. I believe you are right, the person needs to be ready themselves. The ones that didn't work were the people who refused to go into treatment.

    I really like interventions - they are very supportive of the person who needs help. I view them as a way to show the person in need that he or she is loved and that friends and family want the best for him or her. It is a "this is very hard, but you can not continue hurting yourself and we know you can do this." type of thing. It is really hard to help someone who is that far gone without coming across as judgemental, this seems to take the judgemental view away from the situation.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wonder why you are asking questions about what you might have done in the past to change your sons present instead of asking what you can do today to make your future better.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    The thing about the "Intervention" shows ... the family and friends are usually giving the person some sort of ultimatums like, "If you do not go to rehab, I will withdraw all financial support", or "If you do not go to rehab, I will no longer allow you to live in my home, take your phone calls", etc., etc. They let the person know in no uncertain terms that if they choose to continue destroying themselves, they will withdraw their support and they will be totally on their own - their world as they know it will come to a screeching halt and the family will no longer support or enable them! And even then, it only works if the addict himself truely wants to make the change.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Wudda, cudda, shudda. We can and will always wonder if we had X instead of Y would have made a difference. I learned to ask, "I did X, why didn't she use that as a stepping stone to get to Z?" There, of course, is no answer to that question. Nor is there any answer to the what ifs. The past is gone, done, over. It cannot be changed. You did what you could. Some of it was enough, some of it wasn't, some of it was too much.

    Our children are more than just our children. They are individuals. They make their own choices. We cannot control them. The best we can is guide them. When we try to control them or their actions, we end up losing -- our self-respect and their willingness to let us even guide them a little.

    Stands, worry about today and the future. Not your son's future, but YOURS. Your children are all growing. Their paths will be the paths they choose. You cannot control that. Be their guide, their mother, but don't try to be everything for them. They neither need nor want that -- not even your eldest son.

    Quit worrying about the past. Work on you -- on trying not to control, on growing into a parent who is healthy and happy, accept what is.

    It is not easy to detach. Sometimes it can feel like you're ripping heart out. For me to pat my daughter's hand and tell her she will find a way kills me. But to do anything else is a disservice to her. She WILL find a way. She will never become an adult if I constantly give her the answer, do for her, give to her. I'm here if she needs me. I'll listen, even give advice if she specifically asks. Otherwise, I listen and pat her hand. Detaching doesn't mean not loving, it means loving at a distance. It means doing what you can to help your child become an adult.
  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Yep, Stands, you have not detached--you are still trying to find the one thing that could have made a difference, you still think there is something you could have done that would have changed things for your son. When you have achieved detachment you will be able to let those thoughts go--what is done is done and you have to go forward, not keep looking back. In truth, probably there is nothing else you could have done to change the outcome except maybe to have quit enabling your son back when he was an older teen. I can't imagine an intervention would have helped--after all, you did send him to several rehabs and that didn't work. You really don't seem to get that your son is his own person and not a puppet you can control--he is not an extension of you!

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ya know what? My daughter could have been forced into drug rehab and it wouldn't have worked. In fact, according to her, those are great places to get drugs from. She didn't change until she wanted it badly enough and then she did it without rehab. Or even counseling (not recommending this, but she's an adult and her method was up to her). When he's ready, he'll quit and not a moment before. Many people just walk out of rehabs, even twenty times. I agree with the others: Look to YOUR future, and let your son make his own. You can't fix him. (((Hugs)))
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I watch this show pretty regularly especially now that the new season has started. In fact I roped the family into watching an episode last night of a previous show that featured a bipolar/substance abuser guy who reminded me eerily of Cory. It is odd how many times I can see Cory in the people on the show. It shocked me that he sat there to watch the show really but he did.

    I asked him point blank if anything hit home...did he see anything of himself in that episode. He tried to play it off but I wonder. The episode was complete with cops at the house and the kid attempting to run. The "funny" thing was Cory did ask me if I had taken down the number to the I told him only worry if he starts being followed around by a camera crew.

    I do think these shows...this one in particular can work if the entire family is behind the plan. You have to be ready to completely detach from the addict. No more enabling them. You cant allow them to pull you in anymore. No more supporting their addictive lifestyles. Like the Interventioner says...its either Yes or all noise. If they say NO, then you make life miserable for them until they agree. The bipolar boy said No to all his family and in fact told the cops in front of them to take him to jail...the cops took him in his bedroom and told him he was facing prison and he agreed to go to
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    What "Intervention" does NOT show you is the follow up of 1,3, 5 months down the road. It takes the average alcoholic or drug addict 8 or more times to try and fail before they get tired enough and disgusted enough with their life to want to make a change. But notice I said THEY try, THEY fail, THEY get disgusted, THEY want to make a change.

