It can be tough to imagine that high-status, successful business executives could struggle with drug and alcohol abuse, but it happens often. Some high-level executives begin to see their professional — and personal — successes slipping away due to substance use disorder.
Thankfully, professional interventions can help executives recognize the need for treatment. If your high-level coworker is struggling with substance abuse, setting up an intervention is one of the most caring, helpful choices you can make to steer them toward getting the help that they need.
In a traditional intervention, family and friends sit down with a person who is living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. With the help of a trained interventionist, those close to the person living with addiction explain how the issue is affecting them. They offer care and support and request that the person make the decision to go to treatment.
Objections that the person could have to attend treatment (such as needing childcare, issues with taking time off of work, pet care, etc.) are thought through and taken care of ahead of time, making it easier for the person in question to say yes to attending treatment.
While some interventions come with an ultimatum (get treatment or your family and friends can no longer support or see you), this is not always the case. A professional interventionist can help loved ones develop the strategy most effective for helping the person suffering from addiction get the treatment that they need.
It can be hard to tell when an executive intervention is necessary, especially if you only see your coworker during work hours. Some signs that they may need help include:
An intervention for executives has the same end goal as a standard intervention, but the setting and circumstances may look a little bit different. Executive interventions may be held in a professional setting, rather than in someone’s home.
Often, high-performing executives who live with substance use disorder feel that they are “getting by” or “doing ok” because they’re still successful at work. Executives living with addiction may think they’re hiding their issues from coworkers and supervisors. Sometimes, people in this scenario have already been approached by family and friends who want them to try substance abuse treatment. An executive intervention staged by coworkers and superiors may be received differently than an intervention put together by family and friends.
One of the biggest roadblocks for someone in this scenario getting treatment may be falling behind at work. They may wonder what their supervisors would think, or if their job would be waiting for them after they complete treatment. An executive intervention provides a safe space to ask and answer those questions, with the aid of a professional interventionist.
Confidentiality is an important part of an executive intervention. It may make sense for those in the room to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that the matter discussed will remain private. This can provide the person suffering from addiction with the reassurance they need to open up and share their struggles. It may also be valuable to have a story planned for the company to explain the person’s absence during treatment (working overseas, taking a sabbatical, tending to family issues out of state, etc.).
During an executive intervention, superiors can make it clear to the person with addiction that they are extremely valuable to the company, and that their job will be there for them when they finish treatment.
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One of the most important parts of a successful professional intervention is choosing the people in the room carefully. A professional interventionist can help you decide who should take part in the intervention.
For high-powered professionals, reputation is often a concern. If their addiction has reached the stage where an intervention is necessary, it’s likely that their reputation has already taken a hit, and many people in the company are aware of their substance abuse problem. The intervention is not the time to let them know that their secret is out in the open. Keeping the intervention circle small (perhaps a supervisor, close co-workers, and a small handful of work friends) allows the person to feel comfortable and safe.
Your professional interventionist will also work with you to choose the time that makes the most sense for an intervention. Your company’s schedule may influence when the person living with addiction would feel most comfortable stepping away to take some time for treatment.
If you think that your loved one may be in crisis, it’s important that you don’t want to get help. At Addiction Interventions, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today for a free consultation with a trained interventionist. We believe in your loved one’s ability to get well — contact us today to learn more.