People, places, things - Wyndhams - Drug and Alchol Addiction

Calling in and Cushioning Drug and Alcohol Treatment


People Places Things - Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Denise Gough in Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things

Witnessing the Cycle of Addiction

About mid semester last fall, I was exercising my favorite method of procrastination: reading plays that I might produce post-grad. All of my friends who had been abroad in London last year were raving about Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places, and Things. I had gotten my hands on a copy and snuggled up on a couch on the second floor of the CFA.

The play followed an addict, Emma, who committed herself to a drug and alcohol treatment center. Emma refuses to admit she’s an addict from the beginning, and resists the program, believing herself to be above it. Once she’s released, she comes back some time later, begging for help and finally seeing the way her addiction runs her life. In the final scene of the play, Emma returns to her home. And everything we believed about Emma is turned upside down.

Although we have just seen one cycle of this behavior, her family has bared witness to it for most of her life. When Emma attempts to apologize, her mother reminds her of the time she stabbed her when her mother attempted to flush her stash of drugs down the toilet. Her parents’ sympathy for her has run dry. She guilted, manipulated and used her family too often for their relationship to ever really heal.

People, Places and Things - On Stage
Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things

How to Know When To Call In for Help with Drug and Alcohol Abuse 

More often than not, families of addicts don’t know when to say enough is enough. Despite all the common portrayals of addiction, when a loved one becomes an addict, empathy and pity are a valid response. Seeing a loved one in pain is horrible, and doling out second chances is tempting.

But when nothing seems to create a long term change, what does one do?

It seems like calling in for professional interventionist help may be necessary, but how can one be sure? That’s when tools like an intervention quiz become vital. These quizzes can help contextualize one’s experience and see if professional intervention is what your family needs.

Do you feel like you often sacrifice your own needs to help your loved one?

Does your loved one make you feel guilty often?

Do you feel responsible for your loved one’s behavior?

Does your loved one depend on you (or others close to them) for financial support?

These are just a few of the questions from Family First Intervention’s quiz. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, I would strongly suggest taking the quiz.

People Places and Things - Drug and Alcohol AbuseDuncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things

Unknowing Cushions of Addiction 

The painful truth of it is that addicts were family first, and it’s difficult to resist enabling them. To support their addiction, they will convince their loved ones to believe that they are capable of helping themselves. This so often turns people into unknowing enablers. Family members become cushions to support their addiction, not their recovery. It’s understandable, but at the end of the day, it can be fatal. In situations like this, addicts and families need professional interventionists to aid them in effective and long-term recovery.

None of us want to look at our loved ones and find our reserves of love depleted.


For more resources, refer to the Family First Intervention’s website.



3 thoughts on “Calling in and Cushioning Drug and Alcohol Treatment”

  1. I think the part about being financially dependent is really important. When people come to you for money constantly, something is probably wrong.

  2. I agree it can be very difficult to stop a family member, but utilizing this quiz is a great way to help, very informative post, thank you!

  3. This is very fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

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