In a crisis, immediate admission is often necessary both for patients and for the wellbeing and peace of mind of their families and loved ones.
Call an ambulance if someone is unconscious or in any way in danger.
Families are not the best people to care for addicts of any kind. Families and close friends will tend to do too much – in the mistaken belief that they are helping. The truth is that by enabling the addict to avoid facing the full consequences of his or her addictive behaviour the family member makes it more likely that the addictive behaviour will continue as before and get progressively worse.
Addicts do not see themselves very well. This denial results in them treating enemies – people who contribute towards their ultimate destruction – as friends. And they treat friends – people who care for them and wish them well – as enemies. The use of the next mood-altering substance is their primary goal. They will do anything to get it. And they push away anyone who gets in the way of that goal. They blame and emotionally blackmail – with threats of damage to self or others – people close to them in their single-minded quest to get the next fix.
This process will continue, as a dance to death between the addict and the compulsive helpers, until the addict takes full responsibility for his or her own behaviour and its consequences.
But that is easier said than done. Sometimes emergency assessment and possible admission to a place of safety is necessary to avoid a tragedy – or at least make it less likely.
Intervention into the Rake’s Progress of decline in an addict’s behaviour is best managed by a professional who has experience of dealing with addicts of all kinds, preferably as a result of dealing with his or her own addictive behaviour successfully. In this way the addict in an acute crisis has confidence in the professional interventionist because they speak the same language. Also there is a clear message of hope in being able to follow a practical example.
Real recovery implies knowledge of what to do in tight situations and how to achieve the best possible results. In families, or at work or in social environments, frightening situations may occur and indecision is understandable in those coming across these difficult problems for the first time. The sheer weight of clinical experience in a professional interventionist enables the best chance of a positive outcome.
This is the work I do.