COVID-19 Update

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COVID-19 Update

The Director and CQC Registered Manager with Staff in agreement have today (23rd March 2020) made the decision to temporarily close East Coast Recovery Ltd. with immediate effect, as a direct result of the COVID-19 Crisis.

The well-being of clients and staff was the primary consideration in coming to the decision to close temporarily until it is deemed safe to re-open. At this time we are unable to give an indication of how long East Coast recovery Ltd. will remain temporarily closed.

The management team believe temporary closure is the only way for East Coast recovery Ltd. to comply with its responsibilities as a service provider and employer.

Risk assessments have been carried out for each client currently residing with us, and the safest possible exit plan is being implemented for each client.

We will update this statement as more information becomes available.

Lester Morse
Rehab Director

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The Journey To Recovery

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Intervention The Journey To Recovery - The Journey To Recovery

The Journey To Recovery

After a successful intervention, the journey of recovery begins for the whole family. With the alcoholic safely in treatment, a next phase of the process is underway. Some family members will think their job is over. They will say, “It’s up to him now. We’ve done all we can,” But that is far from the truth. Although the family cannot make the addict recover, they can play an important role in the journey of recovery.

First, the family can help keep the alcoholic remain focused during the treatment process. It is not uncommon for the patient to want to leave early, giving a long list of rationalizations and excuses. But the intervention team must remain firm. If an agreement was reached with the alcoholic for 28 days of treatment, then he or she must be held to the promise. If the clinical team at the treatment center is recommending a halfway house after discharge, the family should support the recommendation.

Many patients try to manipulate the weakest member of the intervention team, trying to gain their sympathy for an early discharge. “I’m bored in here. I’ve learned everything. I’ll never drink again. I need to get back to my work.” If you are being manipulated in this manner by the alcoholic, call one of the other members of the intervention team immediately and talk over the situation. Call all the other members of the team as well, and let them know that your beloved alcoholic is trying to abort the treatment process. When you continue to act as a team, and keep the lines of communication open, you will greatly enhance the chances for successful recovery.

One of the best signs that an addict is going to do well after treatment is the ability to follow the recommendations of the counseling staff. If the alcoholic is not willing to complete treatment, for example, the chances for long-term recovery are slim.

The second thing that the intervention team can do is to participate in the family program. It is likely that the treatment center you have chosen has a program that everyone can attend. Whenever possible, all members of the intervention team should make a commitment to complete this program. Besides gaining invaluable knowledge and experience, the team members will also be modeling appropriate behavior. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of having to explain to the alcoholic why he has to complete his program when you don’t have time for yours. It’s a recipe for disaster.

If you have been associated or living with the alcoholic, the family program will be immensely helpful to you. It will give you many insights into the struggles you have had over the years, and it will help you to understand the recovery process in greater depth.

If children have been living in the alcoholic household, it is critical that they also receive appropriate care. They are often the silent victims of this disease, and they must be brought into the healing process as soon as possible. If the treatment program you have selected does not have a program for children (ages 5 — 17), ask for a recommendation for an outpatient therapist who specializes in this area. For more information on this important topic, contact the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA).

Thirdly, friends and family who have participated in the intervention should begin attending their own 12 Step programs. There are several to choose from, including Al-Anon, Naranon, and Families Anonymous. Once again, it is vital for the addict to see that the family is taking action, and working on their own recovery.

Once the alcoholic is in treatment, I often hear questions from families concerning financial help and related issues. Here is a typical example: “Won’t we be enabling if we pay his car payment while he is in treatment?” My answer to all such questions is simple. If the alcoholic is doing everything that he is supposed to do, according to the clinical team at the treatment center, then the family should be doing everything they can do to support the long-term recovery process. If a person is in treatment, they may not have the resources to pay their bills. As long as they are moving in the right directions, the family should support them, within the reasonable limits of the family’s finances.

On the other hand, you may hear the alcoholic say, “I don’t want to go to the halfway house. Lend me some money so I can get my own apartment. I promise I’ll go to AA.” In this case, the patient is going against the recommendations of the treatment team. Although he is probably not aware of it, he is sabotaging his recovery before he ever gets out of treatment. Under these circumstances, financial help should not be given.

