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Executives & Addiction.

Why do executives turn to drugs or alcohol?

Positions as executives can involve a lot of stress and a constant demand to accomplish objectives beyond the scope of other employees.  It can be a life of never-ending deadlines which require ambition, drive, smarts, and management skills to make sure their staff provides their clients with the services they need while keeping everything within the budget.

Many executives thrive on their position and define themselves through their accomplishments.  They are rewarded for their work through salaries, promotions, and bonuses which can make the competition for these positions fierce.  Some executives may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the stresses of their job, and if their use turns into an addiction it may be hard for them to see how it is affecting their lives.

When it comes to addiction it is common for those around the addict to see the negative effects it is having on the user’s life before the user sees it themselves.  In these cases an intervention may be the most effective way to approach the executive and get them to agree to seek help for their substance abuse.

What is the Purpose of an Intervention for Executives?

An intervention, no matter who it is for, is a preplanned attempt to present a person with the consequences of their substance use and get them to agree to seek the help of treatment to deal with their problem.  It is generally orchestrated by family members, close friends, or in this case, co-workers.  In order for an intervention to be effective it needs to be carefully planned without the addict’s knowledge.

The executive intervention team is made up of co-workers and any other people who care for the user who are willing to participate.  The team should meet prior to the intervention to ensure that all preparations are made together and each member understands their role.  Treatment centers should be researched and arrangements should be made so that the addict can enter treatment immediately after the intervention if they are willing to go.  Each team member should prepare a statement based on their observations of how the addict’s substance use is negatively affecting their life and those around them.  In many cases the team will decide on consequences that will occur if the addict refuses to get help through the decided upon treatment center.

An intervention can be a highly charged and emotional situation, and the team should often consult with an intervention specialist during the planning stages.  In some circumstances the interventionist should be present at the intervention itself, as an intervention by definition is a crisis situation, and their professional experience can help to keep things in order.

What should one Expect at an Executives Intervention?  

It is impossible to know how a person will react when faced with an intervention.  Some addicts may be ready to get help and go to treatment willingly, while others may react with anger, agitation, resentment, and feel betrayed by the people who organized it.  For the best results everyone involved should prepare themselves emotionally for the worst case scenario.  The unfortunate truth is that not all interventions are successful, so the team should focus on preparation and execution rather than the results.

With the right planning by an intervention team that is confronting the executive out of real concern for their well-being, it can often be successful.  On the day of the intervention the team will assemble, present the user with their prepared statements, and outline the exact details of the treatment solution they are offering.  Any consequences that will happen to the executive if they are unwilling to enter rehab will be presented, and hopefully the addict will agree to treatment.