When the late singer Amy Winehouse rocketed to superstardom with her brassy, anti-temperance anthem “Rehab,” she and her devil-may-care attitude toward alcohol and excess were celebrated. The song and its refrain — “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said, ‘no, no, no…’” — gained ubiquity. In nightclubs, elevators, shopping malls, and drugstores the world over the tune played endlessly.
Yet, with all its swagger and defiance, the song, especially that refrain, would presage Winehouse’s decline and untimely death, which was caused by alcohol toxicity. As a result, a smirking, freewheeling anthem served as a grim commentary that highlights the necessity of addiction treatment. Her fate also begs this question: What if she had indeed gone to rehab and achieved sobriety?
The best way to get you or a loved one to go to rehab is by staging an intervention. Staging an effective intervention can indeed be life-saving. Read on to find out how to conduct one.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”
People in the throes of addiction typically exhibit physical signs and compulsive behaviors around their use. The signs can be quite obvious, and at other times they can be subtle. In an article published three years before Winehouse’s death, a Rolling Stone writer suggested that the singer’s surroundings resembled the life of someone in the throes of addiction:
All around her, Winehouse’s home is in disastrous disarray: Discarded bags of potato chips, crumpled nuggets of tinfoil, beer bottles, lingerie boxes, and scattered old credit cards tell of a long night that hasn’t ended in weeks, maybe months.
In any event, the following examples can serve as proof of a growing addiction:
If you recognize any of these signs in you or a loved one, it might be time to consider rehab.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses.
The DSM-5 outlines verified and evidenced criteria concerning addiction. According to the manual, if someone displays two of the following symptoms over 12 months, then they may have an addiction:
An intervention is one of the most effective tools for getting someone to go to rehab. An intervention occurs when people of value to the person struggling with an addiction gather to encourage him or her to seek treatment.
The Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) suggests that up to 90 percent of interventions succeed at getting the subject to go into treatment. The more effective the intervention, the better its chances of achieving its goal: getting that person to go to rehab.
All effective interventions, whether it is for alcohol or drugs, share key features that make them successful.
If you are intent on getting your loved one the help they need, you should consider and incorporate the following suggestions to maximize your chances at staging an effective intervention:
It’s important to understand that, even with the best intentions, interventions do not always go as planned. The important thing to remember is that an organized, efficient, well-planned, and objective intervention has a strong chance of convincing your loved one that they need treatment.
A professional recovery program for a substance addiction starts with acute treatment, where you or your loved one receives a medically supervised detox. A staff of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel oversee the detox, and the addictive substance and other toxins are removed from the body. Also, any withdrawal symptoms that arise are medically treated.
Depending on the severity and nature of the addiction, the next treatment step is typically clinical stabilization services, where you will receive therapy and counseling to help you get to the root of your addiction.
Clinical stabilization services can offer a range of treatment options, including:
You can receive additional counseling and therapy on a part-time basis in outpatient care, which can come after acute treatment or clinical stabilization.
After treatment, case managers help connect clients to recovery communities like 12-step, which provide long-term support and help prevent relapse.
These steps comprise the continuum of care, which offers clients holistic and multidimensional levels of treatment.This is the process for addictions to alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, or stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine.
Addiction Intervention. (2015, January 21). Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/content/addiction-intervention
Amy Winehouse inquest: Singer drank herself to death. (2013, January 08). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-20944431
Delphi Behavioral Health Group. (2019, January 08). Families Guide to Drug Addiction and Treatment Centers. Retrieved from https://delphihealthgroup.com/treatment-guide/
Hoffman, C., & Hoffman, C. (2018, June 25). Up All Night With Amy Winehouse. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/up-all-night-with-amy-winehouse-192275/
Medina, J. (2018, November 19). Revised Alcohol/Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/addictions/substance-use-disorder-symptoms/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics
What is an Intervention? Learn About Intervention. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.associationofinterventionspecialists.org/learn-about-intervention/