Recovery is an activity for the whole family. If the addict is married, the couple should agree to go to at least one meeting a week together. It is not hard to find AA and Al-Anon groups that meet at the same time. Alternatively, the couple can agree to attend at least one “open” AA meeting per week. Many communities have AA and Al-Anon club houses that host many meetings every week. Becoming involved in the larger recovering community in your town is one of the best ways to insure long term recovery.

Finally, in the event of a relapse, the intervention team can play an important role in a return to recovery. In our book Love First, we address the concept of a relapse agreement:

As soon as the relapse happens, the team should reassemble and make plans to talk to the addict about the next steps, as identified in the agreement. Detoxification may be necessary, along with a re-commitment to outpatient counseling and 12 Step groups. In any case, the alcoholic needs to know that the family is continuing to support him in his recovery. All the while, family members should continue with their own support groups. However, it is important to ignore advice that says, “there’s nothing you can do about it.” While it may be true that you cannot control another person, there is a great deal that can be done to influence a person, and to clear a realistic pathway to recovery.

Regardless of any temporary setbacks, recovery is an ongoing process that brings joy and fulfillment back to life. While trapped in the bondage of addiction, both the addict and the family become hopeless and frustrated. Beginning with the intervention process, hope is rekindled and the journey of recovery begins. Addiction isn’t something that happens overnight, and neither is recovery. Your loved one may experience an emotional roller coaster, and regularly plummet through the whole range of human feelings during the course of a day. This is not unusual given the tremendous changes that are demanded by this new way of life. As many people have said: “Recovery is simple: you just have to change everything.” The best antidote to these problems is regular AA attendance, along with a good sponsor.

The promises of recovery are great, and they are memorialized in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. In the following passage, we hear first hand experience about what is to come for newly recovering alcoholics.

It is impossible to know at the beginning of a journey what obstacles may come along the way. Nor is it necessary to know. That is why so many people rely on the famous maxim: One Day at a Time. You can rely on this wisdom. A person only becomes sober and stays sober a day at a time. And so too with the family.

Recently, I heard from a family who had carried out a structured intervention a little over a year ago. At the time, they were nearly overcome by anxiety and fear. Many of them believed that the intervention would be unsuccessful, and that a divorce was inevitable.

What a difference a year makes! The alcoholic is sober, and she has continued outpatient counseling and become involved with the recovering community. The family is together and the marriage has solidified. The children are back on track in school, and their behavior is returning to normal. Family activities are a pleasure again, instead of a nightmare. Most importantly, anger and fear have exited the home, with hope and healing taking their place.

I have had the good fortune to witness many such miracles in my work. Indeed, I would not be here today if my family had not had the courage to intervene on me in 1981. I believe in the process of intervention, treatment, and recovery because it has saved my life. If you are worried about someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs, I urge you to take action. There is a great deal you can do to help yourself and those you love. You will not be alone on your journey, and you will find that many people will be there to help you, once you reach out for help.

Keep it simple, follow the directions, and trust the process. You may be able to save someone’s life, as my parents saved mine.


This article is featured with permission. © 2000 by Jeff Jay. Excerpts from “Love First” copyright © 2000-2008 Jeff Jay and Debra Jay. Excerpts from “Alcoholics Anonymous” copyright ©1939, 1955, 1976 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Jeff Jay & Debra Jay provide additional resources including Videos & Podcasts at Love First

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Intervention Day

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Addiction Intervention Day - Intervention Day

Intervention Day

It’s show time. After all the planning and preparation, it’s finally time for the team to swing into action. The letters have been written and edited, the funding for treatment has been verified, and all contingencies have been covered. There are a thousand details large and small that go into planning an intervention, and when the big day comes, they all must be in order. However, one thing cannot be avoided: High Anxiety.

Everyone will be nervous. The most uncomfortable part of the whole process will be the hour just before the intervention. The intervention itself will probably go smoothly. In my experience, everything tends to fall into place after the couple of minutes. But until the show is underway, last minute jitters are the order of the day.

Most members of the intervention team will start seriously second-guessing themselves (and the process) in the hour before the intervention. “I don’t think this is going to work,” one will say. “Dad is going to get too mad.” Another will worry that the alcoholic will never forgive the intrusion. “He’s going to feel like we’re ambushing him.” Still others will start to rationalize why they shouldn’t be involved, saying, “I’ve had a few drinks with Marie over the years. Who am I to say something.” Or, “I’m just not sure this is a good idea.”

