Interventions- The First Step

By Debbie Perkins

Interventions- The First Step

I am a Nationally Certified Interventionist. An Interventionist is the individual who helps to identify the appropriate people in the addicts life who will become an influential part of a recovery team. I was in active addiction for thirty five years due to sexual abuse as a child. I had an arrest count in the double digits and several prison terms. My substance abuse was contributed to my traumatic past which included my parent’s suicide, a rape, and death in general.

The reason I am so good at what I do is because of where I came from and where I am now in my life. Being an Interventionist is the gift I was blessed with to help other people who are struggling with addiction. I have been to several treatment centers, and I only work with a select few whose program models what it takes to get sober. A good interventionist will not only work with someone to get them into a good treatment center, but also help them all the way through their recovery. There are many elements in doing an intervention that have to be addressed in order for the person in active addiction to learn how to get sober. The family has to be on board and stop enabling and allow the treatment center to do their job.

I own a transition house for women and also work with men’s halfway houses. These houses provide the structure that someone in early recovery needs. They provide life skills, help with employment and coping skills, in order to become a productive member of society.

I did a lot of damage in my addiction and it took a lot of work for me to be able to stay sober. I had to learn how to forgive the person who abused me and ask for forgiveness from all of those who I had hurt. Early recovery is a painful process, but if the person really  sets their mind to work on their drug use and the underlying issues, they then will have a chance to find peace and happiness in sobriety.

I tell my story often because it shows people in early recovery that if I can get sober, then anyone can. I will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree; and I am on the Phi Theta Kappa presidents list and dean’s list. I own Acme Ranches Transition house for women and I am a certified life coach for family members with loved ones in active addiction or early recovery. I also co –authored a book called “Dare to be Authentic” which will be published early next year. My goal is to help anyone with addiction problems get the help they need, and to stay sober- one day at a time.

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