This is podcast number two, and we … So I have to read stuff apparently, before the podcasts. If you want to subscribe to our podcast, it’s available on the major streaming platforms: iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, which I’ve never heard of, and YouTube. But I’m old.
So, the last one we did, this is our second. We have a series of these. This one’s a little bit, there’s no real light topic when you’re in addiction, but the last one that we did was … I don’t know if you even know, but we did one, the spouse and I, about that girl Emma who ended up going to prison for 21 years.
They charged her as a drug dealer. It was absolutely brutal, and so we had a very lively one-hour podcast. If you’ve not seen that one, this is our second, not our first. Then the next podcast that we’re going to do is actually going to be on Suboxone, so that should be very lively and interesting. You probably know [inaudible 00:01:02], I have a lot of very strong thoughts on the blight to the community known as Suboxone. But anyway, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. So what we’re here to talk about is interventions.
And John [Choakey 00:01:12] is not only a counselor at our place, but he’s also … and again, we’re not … the point of this is to have a conversation about important topics in addiction. This is not a fucking Blue Crest commercial, so we’re not going to do that. But you know, you are our interventionist. And as far as I know you’ve never had a failed intervention, which is kind of cool. You’ve had some very delayed interventions, where the family needed to unify and then held the line and eventually the person caved and ended up listening to you and going.
So you know, to start off with, well I mean I guess you could start off in different ways. But why interventions are necessary in and of itself. But before we even get into why they’re necessary and how it works and what’s the point of it, there’s different kinds of interventions. Right? There’s different kind of interventionists, there’s different trainings. It’s not like you go to one school for intervention training. There’s different … Tell us a little bit about who was your, who trained you. I mean I know the answer because I trained with you. But who trained you, what was the model, what other models are there? Just a little … it’s just informational, right?
Right. So for me, the person who trained me is a man named Earl Hightower who is probably one of the biggest names in intervention, if that’s a thing, right, to say that. But he’s a guy who’s been doing it probably since the early ’80s. He’s well-known in the recovery community.
West Coast guy, but you know, in America he’s … In recovery circles he’s very, very, very well-known. He trained me in a variation of the Johnson Model. Which is a pretty standard, probably the first type of intervention that was developed. And the idea is getting a family together as a team and getting your loved on, the person who you’re going to intervene on, getting them there on kind of like a false pretense. You know, you don’t really want them to know what you-
You want to blindside them.
Yeah, pretty much. Because, you know with addicts and alcoholics, we’re the type of people who if you give us enough time, we’ll come up with a whole defense strategy about why this shouldn’t happen, and you guys are mistaken, and I’m okay.
And not going to do this. Not that we need a lot of time to come up with that strategy.
Right. We could do that pretty quickly on the fly, but if you give us time we’re masters. You know what I mean?
So it kind of, it falls under that premise. And you know, the basic idea, I think a lot of people are familiar with the idea of family members writing some letters. And basically the letters are really more of a way to have something to refer to. When you first bring somebody in, you kind of want to have your thoughts and your ideas concise. Right? You want to have something on a piece of paper that you can refer to. And you want to get through that process pretty quickly. So I think a lot of people are familiar with that, maybe they’ve seen the TV show ‘Intervention’, right?
I mean, I’ve seen the TV show ‘Intervention’ and I’ve seen real interventions. And it’s a little bit different, right? I mean the TV show is not exactly-
It’s not … yeah, exactly. It’s edited and it’s for TV. So people think they watch the ‘Intervention’ TV show-
They think they know how to do it.
You know, they know how to do it. We’ll get into that. It’s one of the things just to touch on, is people who decide they’re going to do their own interventions. But before we get into that, you’re the orchestrator, right? Isn’t that the whole point? You kind of filter everything. Because it’s really all them. Family does all the work, you’re the conductor of the orchestra and you basically filter everything. You make sure the letters are concise, you get rid of the nonsense, you try and kind of gear them towards, “Eh, you may want to be a little less damning in this letter and maybe keep it a little more positive.” Right? Because you know, the different family members are also … Don’t you think the dynamic is strange when you go for an intervention and the family is angry as hell at the person but they also are scared for them and want them to get help? But then once you start getting into what it’s going to look like, the anger comes back out again. Haven’t you experienced that?