    I used to think that IF we took all the kids who had drug and alcohol problems, and found a deserted island for each of them to live on for say 10 years to get the drugs and the cravings completely out of their system and allow them to rehab and go through withdrawls by themselves - maybe that would work. And when I said this in an AA meeting - one of the alcoholics stood up and said - I would probably find a way to ferment coconuts to get alcohol or find out what leaf I could like to get high.

    So no matter what intervention WE push someone into - if there is a will for them to still get high or they haven't come to terms with being an alcoholic and MAKE THEMSELVES stop? There really is NOTHING we can do to help them.

    And sitting around wondering what you could have done will serve NO PURPOSE for you moving on. Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow isn't here yet so we deal with our Present - Our Gift of Today.

    Short of finding a time travel machine -you need to eliminate the word SHOULD have from your vocabulary. You did what you did when you did it because YOU THOUGHT it was THE BEST THING you COULD do for your child.

    You certainly did NOT sit around the house after you made a decision for your child and said - WE SHOULD do X because it's just plain wrong. Instead you said WE SHOULD DO X because it's the BEST decision.

    There are numerous drug and alcohol people who have kicked the habit and work hard every day for sobriety and to be clean. IF YOU INTERVIEWED 100 of them - 100 of them would tell you they kicked it ON THEIR OWN - not because their Mom made them go to rehab.


  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star....they do show follow up shows. But you are right that there are many relapses. What this show has that many dont is that they can sometimes get the people court ordered into rehab if needed. Sometimes for up to a year if needed. They do have some success. Many fail too.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Then the better show in my opinion would be to interview the success stories and have them tell the world, other addicts and hurting parents

    WHY they chose sobriety, how many times it took and WHAT was their pivotal point.

    TV - always selling stress.
  12. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    The "reality" is that ANY Intervention is a gamble. It's for most families a last ditch effort to help their addicted loved one. Getting the addict to treatment is just the first step-a relatively easy step when compared to what the addict is going to face in building a brand new life chemical-free.

    The show Intervention is one show I always make an effort to watch. I think as TV goes, it does a fairly good job. They also make clear to the families that they need support to change too. Some parents struggle desperately with stopping all of their own behavior that supports their child's addiction. They show the successes along with the failures.

    I remember the epidsode where the family finally got the addict to agree (a former teacher), but once she got to the airport her getting on the plane became a major drama and she ended up not going.

    Or the wealthy woman who was rapidly going through her dwindling fortune. She was hospitalized before her intervention for deliberately overdosing on presription drugs. She nearly died. Once better, she overheard from a doctor that her family was planning an intervention. (She denied the whole self-overdosing and claimed her Mother tried to kill her. Even though the cameras clearly showed she took the pills herself.)She became enraged with the news of the intervention and refused to allow her family and the cameras in her house. Finally, when they got her to agree to treatment, she hired a limo to drive her 1000 plus miles because she didn't want to put her cat on a plane. Once she got to the treatment center, she freaked because she had to leave her cat and the realization that this was it.

    The last update on her is that her money is nearly gone and she has no contact with her family.

    They do follow up when they rerun the show. Also, they have shows that are comprised off follow-ups only.

    However, I think that Star makes a good point. It would be a good thing to talk with those former addicts and find out the exact turning point-that split second-when they turned the corner and make the decision to leave their former life. I'll bet most could remember the place and exact time when they decided that they didn't want to live the life of an addict anymore.

    Stands, I'm not a parent of an addict. So, I really can't give any insight from that perspective. I'm a sibling to one, though. My brother didn't get his act together until he was 30. He stole, spent time in jail, lived on the streets, under bridges, etc. This is after years of enabling by my Father, who always made sure there was a soft pillow for him to land on when he was in trouble. Unfortunately, I don't know about his turning point. We are friendly, but not close due to the distance between us and age (I'm 10 years older). But, that is the question I've always wanted to ask-at what point did he decide to get his life together.

    Hashing over and over in your mind what you have done differently is of no use to YOU or your son. You need to focus on today, this very moment. The very best thing you can do for your son is to live YOUR life and realize your aspirations.

    Also, your other child that is still home. This constant hand-wringing over the past can't be good for him, either.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For an intervention to work, the family has to follow through with their threats of cutting off everything. Honestly, Stands, based on the difficulty you are having saying "no" to your son, and sticking to your guns, I'm not sure an intervention would do much good.

    Let go of this. It doesn't make any difference now. Move on.

