An Early Intervention Service is a strategic move to displace the addiction before it merges with the personality of the adolescent addict. This may sound dramatic, but it is also a repetitive theme in the language of many recovering adult addicts.
We want to convince the young addict to allow themselves time in sobriety so they can develop their inner tools for life. To do this, however, they need to be able to handle the issues and discomfort hiding beneath the addiction, and that takes skill. Even though these skills are tough enough to learn, they are even harder to finance as a teen!
Learning to manage and be responsible for their feelings and actions becomes their introduction into the world of adulthood. We need to create a compassionate environment populated by non-stressed adults who are able to communicate that it is possible to go through their feelings and get to the other side. Huh?
The adolescent does not know what is on the other side of their feelings! If they never make it past their feelings, they will miss out on their own insights. If they have been using recently, however, we advise them to remain neutral about the ideas that bounce around in their head -- until the drugs are completely removed from their system.
For some, this means focusing on something else. Counting breaths is always a good exercise. It helps young people learn how to ground themselves; it also builds their capacity to fully experience their innate human connection with others, which is a key to recovery. Inhale. . . Exhale. The most powerful tools are the ones simple enough to remember during a crisis.
Early Intervention in the progression of an addict's development contains two critical components:
- The external interruption of the destructive cycle of self-abuse.
- The internal interruption of the destructive cycle of self-abuse.
What do I mean by that?
External interruption is what most people think of when they visualize the activities of an Early Interventionist. The family and other affected participants, who all care deeply about the addict, communicate to the addict in a way that is new for them.
Ground rules for communication include understanding how to take responsibility for expressing highly-charged feelings. This is a cathartic release for many people, yet at the same time it is a discipline. Too often, families and addicts both have not been able to talk constructively to anyone about what is really bothering them!
Internal interruption, however, is different. Remember, we are talking specifically about Early Intervention Programs at the moment. Many adults, not just parents, forget what it feels like to live with a brain that is still developing. Adolescent habits are not yet fully-formed. We interrupt the internal environment of the addiction by teaching them how to build up their internal resources. These are essential defenses against addiction and are critical to any successful long-term recovery.
Early Intervention Program
We understand that their difficulties are not completely determined by their current "personality," because the brain tissues that influence personality can be both damaged and regenerated, although the healing part takes a lot of time.
Many young people have never really thought about the practical consequence of physical brain damage, even though the connection between drug abuse and brain cell death is well established.
My program for an early intervention is built on the concept of establishing the motivation of love as the driving force in the Early Intervention Service. The teen addict slowly understands the impact of external chemicals on what is happening in their still-developing minds:
We offer your loved one help at every turn of this unfolding realization.
- We offer teen addicts ways to transform their experiences; we help them into an adulthood that they can look forward to shaping with their Creative Vision.
There is none among us who has not suffered pain and loss; our differences amount to nothing more than the skill with which we apply inner resources to manage our pain and loss. It's time to stop blaming addict teens and start teaching them how to develop their inner resources.
The best way for me to tell you how I help you with a loved one and if an early intervention is the best course of action for you is to have you contact us for a free consultation. Please do so today.