There’s a lot of complicated emotions that happen. I think that one of the most common denominator in every one that I’ve done is when you actually do the intervention, it’s probably the most uncomfortable you’re going to feel. It’s the conversation nobody wants to have, right? Everybody’s been dreading this conversation. Everybody already has ideas in their head about how it’s going to go, it’s not going to go well. You know what I mean? It’s not going to go well. They’re going to explode and kill everybody in the room. You know, stuff like that. There’s a lot of fear that goes into it. And it is very, very, very uncomfortable. And nobody really wants to do it.
Have you ever done a single intervention where the family doesn’t … someone in the family doesn’t start off by going, “Well let me just say, this isn’t going to work.” They all say the same thing.
Just so you know, with him, I know you’ve done interventions. With him or with her, it’s not going to work.
So this is pointless. I’ll be involved, but this is just, you know, you don’t understand. Every single one has that. Actually, and I’ll go back to what I said in the beginning, which is why interventions are necessary in the first place. See, interventions, when you’re … some of the work that we do in the sober world, right, when you’re somebody who’s sober and some people might know 12 step calls, right? You’re part of some fellowship out there and we do it man, for fun and for free, and you’re out there and you go. The 12 step call is a different kind of thing. Right? I’ve gone on a lot of 12 step calls in my life. And somebody’s like, “Hey man, you know this guy is drunk at his house and he’s locked up for three days.” The mom calls you, the friends. You get a couple sober people together, you head over to the apartment. You go in like, “Dude, what’s going on?” And you go sit down to talk to him and try and get him right minded and be like, “Dude, come on man, you got to get out of …” “I’m not doing anything, I’m not doing anything.”
You’ll try for a couple, few minutes and then you’ll be like, “All right, well here’s my number and if you change your mind, whatever.”
Yeah. “Give me a call if you ever change your mind.”
Intervention’s a whole different thing, right?
Once you get to a point where you feel like someone needs an intervention, the job of an intervention is to get somebody … I’m looking at it my way, and you tell me what you think. But the job is you’re getting them to stop using or drinking or whatever their thing is mid-run, where they have no intention of doing so, no plans on doing so, it hasn’t been thought about, discussed. And anybody who knows addiction, when I’m in the middle of one of my, you know, two or three month absolute epic runs, you’re not going to … Stop is not even a point of conversation. It’s a ludicrous suggestion.
Right. So an intervention is for somebody who either they don’t know they have a problem, or if they do know they have a problem, they’re not interested in any solution or stopping, right? That’s who the intervention’s for. So yeah, every time you hear at least one person say, “It’s not going to work for this person because they don’t want to stop.” That’s why you need the intervention, right? Because they don’t want to stop, or they don’t want help, or they don’t want to go away. Obviously. The addiction has totally taken over, and I’m not looking to be put away and taken away from what is my solution, right?
So I think you think about the idea of a 12 step call, and obviously what you just said is perfect. If I go on a 12 step call and you’re not interested in help, all right. You know what? Here’s my number. If you ever change your mind feel free to call. Intervention’s completely different. If you have somebody that really does want help, you don’t need an intervention. Right? You just need a 12 stepper to go take him to either a program or to a meeting. Right? The intervention is for we know this person is going to die if we don’t actually do something to intervene in their addiction and their death. They’re going to die like this. Or maybe they may take some other people out with them before that happens, right?
Yeah. Now the nature of this conversation is always stream of consciousness, so we kind of jump from different places. But you know, the truth is that’s one of the … I don’t know if it’s a paradigm, I don’t know what you consider it. But when you talk to moms, I’m just going to give an example from some of the ones that we’ve been involved in. And you know, you do an intervention with a mom or a family and you have a kid who’s a heroin addict, let’s just, you know, it could be anything. We’ve done all kinds: alcohol, drugs of different kinds. But I’m just thinking of this one example of a heroin addict. And it’s a very real concern and consideration for a family where when you first get involved with the family, your thing is we have to be on a unified front.