There is no getting around the stress and anxiety. It’s natural, and it’s part of the reason that intervention demands courage on the part of the team. This is not an easy thing to do, and everyone will naturally have doubts and fears. It’s true that interventions are successful 85% of the time in getting the person into treatment that day, but when that day comes, the odds might not seem quite good enough.

I like to remind families in the final hour that they are being powerful instruments of love in this process. The alcoholic is locked in denial, and without help from the intervention team, the addict will likely remain addicted until serious consequences, or death, finally intervene. It is important in the moments leading up to the intervention for each member of the team to have faith in the process and to focus on the loving action in which they are going to take as a group. “Keep praying!” I often tell them, and if there is ever a time when the maxim “pray without ceasing” makes perfect sense, this is the time.

The nuts and bolts of intervention day are straight forward. All the necessary plans will have already been made, so now is the time for follow-through. The team should meet at least 30 minutes before the intervention. Usually, the team will be able to meet at the location of the intervention, with the alcoholic coming along at the appointed time. For example, the alcoholic may believe that he is coming over to his parents’ house with his wife for brunch at 10 o’clock on Sunday morning. In that case, all the members of the team should meet at the house between 9 and 9:30. It’s a good idea to have something to eat and drink, to help deal with the anxiety. Juices are better than caffeinated beverages, but I never try to press the issue on intervention day. When the intervention is taking place, I will often ask that a glass of orange juice be placed within easy reach of the alcoholic, in case he wants a sip of something during the process.

Team members may want to review their letters once again. It sometimes happens that an event from the night before will be added to a letter if the alcoholic has been acting out. Always be careful that no anger or blame be allowed to creep into the text.

Little touches can help to put people at ease. Interventions can become tearful events, and I like to see that several boxes of Kleenex are available around the room. People should also be seated comfortably, and in a fairly intimate circle. Details like bathroom breaks should all be taken care of before the intervention. Once the process is begun, there should be no interruptions whatsoever. Phones should be silenced, pagers turned off, and everyone’s attention should be focused on the task at hand.

Seating arrangements for the intervention are described in some detail in our book, “Love First,” but in general only a couple of rules need to be followed. First, be sure that the most influential and non-threatening person is seated next to the addict. Second, if there is a person who has a particularly contentious relationship with the alcoholic (perhaps a spouse), they should be off to one side.

It is the leader’s or chairperson’s job to keep everyone on track and positive before the intervention, just as they will direct the intervention meeting itself. The chairperson does not need to be controlling in this regard, but their demeanor will set the tone for the group. A calm and purposeful air will be most helpful during the process. On the other hand, in the moments before the intervention starts, a little good hearted humor is often just what the doctor ordered.

The intervention will unfold quite naturally after the first minute. When the alcoholic first arrives at the location (the Sunday brunch, let’s say), it is immediately apparent that something different is going on. The alcoholic will see immediately that there are more people present than he expected. Indeed, he may see a sister who lives a thousand miles away, or a friend who wouldn’t be expected at a family gathering. In any case, the alcoholic will know in one split second that brunch is not on the menu, and that alcohol is the main order of business.

Initially, their defenses will go sky high. But this will only last for a few moments. In our current example of an alcoholic male, I would ideally like to see his mother greet him at the door with a big hug. She should say, “Honey, we need to talk,” and without ever letting go, walk him over to the couch and sit down right next to him. At this point, the rest of the team will take their seats.

The chairperson will make a brief opening statement, such as: “Mike, we’re all here because we love you and we’re worried about you. Everyone has written down what they want to say to you, and we just want you to listen for a few minutes.” The alcoholic will reluctantly agree, and the letters will begin.

Then the miracle. The alcoholic will have been very defensive up to this point, but then he will hear the letters. As noted in the previous article, each letter begins with a heart-felt memory, recalling when the alcoholic has been especially helpful or when they have been a source of pride. These statements are the exact opposite of what the addict is expecting to hear, and the result is wonderful. Defenses go down, tears often flow, and the door is opened to understanding.

