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News & Views - Dec, 1994 Issue #31 

INTERVENTION: REALITY ORIENTATION
by: CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR ASSOCIATES
Roy & Marlene Kupkowski
Atlanta, Georgia
404-320-6488 

Headed by President Marlene, a Certified Chemical Dependency Nurse, and Director Roy, a Certified Addiction Counselor, this business provides local and national intervention (including Mental Health Escort Services), Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Chemical Dependency Evaluations, DUI Evaluations, Employee Assistance Program Consultations, Family Assistance Program, and Drug Screening. The following was prepared for their brochure which describes their Intervention philosophy. 

"Until fairly recently, the idea of attempting to persuade an addicted person to reach out for help was held with little or no regard. The medical profession's attitude was that a dependent person could not be helped until he or she was ready and willing. Alcoholics Anonymous provides a Twelve Step program to reach out to the still suffering alcoholic, but primarily in a passive manner. 

"The advent of Dr. Vernon Johnson's book I'LL QUIT TOMORROW advocated the pro- active approach to confronting the addicted person with love and concern. Dr. Johnson's success in intervention work, and the success of students of his technique have shown that a chemically dependent person can be helped and recover before reaching their 'natural' bottom. 

"The basic concept behind intervention is that as a person's disease progresses, the effect of the mind-altering chemicals involved distorts the patient's perception of reality and the severity of his or her own disease. It would seem ludicrous to expect that a person under the influence could independently assess his or her own condition, determine treatment needs, and follow a course of recovery. 

"Hitting a 'natural' bottom often causes the person to reach out for help simply because of the sheer magnitude of the events involved. Loss of marriage, employment, finances, physical health, mental health, and serious legal problems often constitute the bottom. The danger involved is that these losses can often be absolute. 

"The process of intervention involves gathering concerned friends and relatives, educating them in the process, and then presenting this information in a loving, yet firm, manner. Presented properly, the person involved may correctly assess his or her situation and accept this opportunity for treatment. In the event the patient is still unwilling or unable to accept help, those involved describe the potential consequences of the decision. Misguided and inappropriate interventions can have devastating effects on all involved, and destroy an opportunity for reversal of a deadly disease. 

"Intervention is always successful to some degree regardless of the immediate outcome. The process educates the codependents, enables the patient to experience the love and concern of those involved, and provides the patient with knowledge about treatment and hope for recovery. Intervention by caring friends and relatives is usually successful. Negative outcomes can be prevented by proper education and training. Statistics from various sources nationally indicate an 80 percent success rate when professional intervention therapists guide concerned codependents through this often frightening process. 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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