You’ve got to get the family on the same page that after today, this is no longer an acceptable arrangement for us. You live in our home, you’re no longer … as of today, everything has changed. And you got to get them on. They need to be willing and they need to be not, there’s no more bluffing. I’m sure these parents before have said, “If you don’t, I’m going to throw you out.” “If you don’t do this, I’m going to stop paying for this.” “If you don’t go here, that’s it. I’m done with you.” That stuff’s all … those are empty promises. You’re getting them on page where everyone actually gets a unified front. But the mom’s fear is, and this is what you’re going to hear, “I hear what you’re saying and I want to be able to do that. But in the end if I kick him out-“
Right. They’re afraid that they’re going to die.
“What if they die and then I’m responsible? I kicked them out of the house and then they overdose and they die?”
Right. And what they’re afraid of is already happening.
Yeah. What you’re afraid of is already happening.
You’re afraid he’s going to leave and die, he’s dying in the next room.
Whether or not you give him a chance at actually having that moment of clarity because he no longer has the port in the storm, you create a scenario where maybe there’s an interruption in that. Otherwise, he’s just going to overdose in the room next to you. How many hours of the day can you peek in with the Narcan in your pocket waiting for him to … You know, that day is going to … you’re already there.
And you know with, you know when we do family sessions here and the families that we deal with how may family members, moms, especially moms are … what addicts put moms through, it’s harsh, right? But the things that moms will … the extent that they’ll go to to try and make sure that their baby doesn’t die, right? And completely well-meaning. They’re trying to make sure that nothing happens to this kid. And in the process of trying to protect them, it’s actually hurting them even more. Right? Because it’s allowing them to continue on the way that they’re going.
And you know, the point that you kind of brought up in what you were saying about the unified front, when somebody contacts me and they go, “We want to have an intervention.” We’re going to put together the team of people who are going to be a part of this intervention. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to meet and we’re going to have an open, honest discussion about where you’re at with this person. What’s your relationship with this person? What do you think actually has to happen? Do you believe that this is a problem? We’re going to go through everything. And at the end of it, everybody has to be on the same page, which is we know this is … there’s no debate about whether this is a problem. That’s not on the table. It is a problem. The thing that we’re here to talk about is you getting help today, right now. Right? And everybody has to be on that same page. If you have people that are off in different pages, then it’s going to blow the intervention.
Well you don’t allow them in the intervention, right? When you do the process that when you first interview the family-
There’s a weeding out process, yeah.
You weed people out. You even have people who are very close to them where you’re like, “No. Absolutely not, you can’t be a part of the intervention.” And the other family is like, “Yeah, but they’re very close.” “Yeah, but he’s not going to actually help in the intervention. He’s way too …” How many times have you had somebody that you knew, based on all the information you got, all the … you interview everyone separately, right?
So of the six possibles to be a part of the intervention, you’ll have a separate phone conversation with all six. And you’ll ask them your questions, you’ll get their feedback. How many times have you talked to five where they’re like, “I can’t believe this guy’s still alive.” And then one of the other people that’s very close to him, you talk to him, they’re like, “I don’t know why everyone’s making a big deal of this. It’s not even really a problem.”
It does happen sometimes. And sometimes you can get those people in discussion it then shifts. Or if they’re going to stay in that position they’re not ideal for the intervention so you don’t want them. So sometimes you have to make that call and say, “Listen, we’re going to do this. You’re asking me to put this together for you. This person is not, they’re not going to be ideal for the intervention.”
And those decisions have to be made. And basically as an interventionist, that’s what I’m doing, is putting together all the background work that goes into getting the family together on the same page on what’s our strategy going to be? Because obviously with every person, you don’t have the same dynamic, right? Sometimes you’re doing an intervention and it’s the kid and the parents and brothers and sisters and stuff like that, and they’re dependent on the parents. And that’s easy, because you can figure out what the carrot and stick is real easy with that, right? Because they’re financially dependent.
