How to Determine When an Intervention is Necessary

by JRO on January 23, 2014

Substance addiction is a complicated disease. Unfortunately, many people do not understand why people become victims of substance abuse. Contrary to what many people believe, substance abusers simply can’t quit on their own because quitting is very difficult. Many treatment and therapy options are available to help. However, an intervention is often necessary to help identify what needs to change with your loved one. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to get your loved one to begin treatment for their substance addiction if he or she is willing to accept the help.

The Addiction Interferes with Life Responsibilities

An addiction is easily identifiable as abuse when it interferes with your loved one’s ability to take care of everyday responsibilities. Do you suspect that your family member or friend is not attending school, work, or is failing to take care of their children? Is your family member or friend always low on cash, and there is evidence that he or she is not paying household expenses? Substance abuse is a common road that abusers use to escape their reality and the responsibilities that come with it.

Notice Extreme Signs of Anger and / or Depression

Everyone naturally experiences some form of anger or depression in response to life’s many challenges. However, anger and depression have a way of manifesting differently in individuals who are dealing with substance abuse. It is important to make note of any signs of extreme emotional changes with your loved one and to then act accordingly. For example, has your loved one lost interest in pleasurable hobbies and activities? Does he or she seem persistently irritable, sad, hopeless or anxious? Has your loved one expressed thoughts of suicide or death? Unpredictable mood swings when your friend or family member is easily angered, or agitated when someone or something interferes with an activity, is another common sign that warrants concern.

Drastic Change in Physical Appearance

Loved ones dealing with a substance addiction are often unaware that their behavior is out of control and causing them to neglect themselves. A decline in personal hygiene is common sign that an intervention may be necessary. Do you notice an extreme weight loss or weight gain with your family member or friend? Terrible dental hygiene and a decline in his or her physical appearance are additional signs that an intervention is needed.

Many families struggle with how and when to step in and help their loved one with their substance addiction struggle. If your loved one is suffering from an addiction, do not wait until he hits rock bottom before you take action. Gather family members together and hold an intervention using some of the tips provided to help you determine when it is necessary. Each day that passes is another day that your loved one becomes more comfortable with his substance addiction, which makes it that much more difficult to change. Consider enlisting the help of a professional substance abuse counselor or an intervention counselor, if no one in your inner circle has experience conducting interventions. Interventions can be very emotional. Having people in place with the proper knowledge and education will yield the best results.

Chris Fairbanks is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, AZ. Readers who’d like to learn more about one of the top tier drug detox programs should visit Bay Area Recovery.

Freelance legal writer based in the greater metro area of Seattle, WA.

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