Addiction Intervention Case Study I - Jonathan

At the time of his intervention, Jonathan was a 46-year-old man living in Suburban Maryland. He had recently been divorced due to his excessive drinking and inability to hold steady employment. Jonathan was a father of two school-aged children who were then living with their mother in Washington, D.C. Per the terms of their custody agreement, he saw his children every other weekend.   

Jonathan had avoided a criminal record, despite having been pulled over for a traffic violation while driving under the influence. He was not what some may describe as a low bottom drunk, however, the quality of his life was on a consistent downward trajectory. 

When South Florida Intervention was contacted to assist the family with intervention and getting Jonathan into treatment his life had become mostly isolated. Thirty pounds underweight, he could often be heard making statements regarding his persistent state of depression and hopelessness.

Through a series of interviews with family members and friends, South Florida Intervention was able to determine an ideal treatment setting for Jonathan in Arizona. The selected rehab center would ultimately provide Jonathan with a comfortable environment and a feeling of safety.

On the morning of the intervention, there was a palpable feeling of nervousness in the room. Some wondered aloud, “what if Jonathan refused to accept treatment”, or if he would be so overcome with anger that he would decide to cut off his family forever. The interventionist assured the family that, even if Jonathan was angry, he would eventually come to see the day's events as an act of love and kindness. 

Jonathan entered the room as many in his condition do; surprised but not angry. The interventionist leads Jonathan to his seat, which had been reserved for him in between his parents and within arm's length of his ex-wife. Former spouses are a frequent fixture at interventions, because of the couple’s long history together and shared responsibility as co-parents. 

He sat quietly and listened intently as the intervention letters were read. Jonathan nodded in agreement during the readings and even appeared to be at ease. While many interventions can be quite challenging, even when the addicted person desires help, it’s not uncommon for an individual to welcome the intervention and the forthcoming treatment.

In many cases, the addicted individual is so exhausted from years of hiding their addiction(s) that they are relieved when the time comes that they can finally relieve themselves of their double life. When this happens the weight of the world seems to melt off their shoulders and hope can be seen rushing back into their soul. Some people don’t even ask where or when they are going; they are simply ready.

Jonathan had a few questions, which the interventionist answered with ease as he was also a person in long-term recovery. Following the intervention, most of the family members hugged Jonathan and wished him well.  He then quickly departed as instructed. Soon, the only people remaining were the interventionist and Jonathan’s ex-wife; who stayed to help him pack a suitcase.

An hour later Jonathan and the interventionist were in an Uber en route to the airport. In the car they shared stories and got to know each other. Before long they arrived at the rehab center outside of Phoenix where Jonathan was admitted.

During his 60 days in treatment, Jonathan experienced several ups and downs. He confronted problems that had long been suppressed by alcohol and denial. Treatment is never easy for anyone and requires a lot of hard work.  

Fast forward three years later and Jonathan is sober and excelling personally and professionally. He sees his children almost every weekend and, if he’s not traveling for work, usually once during the week. When you ask Jonathan about the person he was before, he always says, it’s funny, I couldn’t even imagine picking up a drink today.



AGE & GENDER: 46; Male

OCCUPATION: Journalist 

DIAGNOSIS: Alcoholic  

TREATMENT: 60 days of residential 



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