How much did you value supervisions, right? With Hightower. When you were first doing, for the first two years of doing interventions-
Let’s be honest, we still call Earl.
Even after two years of doing successful interventions, you still want to call Earl and you still want to say, “Look, I got to run this intervention by you.” Because the guy sees through this stuff. I mean, I remember the first time with the dog thing. Remember with the dog, where that was the big … You knew he was the … he was like, “Oh, I already know. You’re only going to have one thing to get by in this intervention is they’re not going to leave their dog.” And you’re like, “What?” Like, “Oh yeah, it’s a dog lover? Oh, they’re never going to …” And we hadn’t intervened with anybody who had that kind of a connection with their dog before. And he saw it. And how true did that turn out to be during that intervention?
Yeah, he has an amazing ability to see things that you probably wouldn’t normally see. Which has been helpful. Because it’s helped me to see things I wouldn’t look for either. So pretty cool.
Yeah, it’s like an Earl commercial. But it’s true, though. And to have somebody that has that kind of an ability definitely helps you to hone your craft. It’s important. Because intervention man, if you do a successful intervention, you put a big weight of responsibility on you. And I know you look at it that way. You know that if this intervention doesn’t work, that person may never get another opportunity. They may never get another opportunity. That’s the reality of what goes on out there today. You know, they may not be around.
Yeah. Absolutely. Well and the other part of it, like you said, when we were talking about before, the intervention itself, that conversation is the conversation nobody wants to have. And it’s the most uncomfortable you’ll be. But it’s followed by if you get a yes, the relief and the happiness and the freedom. I mean, it’s literally like you feel the pressure go right out of the room when all of a sudden somebody’s going, “I’m not doing it, I’m not doing it.” And they go, “Oh fine. Yes. I’ll go.” And all of a sudden they just get crowded by their loved ones, and they’re kissing on them, and hugging them, and telling them they love them and they’re proud of them. That’s the reason you do the whole thing, is to get somebody to break down, say they’ll go, and then we’re out of there that day.
Then they’re always surprised at the prep work. Because the prep work that goes into it, the bag is already packed.
Everything is set up ready, the arrangement’s already been made with the detox or with the res facility, depending on what they need and where they’re going. Bag’s already been packed by mom. Everything is ready to go. When the person finally breaks down and says, “Fine, I’ll go.” “Will you go to treatment today?” “Fine, I’ll go to treatment.” And all of a sudden-
The bags are right there.
The brother comes out with a bag, drops it on the ground and goes-
And they go, “You mean now?”
And they go, “Wait, what do you mean?”
“Like right this second? I thought you meant like tomorrow?” No, no, no. We’re going right now. And then you bring them into your car as they look out the back window like a puppy dog watching the house fade.
Well yeah. Just like how you don’t want to give them time to come up with defenses for why they shouldn’t go, the same thing once you get a yes, right? By the way, whenever you get a yes in the intervention, I don’t care what part of the intervention. You get the yes, everything stops. We’re done. I don’t care if you had 10 more things to say, we’re done. You’re going.
You know? Because you don’t want them to have any time to go, “Wait a second, maybe … nah. You know what? Next week, much better then.”
Yeah, take yes for an answer every time.
So can you tell us an intervention story? Tell us. I mean I know you’ve had some crazy interventions.
Crazy stories. Can you tell an intervention story? I mean obviously you don’t have to use names and places.
Yeah, no I wouldn’t use names or anything like that. But you know, just a lot of … there’s a lot of audibles that get called sometimes in interventions, right? Like the one that sticks out for me was we had this one guy who was living on the street, young guy. He’s panhandling. And a family member who was working near where he was panhandling saw him. And he goes to the family he goes, “Listen, I saw him there, he’s been there for like the last week. We need to do something.”
