Helping You to Help Your Loved One!
Patrick J. Hart Psy.D.
Comprehensive National Intervention Services
Take Your Step Forward | Intervention and Family Crisis Prevention
Addiction is most usefully viewed as a complex illness–a biochemical trap–that is characterized by a progressive loss of behavioral control. People who suffer from chemical dependency impulsively act out and persist in self-destructive drug use — even in the face of exceedingly devastating consequences.
As an independent family intervention specialist I'll help you choose courageous and dedicated actions to help you prevent a downward spiral of addictive despair. Especially in cases that involve physical withdrawal, only a small percentage of people are able to resolve addictive behavior patterns without formal, dedicated, well-informed help. “Addicts and alcoholics” are unwittingly trapped in their destructive patterns of substance abusing behavior and simply cannot adequately limit their use — or effectively quit of their own accord.
Through tears of shame and humiliation one client exclaimed: “When I could stop using, I didn’t want to. Now that I can’t stop, I’m desperate! It is time for help – I can’t do it alone . . .”
Joining with others is crucial to the successful resolution of problems of chemical dependency. During the early phases of chemical dependency the user has some degree of control over impulsive patterns of drug use. However, the later stages of the addictive process presents us with an entirely different picture Some form of family (concerned others) intervention frequently becomes necessary to enhance awareness of the problem, and to motivate specific actions that promote recovery skills.
A Chronic, Progressive, and Frequently Terminal Illness
The drug rehabilitation community now defines chemical addiction in terms of “the disease concept.” Chemical dependency is conceived to be a chronic and progressive illness like diabetes or hypertension. It is essential to realize that the term “addiction” no longer implies a chemically-induced (physical) withdrawal process. The term “chemical dependence” has replaced this term in psychiatric diagnostic language. Stated more simply, addiction implies that one’s life is negatively impacted or compromised in various ways: socially, occupationally, academically, medically, psychologically, legally, parentally, maritally . . .
An Interpersonally Devastating Loss of Control
“The Hijacked Brain” and “Substance-Driven Behavior”
Loved ones and family members must remain aware
that chronic substance abuse
has altered the abuser’s brain structures, neural networks, and neurochemistry. Chemically dependent people’s brains and behaviors have been “hijacked” so to speak, by biochemical changes associated with chronic abuse. Psychologists and physicians have begun to understand why addicted individuals sacrifice everything that is important to them (their families, their jobs, their physical health) in the quest for a fix. Because of the addictive process, voluntary control has been relinquished. Some form of intervention is frequently necessary to interrupt the vicious pattern of drug abuse. Both you–and your drug impaired loved one–deserve adequate help. Your actions can motivate change.
Why Does My Loved One Continue to Self-Destruct?
Why is it that without some type of intervention strategy, substance abusers are highly unlikely ever to seek help of their own accord? Because of the neurological compromises associated with the addictive process, addicts remain oblivious to the true nature of their plight.
Chemical dependency is an illness of denial, minimization, and self-delusion: “There is nothing wrong–I’ll quit tomorrow–just cut down– my drinking is not that bad– get off my back.” Bewildering is the fact that many people continue their chemical abuse while they slowly deteriorate from the disease of addiction. This quandary has been stated in gravely realistic terms by Dr. Paul Wood, President of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 1990.
“The question is how do we get people who are dying, who do not believe they are dying, who fight the slightest inkling they are dying, to believe that they are dying and accept help which will save their lives? This question has always lived at the center of the tragic conundrum that is the alcoholic and other drug addicted person.”
The Hart Center Compassionate Family Intervention
Without formal help, many people will continue to abuse alcohol and other drugs
until they meet with grave and crippling consequences. Drug addiction presents a progressively devastating illness that traps the best of us. You need help in halting your loved one’s downward spiral in the frequently fatal progression of addiction to alcohol or other drugs.
Prevent “Rock-Bottom” — Before More Damage Is Done!
Families should be mindful that few people can maintain their addictive disorders without someone else helping them perpetuate drug abuse. Through intensive education and planning, most families discover that certain enabling roles have become crystallized. Some family members typically find that they have been unwittingly “propping up the abuser,” in effect enabling the addictive behavior to continue, even in the face of progressively devastating results. Family drug intervention saves lives, marriages, and livelihoods! Simply call to explore this area of help and find an approach that will work for you. Dr. Hart
is a Seattle based intervention specialist
who discusses with you a range of methods, helping you make informed choices for treatment options.
Private telephone consultation will provide you with decisive answers and will elaborate a broad range of treatment-matching options. National services are readily available by telephone conference.
Educate yourself, and explore the wide range of intervention approaches practiced by professionals, such as the non-confrontational “invitational” method, the strategic family method, the executive approach, and teen strategies.
Bold and creative “tailor-made” approaches help you know that you are intervening with the strongest probability of success.
Learn to Promote Wellness! Stop Supporting the Addiction!
Professionally-guided planning assures that you deliver a loving, compassionate, and motivational message to someone who is trapped in the grips of substance abuse. As you take the courage to promote life-preserving change, it is likely that you will make an earnest proclamation of your intention to cease playing enabling roles in the addict’s life.
Our process culminates in a fine-tuned and unified “message from reality,” a compelling and unified wake-up call that offers life-saving help!
Even a single Informational Assessment Consultation will help family members understand how intervention can help you prevent ongoing deterioration from substance abuse.
Educate yourself about the broad range of approaches and begin to respond constructively to problems of chemical dependency! Without meaning to do so, family members frequently enable their loved ones to maintain and continue their addictive behavior. Through the intervention process, significant others learn to disengage from roles and actions that have “enabled” and unintentionally helped the user to remain trapped in the grips of chemical dependency. Honestly, as you feel the chaos and see the deterioration -- how much more -- are you willing to endure?
Do nothing – and nothing changes – the problem is routinely progressive. If you take no action, it is predictable that you will encounter . . . progressive deterioration. That is the result if you are neurologically snagged by the toxic grips . . . of drug or alcohol dependency.
Family Intervention Specialist
Addiction Crisis Prevention :: Before More Damage is Done
Some Useful Resources about how a family intervention specialist can help.