A case study from Port of Call
After Jack, 19, from Bolton narrowly avoided a jail sentence for burglary, to fuel his crack addiction, his mother Barbara was desperate to get her son back. A call to Port of Call prompted a family intervention that was such a revelation to Jack that he signed up for rehab there and then.
I felt like a failure. Sat there in the court gallery, on the one hand relieved at the judge’s leniency, but on the other silently wondering if a tougher sentence might have been more helpful to Jack. As a mother, it doesn’t get much worse than seeing your child fall into bad company, experimenting with drugs, and ultimately battling a crack cocaine addiction that has ravaged all of our lives as a result.
After the trial, Jack behaved for a couple of weeks. He even promised to get treatment and kick his habit. I’d heard it all before but I truly wanted to believe it this time. Soon after, I was doing some washing and found a crack pipe in Jack’s jeans. I was furious. I couldn’t believe that even after he’d come so close to a prison stretch that he’d go back to the drugs. But, of course, I realised he was ill.
So, when I’d had a chance to calm down, I phoned Port of Call and talked to them about Jack’s problems. They asked me if I’d ever considered an intervention. Jacks two elder sisters had never been in trouble at all, so I had no other experience of dealing with a drug dependent child other than what I’d learnt those last six months. So I agreed to it. We’d all rally together as a family to help Jack come through his problems.
Port of Call put us in touch with a team of professionals who would run our intervention. They advised us to get an intervention team together, arrange a suitable venue where Jack would feel comfortable, and talked us through a treatment plan. So myself, Jack’s two sisters, Gemma (his girlfriend) and grandma would all be involved, with the help of our counsellor.
Unbeknown to Jack, that weekend’s visit to see his gran was when we’d make the intervention. When he saw us all there, with the counsellor, he tried to bolt. But we managed to persuade him to stay. We’d all written notes, so while Jack sat fidgeting on the sofa, we each took our turn telling him how his actions had affected us each personally, our hopes for him after treatment, and the consequences if he refused to get clean. Mine read: ‘I’m at my wits end. I hope to have my son back. If he won’t get help I’ll have to reluctantly ask him to live elsewhere.’
Even that didn’t seem to stir Jack. It wasn’t until his gran told him how disappointed she was, and that the elderly lady that he’d burgled was around the same age as her, that he cracked. He broke down and cried, telling us all that he was sorry for everything that he’d done. After a lot of tears, and hugs, we gave Jack his treatment plan and got him to promise to go through with it.
Once again, Port of Call were on the end of the line to help us to get Jack booked into a rehabilitation clinic. Jack went to rehab and followed his treatment plan to the letter. I’m so proud of him because it’s been a really tough experience for him. He’s been home for just a few weeks now but already I can see signs of the old Jack returning the one who made us laugh so much before this nightmare happened. Without the help of Port of Call, and our intervention, I wouldn’t even want to think where Jack might have ended up.
Disclaimer: Names and certain details have been changed to protect the identity of case study participants.
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