So we set up, you know, I speak with the family, we set up the intervention. We’re going to do it at one of the parent’s houses. And we invite him to come, and of course he doesn’t show up, right? Can you believe an addict is not going to be punctual or show up? You know? So that’s what happened. So then, now you have to … it’s an audible. Like what are we going to do? So we come up with a plan, we’re going to go to the spot where he was seen panhandling. Right? So the next day me and family-
Oh God. You and how many family members?
There had to be about maybe six or seven of us.
And you guys all met and went to a red light?
Well actually what we did was we waited to see if his brother who had seen him, if he was there again the next day. And sure enough he was. So we get the green light, he’s there, let’s converge. So everybody jumps in their cars and we all converge to the spot where he was last seen panhandling. And then we get there, and of course, sure enough he’s not there. You know? Surprising. So now we go, “Okay, so now what do we do?” So now we start walking around asking, you know, other people on the streets, “Hey, have you seen this guy? Do you know this guy?” And sure enough, you know, some of the people that were characters that he consorted with, they knew him. And they go, “You know what? He likes to ride this train and he likes to go to this spot over there.”
So now we get on the train and now we start … we’re riding the trains looking for this guy to do an intervention on the street. You know what I mean? It was pretty, you know, got pretty hairy. So now we get down to the spot where he’s known to like to frequent, and we get there and it’s a good hour later, you know? We’ve been on the trains for a while. We get to the spot and now we go to a couple different places and sure enough, “Oh I know that guy!” And it was funny because the people that we were asking, it’s like they were happier for him than he would when he found out what we were doing. Because they’re like, “Oh my God, people actually care about this guy.” You know? Like, “They’re looking for him.” You know?
Sure enough, we go looking and we can’t find him there either. But I know at the end when we finally go, “Okay, we’ve done everything we could today.” I go, “For sure he’s going to know we were looking for him today.” You know? And sure enough that night his mom gets a call, he’s furious that you know, “What are we doing? What are we looking for him?” Blah, blah, blah. And we get him to agree to meet with us again the next day.
We go to meet him in a public space because that’s the only place where he’ll meet us in. And long story short, right, we finally find him. And he just goes crazy. He threatens to pull a fire alarm at this mall. He actually pulled it I think and nothing happened. It was a weird situation. We talked to the guy. And I mean this was going, this was a couple hours now with this one person. And we finally get him to go … you know, I finally get to speak to him. He’s, “No way, I’m not doing it. I won’t go.” I said, “All right, you know what?” I said to the family, “We did everything we can. If he’s not going to say yes, there’s nothing we can do.” Now just because you get a no the first time doesn’t mean the intervention’s over, it just means round one is over.
So round one is over. You know? We spoke to him, he got the message, he said no. Doesn’t mean it’s over, but okay, it’s over for today. We leave, we all get in our cars, and we start to leave. And on my way back to the office, I’m in the car maybe 20 minutes, mom calls me. And she goes, “He’s on the phone right now, he says he will go to treatment, but I got to get him a couple bags first.” You know? So now it’s like the dilemma of listen, if mom gets the bag and that’s the bag that kills him, big problem. You know what I mean? So there’s all these things that can go into the intervention, like how things can twist in all these different ways. At the end of the day, mom didn’t buy the bag, but he went and got the bag to get right. And then got in a car with dad and finally, and this is hours later, finally at the end of the night gets to detox and went to treatment.
And that’s just one of those ones where you have … you know, a lot of times, you know, you set up an intervention, you have a plan. And it’s like what did Mike Tyson say? “You have a plan until somebody punches you in the face.”?
Yeah. “Everyone’s got a plan until you get punched in your face.”
Yeah, until you get punched in the face, right? So you have a plan, right? And sometimes, you know God laughs at your plans, right? So in that particular case, it was just a two or three day ordeal to finally get this kid into treatment. You know? And it was … a lot went into that. And then, you know, we get a lot … not a lot, but there’s some where you get runners. You know?
