Joe Capela reveals his personal history with drug and alcohol addiction that led to a $400/day cocaine habit, and how an intervention saved his life. Joe now helps other families intervene in their loved one’s lives and offers them a solution from a…

Joe Capela reveals his personal history with drug and alcohol addiction that led to a $400/day cocaine habit, and how an intervention saved his life. Joe now helps other families intervene in their loved one’s lives and offers them a solution from a place of love and compassion, instead of blame and frustration, that helps them get their lives and relationships back on track.

  • Tim tells the story of Robert and his brother who struggled with addiction, asking the question about whether it was right to kick his brother out of his house and stop being an enabler.
  • Joe was in denial regarding his addiction and it took a family intervention to get him into recovery. He wasn’t happy initially but a few days into treatment he realized the intervention saved his life.
  • Setting boundaries is easy, keeping those boundaries is the challenge. When families hire Joe to intervene, it’s as much for the family and helping them establish boundaries and make a shift in the family dynamic.
  • Joe grew up in California and looking back on his childhood he always believed his family didn’t have an addiction problem, even though he exhibited that behaviour early on.
  • Even after graduating, getting married and having kids, Joe still enjoyed the party life. He recalls the moment he first tried cocaine was the beginning of the end. What started as a once a month cocaine habit eventually became a $400 a day habit.
  • Joe never realized that he had a drug problem, he thought he had a marriage and a financial problem. When he was in treatment he realized that those problems were actually a direct result of his drug problem.
  • Joe entered into an outpatient problem in 1986 where he managed to complete the one-year program, but not while clean and sober. Three years later Joe was intervened on again and went into a residential program at that point. He’s been clean and sober since.
  • They started by chipping away at his denial and helping Joe realize the extent of his cocaine and alcohol addiction.
  • One of the initial motivations of starting treatment was for Joe to save his marriage, but on the 26th day of the program, his wife informed him that she was filing for divorce. That day was when Joe tried to leave and finally understood the meaning of surrendering. Surrendering to the process and being willing to take suggestions is the reason that Joe is clean and sober today.
  • Many people that get clean want to work in the field and help other people recover as well. For Joe, he felt the call after getting sober and decided to quit working in the automotive industry to go back to school and train to work in a treatment facility. Joe set a 5-year goal for himself and managed to work in the same center he recovered in at the two-year mark.
  • He has since worked at several treatment centers around the world. When Joe got started there weren’t very many interventionists in the world and he never intended to be one. When he went to work with the County he started exploring the interventionist path and fell in love with it.
  • The time to call an interventionist is when you recognize there is a problem. If you have someone who has relapsed or failed treatments, that’s when it makes sense to bring in a professional to help facilitate the process.
  • Joe’s approach to intervening is from a place of love and concern, with no shaming or blaming involved.
  • By the time a family gives Joe a call, they have already tried intervening on their own. They’ve set boundaries but they couldn’t keep them because the family dynamic is usually too close. The trouble is there is a window of opportunity early on and waiting to call an interventionist can cause you to miss that window.
  • When it comes to interventionists, your best bet is to find someone who has experience with the work.
  • A common fear for families is that if they set a boundary the person they are trying to help will kill themselves, and while that is a risk the addict is already killing themselves. By setting the boundary you are at least giving the addict a chance.
  • Joe is trained in multiple models of intervention and it really depends on the family dynamics that determine how he goes about working with people. Joe also brings in the family to help deal with their own issues because addiction is a family disease.
  • It’s crucial for the family to go out and find their own support. Most people don’t understand mental health disorders or how to deal with them.
  • Joe is available to the family up to six months after an intervention and will travel to wherever in the country he needs to be to make sure they get the best results. Joe tries to keep everyone involved engaged for as long as possible because it dramatically increases the odds of success.


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