    I do think the show does a pretty good job of balancing the addicts who get clean with the addicts that don't, and with follow-up. "Pretty good" because it is, after all, about the ratings when it comes right down to it, and people would rather see a "happy" ending than not. Overall, though, I think it's a real eye opener. Maybe more so for the viewers who are families of addicts, than for the viewers who are addicts themselves.
  14. judi

    judi Active Member

    I am one of those also who says "woulda, coulda, shoulda." As I get older and my son ages, it is difficult to realize that we don't live some fairytale type of life. The show intervention is for entertainment purposes in a weird, voyeuristic kind of way.

    Yes, I have watched the show occasionally but not with any idea that this is the way to go. I agree with others that the person has to WANT to change, the family can't MAKE them change...they can only offer an avenue to change if the person wants to take advantage of it.
  15. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes you are right. I just am having anxious thoughts about if they give my son time served and let him go scares me more than anythiing. I wanted to send the public defender some info I found on the internet about how they need to help addicts iinstead of send them to be warehoused in prison. But I didnt. I just dont think I can stand him at home - I know I cant - I am just so tired of that being the first place he looks when they let him go. They dont arrange any kind of housing or other place to live to get better at all. That is the problem. they just let these people back on the street to commit other crimes. I dont think jail helps them any - they just sit there and think - so why do they just addicts go without help from the legal system? or is that prison?
  16. judi

    judi Active Member

    Stands - I'm sorry for the anxiety that your son's life choices are causing for you. Like him, YOU have choices too: to either cave in and put your life on hold while you desperately search for a solution or realize that you can't help him unless he wants help. Its not easy: detachment doesn't mean that you don't care or don't love your son: it just means that your life can't revolve around his.

    Please take care of yourself!
  17. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    THAT is why "they" (the system) does not send every prisoner with a drug problem through a program to help them. The prisoner (ANY prisoner, or any person on the streets) can sit there while they are giving the help, but if they are not ready for it, all they will do is sit there.

    Prison (or jail) is not there to help anyone. It is there to punish individuals who break the law.
  18. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I just finished reading....
    Alice Cooper's
    [ame=""] Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'n' Roller's Life and 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict: Alice Cooper: Books[/ame]
    12 steps to becoming a golf addict....
    One because I love him and 2 because I love golf.
    But he was forced into interventions, rehabs all of that and he writes about the same thing, until he had something to live for, until he had something to care about, did he try to become sober. One day something just clicked inside of him. He had a turning point when he decided he no longer wanted to be and alcoholic. It is a great read even if you do not love golf!!!
    I have said the same thing about my drug use in the past, one day I just wanted more for myself. I wanted a life. No-one could tell me this. I did every drug there was. Same with my Dad, he went to prison, rehab, house arrest, multiple dui's, not until he was ready did he stop.
    Some people find help with AA, some find help with interventions. For me, Alice Cooper, my Dad, it was just something inside of us... I think it is this way for a lot of people. Unfortunately and fortunately. It can leave other's feeling helpless... My Brother is still using, but there is nothing any of us can do. I just stay away. I have seen him maybe 5 times in 15 years. You get used to it.

    The book is GREAT!!!
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    So, I guess what we're all saying is that only Susan's difficult child can quit drugs, and nothing Susan does will make it happen faster or slower. Right?

    Susan, you wrote about making a wonderful speech about everything we taught you about detaching at your Al Anon meeting the other night. Three minutes later, you posted this thread wondering whether you should have tried intervention.

    It feels as though you have no positive thoughts of your own, ever - as though all of your thoughts are worries about someone else that you can't change. You're clearly not happy. We all want you to be happy.

    I challenge you to write one post a day on the Watercooler about something that has nothing to do with worrying about any of your kids, or worrying about worrying about (or feeling guilty about) any of your kids. Something nice. It doesn't have to be a new thread, but that would be good too. Each day though, write it on a new thread so that it will actually be a new thought. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel if just once a day you verbalize something that is nice every day.

    I'll pray for you.
  20. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Witz, that is a wonderful idea.

    Susan, Witz is right. You seem to be in a rut and don't know how to get out. Of course we all want your son to get help, but right now we are concerned about YOU. Your boy will go for help when he is ready. YOU need to take care of YOU right now. And taking care of you means trying to find happiness and joy in life.

    Try doing a post a day in the water cooler. Not about your difficult child or even your easy child. Participate when someone does a thread about naming your favorite movie, or favorite candy. Post a favorite recipe. Tell a joke. Let us get to know Susan. None of know you as anything other than "difficult child's mom". We want to know YOU.

    And I will pray for you too.