One in particular, we had this kid who me and the family were waiting at the house, and mom … he calls up, mom says, “Yeah, please come right now.” You know, “Blah, blah, blah.” And usually you want to have somebody bringing them to the place because you want to have that person there that kind of guides them in and shuts the door behind them so they don’t have a chance to escape. And this one, you know he was coming on his own. And this kid walks into the house and literally, it was maybe .25 seconds. He saw us in the living room, and before anybody could say a word or anything could happen, this guy was out like a shot. And he runs out of the house. And we get up, and I come walking out of the house and he just happened to live on a long block. You know, it was a long city block. I come out and I just see the kid running and running. He’s getting smaller and smaller.
The uncle’s going to get in the car, I go, “Okay, he’s …” and I see him looking over his shoulder as he’s running. And he hangs a right. And I go, “Okay, he hung a right.” And then about 30 seconds later all of a sudden I see him running the other way. “Nope, he’s going left.” Right? And it’s just like you get runners. You get people, a lot of times because we live in the age that we do today, people know about intervention, right? So a lot of times people show up to a room where there’s a bunch of people and some of them haven’t been in their life too much lately, and they’re all in the same place at the same time. They know. Right?
So they’ll run. So you have to have these kinds of plans in order to get them in. You want to have the conversation. We’re not there to trap them, by the way. You know, we just want to say, “Listen, let us say our piece, we just want to state our case. You can go, you can do whatever you want when we’re done. But just let us say what we have to say.” And that’s really the idea behind the intervention. Getting the message across about here’s an opportunity for help.
Which is the point of the whole, you know, when we think about different, you know, things to have podcasts on, right? You can do a podcast. The whole point is to get information out there to pass along some experience, get people thinking about, you know what works, what doesn’t. What’s a good idea, what’s a bad idea. You know? The audience who watches this kind of stuff, you know, hopefully, in our mind hopefully it’s a family who’s kind of struggling with do I use this? Do I not? Maybe you look up interventions and you see something like this where we say … I’ve heard it 100 times, how many times have you heard people say, “Oh yeah, intervention where you write those stupid letters.”? You know, everyone thinks they understand what an intervention is. You have families that try, and we talked about it earlier, that try and arrange their own intervention. “We can just do the intervention ourselves.”
You know, it’s not … you know, the training that goes into it is extensive. And the experience and the guidance that comes from doing appropriate interventions is extenuous as well. You know what I mean? There’s a lot that goes into an intervention in arranging it, in filtering everything, in choosing who and how and why. The order of which the letters. You got your cleanup batter, that last heart breaking letter that’s going to be read that’s going to just bang the whole thing home. You literally order everything. Everything is arranged and orchestrated in a very particular way. And the honest truth is, and again, this is the point of this kind of topic, is that when you have somebody out there, don’t … you know, Herbert Spencer [inaudible 00:25:00] investigation. I don’t care if you don’t think an intervention would work for this particular person. You’ve not done a single intervention that I’m aware of that they didn’t say that. That, “This is never going to work because you don’t understand because person-“
Right, at least somebody.
right? Someone looks at it that way. But the truth is, it does work and it can work if it’s done properly. And you could save a life. And sometimes that’s what’s required. It doesn’t matter. People might’ve gone, “Oh he’s already gone to three different rehabs, whatever, and he’s not going to go back.” You know, and an intervention is more … this is another point that I would bring up about the difference between interventionists and interventions and how people look at it. Trainings, and models, and different ways. Like you used the term variation. There’s a lot of variations and ways that you can do interventions.
My favorite thing about intervention when it’s done appropriately, is the fact that an intervention does not mean that you meet with the family, you orchestrate this entire thing, you plan it out properly, you go to the end, you get the person to concede and say, “Fine, I’ll go.” Bags packed, you drive them, you drop them off at the detox, high fives all around, and you go back to your life and you know, “Good luck with everything.” A real intervention means you stay … and you can speak to it. But you stay involved in these families’ life. You’re in for a penny in for a pound. When you invite us in, when you’re invited in for an intervention, you now will touch base with the person while they’re in detox, while they’re in residential. You’re planning on okay what fellowship would they … you know, depending on what they do and what they need, to some kind of 12 step aftercare. Maybe it’s a therapist or a psychiatrist. Maybe it’s depending on the nature of the person. Some have co-occurring disorders.
