Intervention needed beloved husband is opiate addicted

Loriann Witte CAC, CNADI,  RAS
attending Life Style Intervention Conference 2012
Continuing Education Units
Learning what is the newest info on intervention & recovery
Notes between James Warder an intake councilor
for Wits End Interventions 949-292-2000
and the wife of an Opiate addict 
as we prepare for her husband's intervention.

     Thanks for getting back to me with an update on the events of yesterday. I'm so sorry you're going through such a difficult time right now and want you to know that I am here to support you if you need a shoulder to lean on. The spouse's efforts to get their addicted husband or wife professional help can be very lonely and isolated, mostly because of the secrets the addict insists we continue to keep. The way out of this predicament begins with shining the light of honesty and openness on the entire situation.

     Be sure to call Loriann later today when you have at least 30 minutes of privacy when you won't be overheard by your husband and listen carefully to what she has to say. She's not only a professional interventionist and licensed CD counselor, she' also the wife of an addict and as such has already walked a mile in your shoes. Her guidance and insights can be an invaluable resource to you right now.

     I urge you to keep an open mind about inpatient care.  Your instincts tell you to reason with him and help him see why his fear of inpatient treatment are unfounded. Remember the analogy concerning chemically induced insanity. The opiates operate on that part of the brain responsible for judgment, reason and common sense. It's almost like asking a four year old to make a sane responsible decision about their health care. Functionally he isn't much better off than a 4 year old when it comes to making
decisions about his drug use.

The euphoria of drug use is all
about altering brain chemistry
It does not just snap back to sanity
as the intoxication wears off
     We say, The addict's best thinking landed him in his current predicament so we shouldn't depend on him to make the best choice about treatment either. The bottom line is this . . . There's no such thing as over-reacting to an opiate addiction problem.  However; most times addicts under react and the result is multiple relapses and multiple trips to the ER, maybe to jail, and in the best of case back to rehabs. 

     I'd really like for your husband to get it right this time and make this the one and only time he needs to check-in at the inpatient level of care. To accomplish that he's going to have to take a leave of absence from work and enroll in a residential live-in program for at least 30 days.  Truthfully the longer they stay in a structure the better they do. 

     Since addicts almost never choose to do the right thing regarding chemical dependence treatment, the family intervention came about as a means to gain the addicts cooperation. But it's really not about forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do. It's more about presenting choices in such a way that we gain his cooperation. I call it "letting him have our way."

     I'll check in with you again after you speak with Loriann. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail or at the phone numbers below.

James Warder


       Thank you so much for your email.  Since we last spoke, I found a stash of his that he had in my kids' reach, and I had to deal with the situation immediately. I had him pack up his stuff, and leave the house. I told him that I would get him some information today about a place to go, but until then, I didn't want him to be around our small children. Some months ago, my young son, somehow found one of his pills that he dropped, and had to be rushed to the E.R., so I am very adamant about that not happening again.

     I am going to try to contact Loriann again later today, and our plans set. We have to book flights and get all of insurance and co-pay info for the treatment center.  I am at my Wits End in our marriage, and am consulting an attorney as well. I will not do anything in the near future, because I really want him to get the help he needs so that he can be a good father to our children. I love him, but am tired of the cycle of crazy that I've been in for so long.

     Thanks again so much for your emails and phone calls. I look forward to talking to Loriann later today. I have doctors' appointments for my children, so it will be later before I can be available to talk. I also listened to the message that you gave me, and it was very helpful. I will be in touch.



Dear Cynthia,

I spoke with Loriann Witte earlier this evening to find out if the two of you had made contact. She told me she hasn't heard back from you yet in response to the message she left earlier today. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I imagine the addict is masterfully manipulating the situation yet again. I remember well when I was in his shoes back in 2006. From my viewpoint back then, nothing was more unacceptable than someone or something interfering with my opiate supply and/or my opiate addiction.

I would beg, borrow, steal, plead, threaten, cajole . . . whatever it took to preserve the integrity of my supply and to avoid taking any definitive or meaningful action to address the fundamental underlying problem -- opiate addiction. I'm a dope fiend and your husband is a dope fiend. The difference is I'm in recovery now and he is not. I predict that his life (and your life by extension) will continue to be rather crazy and careen out of control unless and until you become willingly to go through with family intervention.  Intervention is probably the most likely on of the few ways he will agree to take a new direction with his life.  He so needs a chance to put himself back on the path of a normal life free of the destructive and devastating effects of addiction.

Detoxification with Suboxone, even Suboxone maintenance isn't enough.  These detox medications become just another drug of abuse without talk therapy, counseling, education, plus spending time in a structured environment.  As we say in the field: "detox isn't treatment, it's preparation for treatment." Addicts needs to face their demons and get at the root cause of his anxiety, fear, low self-esteem and low self-confidence that he's trying to mask with these powerful mind-altering chemicals. Opiates are no longer working for him anymore and there's no way on earth for him to go backward and use them in a responsible manner like he did at the beginning of this journey.

The only solution that works once he's crossed the line in the sand that is ADDICTION is to adopt a program of total abstinence from drugs and alcohol and to work a "program" where he figures out who he is and why he's here. We call it the "spiritual awakening" and it has nothing to do with religion, the Bible or even God. It's a personal realization of who we are, why we're here, and what we want to do with our lives. And it's scary as hell at first. But walking through that fear is well worth it. Believe me, it's far better than continuing the insanity as you and he know it today.

The pattern thus far is pretty typical. He isn't in enough emotional and physical pain from addiction yet. The operative word is "yet." The sad part is that his poor choices effect good people like you and your innocent children, who aren't blocking out the truth of 'how bad it really is' by medicating your pain with a powerful physical and emotional pain reliever like hydrocodone like he does. The point will come when the pain and anguish reach the breaking point for you and at that point change is may be possible. Our agency has been in operation for over 20 years and I'm sure we'll be here when and if he decides to get humble and to take direction from others who've already walked a mile in his shoes; those of us who are willing to show him how we did what we did. It isn't rocket science but does take some commitment, patience and practice on the part of the addict and their loved ones. If and when you get fed up with his shenanigans, you can hasten his arrival at the door to recovery through family intervention. We'll be here to help you with that too if you want us to.

When he's ready to get healthy and address the underlying problem, be sure to give us a call so we can get him connected with a good treatment program. As I mentioned in my voice mail to you, Loriann is not only a professional interventionist but also operates a small private clinic for opiate addicts in California  Her program director is a lady named Phyllis J Crowe MFT. Phyllis is active military and holds the rank of Captain in the Army reserves where she works as a psychologist. Both Loriann and Phyllis are happy to guide addicts and families to the help that they need. I'll be happy to put you in touch with either of them when you're ready. Until then, I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
There is a better life......Addicts do recovery