Because the letters have all been written in a careful and loving manner, their effect is repeated again and again as the intervention proceeds. The alcoholic’s denial will weaken, and a marked change will usually be seen in his expression. Only a brief pause should separate one letter from the next. The entire process of reading the letters often takes less than fifteen minutes.

After the letters are read, the chairperson once again speaks for the group. First, the chair will ask if the addict is ready to accept help. The alcoholic will usually ask questions about the treatment, and the chair will provide details. If the alcoholic has objections to treatment, the chair and the chair alone will answer them. It is best to avoid cross-talk, and to let the chairperson handle the issues as they arise. The team should have planned in advance for every possible objection, so there are usually no surprises.

The chairperson does not need to be in a hurry to answer any of the objections. It’s often best to keep a slow and steady pace when answering, and to insert a silent pause between the alcoholic’s objection or question and the chair’s answer. This adds a note of calm to the meeting, and also keeps control with the chairperson.

If the alcoholic tries to pick a fight or escalate emotions, it is critical that no one take the bait. The addict may know intuitively that if they can start a fight, the intervention will disintegrate into squabbling. It is vital that the team stick to the plan, and that no one respond in anger at any time. The chairperson will field all questions, and keep the group on track.

In most cases, the alcoholic will agree to treatment. At the moment of agreement, everyone should immediately get to their feet and give the alcoholic a hug or a pat on the back. This action has the effect of sealing the deal, and putting the process into its next phase.

Plans should already be in place to admit the addict to a treatment center immediately. A small bag should be packed, and every necessity covered. It’s best if the entire intervention team can go to the center for admission, to make sure that the alcoholic’s commitment does not waver.

On the way to the treatment center, the alcoholic will probably not want to chat. Often the intervention team is relieved and elated, and they want to talk. However, the alcoholic’s wishes should be respected in this regard.

During the admission process, financial matters should be handled by the family, whenever possible. If there is a co-pay or deductible that must be paid, it is usually best not to ask the alcoholic for funds. However, there are times when the alcoholic must pay for their own treatment. The intervention team must develop a strategy to handle this matter gracefully. Otherwise, the intervention can be derailed at the time of admission.

At the time of admission, the alcoholic will have to sign releases, so that members of the team can participate in the family program. It is important that this detail not be overlooked, and while it is the job of the treatment professionals to accomplish this task, it doesn’t hurt for the family to make sure.

After the admission process is complete, and the intervention team is on its way home, it’s often a good idea to have a little de-briefing. Here the team can get together once again to talk over the events of the day, and to reiterate their plans for participation in Al-Anon and the family program. It’s always good to have a few words at the end, and to reaffirm everyone’s commitment to the long-term recovery process.

I always say that there is no such thing as an unsuccessful intervention, because if nothing else, the enabling system will have turned into an intervening system, and the alcoholic’s drinking will have been ruined for all times.

However, there are times when the alcoholic will refuse treatment. In these cases it is my experience that the addict will finally accept treatment within the next 90 days. This is because their life will become unmanageable without a good enabling system, and treatment will start to look better all the time.

When the alcoholic refuses to enter treatment immediately, it is even more important for the team to meet after the intervention for de-briefing. It will be important at this time to reaffirm the team’s unity of purpose, and continued focus on the issues. There should be no second-guessing, but rather a commitment to follow through on the plan. If there are bottom lines, they must be carried out. If the alcoholic has agreed to a secondary recommendation, such as outpatient treatment, this must be pursued. By dismantling the enabling system, the team will continue to make progress. In most cases though, these contingencies won’t be necessary.

If you have followed the directions laid out in “Love First” carefully, it is very likely that your loved one will accept the help that is being offered. The process doesn’t stop there, however. In the final article, we will look at other important issues, including what to do if the addict tries to abort the treatment process. I know that when I was in treatment, I was a very uncooperative patient, and I wanted to leave every day. As we close out this series, I will give you some tips on how to deal with treatment and aftercare issues.


This article is featured with permission. © 2000 by Jeff Jay. Excerpts from “Love First” copyright © 2000-2008 Jeff Jay and Debra Jay.

Jeff Jay & Debra Jay provide additional resources including Videos & Podcasts at Love First

Get Love First FREE Audiobook

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