But you’re working with the family on coming up with an aftercare plan. And you don’t just come up with a plan and say, “Okay, here’s your aftercare plan and good luck.” I know you go up and visit them. When they go to, some of them require going to 30 or 40 day stays someplace. And you’ll go up and sit with them and check in on them. You’ll meet their counselors. Everything is different depending on where it’s at. But I know you’ll meet them when they come out. You know, the whole thing, right? Can you speak on that?
Well yeah. Part of the planning that goes into the intervention is obviously where are they going to go? Right? They say yes, where are we sending this person? Obviously you want to send them, you know, we hate talking about this, but it’s a reality. All right, well their insurance information. Where are they going to go that they’re going to basically be a match insurance-wise? And then also where are they going to get the best treatment? It’s important. Right? You don’t want to just send them to anyplace, right?
So there’s definitely certain places that we know about. Obviously we love our place. We’re not here to do a commercial about our place. But, you know, there’s places that we-
Right? That, you know, we will send people to because we believe in what they’re doing. We know that they’re doing good work there.
What about the Medicaid people? Hardest thing in the world because-
Because a proper intervention means you have a bed lined up. When they say yes, that’s your window. They say yes, the bag is already packed, we do that for a reason. Because there’s a window of willingness. You’ve gotten them, you’ve hit the heart, you’ve gotten them to concede. They’re deflated, they’re like, “Fine, I’ll go.” Now you’ve got them. Now hopefully it’s not a four hour drive, because somewhere around the three hour mark they may be like, “You know what? I don’t know about …” but you get them into the car and it’s off you go. The bed is waiting. You, “Okay, good luck.” They take them in, and the process just goes.
Right, yeah. With Medicaid it’s not like that.
When you have someone that’s on Medicaid, you can’t line up a bed now. You get them to concede. This is the hard part. This is the reality of … I’d almost like to have some kind of government program where they have intervention beds. You know? Like Medicaid intervention beds. Where, you know, the person’s not looking to come into treatment but if … and you’ll know. At the end of the intervention, we’ve had a ton before where you were like, “This is round one. My guess.” I’ve seen you say it before. Like, “It’ll probably be two days.” Two days that person will be out of the house, living on the street, they’ll stay at a friend’s couch. And this character’s going to come back and tell the mom, “All right fine. I’ll go away to treatment.” But you know, you’ll call the place and say, “Look, we’re not going to need the bed for a little bit.” And it’s fine.
But with Medicaid and people who don’t have the kind of insurance or the ability to pay privately, doing the intervention is a little bit differently. And it’s much more difficult, right?
Right. So why intervention, by the way. So those are the kinds of things that I take care of. Right? I’m the person that’s making sure okay, they’re going to get into this place. The place knows it, they have a bed reserved for them. They have the intervention, they understand it’s an intervention. So they may be getting a person they may not be. But they’re on call and they’re ready. And we’re going to transport them. It makes it a lot harder when it’s, you know Medicaid because you know, you can’t really do that with it. So that’s a little trickier.
But you know, there is a lot of considerations that go into … when you get a yes from somebody, that’s not the end of the story. That’s like okay now this is the … the beginning is done. Now what’s going to happen in treatment? Treatment’s a whole nother animal. You have a family, by the way, we talk about alcoholism and addiction being a family illness. You have family members that need some help. They need to get some treatment for themselves. Whether it’s private counseling, maybe it’s al anon, nar anon, right? One of the family programs. They need to find out, they need to get education about addiction, they need to understand that the old way of doing business is not going to work.
A lot of times if you have a kid that’s going out to go get help and then he’s going to be coming back home afterwards, if you don’t change anything in the house when they get back, chances of them relapsing are high.
I mean that’s an aspect of it, right, is codependence. I mean there’s a lot of it. There’s trauma. Some of the moms are literally traumatized.
Literally traumatized of what they’ve dealt with this kid for so long. And that’s a part of it too. Like how many times have you gotten the kid to go away and now you go to the mom and you’re like, “You need to come with me. You need to come and sit with us, come to our family group on Wednesdays. You need to sit down with a counselor young lady. You need to speak to somebody. Because you need to address you.” It’s brutal.
But they go into the intervention and they think the intervention is about the addict or the alcoholic. Right? Everybody thinks it’s about him. It’s really about the whole family. The whole family needs help. And the intervention really, everyone should be addressed some way, shape or form. And at least one of the people that’s involved in the intervention should seek some kind of outside help for themselves. Just so that they could get the information and understand how they’ve been affected by addiction. You have no idea the trauma that happens to people when they’re living day in and day out with somebody and they don’t know what condition they’re going to be. They don’t know if they’re going to be alive or dead, if they’re going to sweet or a total nightmare. They don’t know. And what it does to people, it’s crazy. You know, we call it PTSD.
So all right, I mean listen, we’re not … you can talk about intervention in 80 different ways, and I know you have a lot of other stories. But I mean the whole point was is just to kind of put it out there man, that intervention is definitely a very useful tool. It’s something that you can definitely safe a life. If any message that I would give from it is don’t let the forgone conclusion that you think there’s no way, this will never work, whatever. It can work. It does work. If you have a good interventionist that knows the deal and can properly prepare for it, you’d be shocked at some of the outcomes.
I’ll throw it out there that we’re always available for guidance and suggestion. And, you know, you can always reach out to us. If you go look at the podcast and you’ll be able to get in touch with John Choakey and you can ask John questions. And that’s for anybody, you know? Anybody who sees this that you’re not … you know, we did mention the Medicaid thing and it’s not easy. It’s still doable. And then it becomes the question of what time you do the intervention and having the phone numbers ready for the places to see if there are beds. And it’s not going to be seamless. But there are ways to do it and ways to arrange it and times to do it, where you can give them the best chance of that thing actually happening and going down, right?
So reach out. You know? I mean there’s so many cool professionals and people who know this business and know this stuff. And you know, it’s real deal man. There’s lives on the line and intervention is definitely a helpful tool. Choak, thank you man for your insight.
I know a couple of the stories I would’ve liked for you to have told. But you know, it’s-
The one about the guy who wanted to stab me?
Yeah. Yeah, that was a good one as well.
I mean real quick before we end. Before we end, one of the ones that was, you know, wasn’t funny at the time, but it’s funny now. I go to do an intervention and the guy is just not having it. Leaves the house, he’s outside, he won’t talk to us. We go outside and I say to him, I say, “Listen buddy, I know you don’t know me …” and listen, every intervention, they don’t care about me. They care about their loved ones. I’m there to be the … I’m actually the object of hatred, you know? I seem to be the person that’s made a lot of problems.
Ruin them. Right, you’re going to ruin them.
“You’re ruining my life.” So you know, I understand that. And I said, “But I understand you don’t know who I am.” And he goes, “Let me stop you there. I don’t care who you are, and if you come near me I’m going to stab you.” And I said, “All right, I don’t want to be stabbed today.”
“We’ll talk to you later.”
“I’m going to be over here.”
Yeah. All types, all kinds. All right, well thank you for coming.
And again, I’ll reiterate that if you want to subscribe to the podcast we’re on YouTube and Sound …
SoundCloud, you know SoundCloud.
YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes, and something else. I’ll get better at this as we go along. But the next one is going to be Suboxone. And that’s going to be … This is more like an information thing, and I think it’s important because I think interventions are important. But the next one is going to be kind of, it could be a little bit brutal. And we’re probably going to have a couple of guests and there might be four of us that have kind of a heated conversation on what Suboxone looks like. So stay tuned.