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Drug or alcohol intervention

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What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is the process of helping another person recognize the impact their addiction is having on their own lives and those of their loved ones. Several people usually participate in a confrontation, with each giving their unique spin on how the person’s addiction has affected them. The goal of the process is to confront the person in a non-threatening way. A successful intervention results in the person’s decision to get help.

When to Intervene for a Loved One

People are often resistant to addiction treatment because they believe they have their drinking or substance use “under control.” An intervention forces them to see the damage their addictive behavior is having on every facet of their life. Traditionally, people believed that an addict had to hit “rock bottom” before they would accept help. That line of thinking has changed. Many people who enter addiction treatment after an intervention obtain long-lasting results. Leaving the decision to get treatment in the hands of the addict isn’t as likely to have a positive outcome.

Signs to Look For That Someone Is Struggling:

The physical signs of addiction vary from person to person and the substance they are addicted to. Often, it is their changes in behavior that tip off the people close to them. Some signs your loved one is struggling with addiction are...

  • Keeping Secrets and Telling Lies

People with addiction problems often become secretive and keep to themselves. They don’t participate in family activities or go on social outings like they used to. If you challenge them about their behavior, they might become defensive. If they meet simple questions like “where have you been?” with anger or indifference, it’s a possible sign that they’re hiding something.

  • Mood Swings

Addictive substances, including alcohol and some drugs, work by changing the chemistry of your brain. People who are addicted often have unpredictable mood swings. Sudden shifts between happy or depressed moods are a symptom of addiction.

  • Changes in Financial Attitudes

Addiction is not only destructive; it’s also expensive. Addicts do whatever they have to in order to get more of the substance they need to feed their cravings. That includes taking things from the homes of their family members and friends. It could also involve borrowing money from you and then “forgetting” to pay you back. They might make up stories about needing money for important things like getting their car fixed or needing dental work that aren’t true.

  • Changes In Weight

People often think that addicts lose weight due to excessive drug or alcohol use. But weight gain can be a sign of addiction, too. Addiction can cause severe, unexplained weight changes in either direction.

  • Changes in Energy Levels and Sleep Patterns

This is another sign of addiction that can go in either direction. An increase or decrease in either or both energy levels and sleep might signal addiction.

Any time a person shows a loss of interest or they exhibit changes in behaviors, it could be a sign of addiction.

How to Do an Intervention

  1. Find an Intervention Specialist – Never try to stage an intervention without professional support. An interventional specialist can help direct the conversation towards the important issues.
  2. Form Your Intervention Group – Include close family members, friends, and coworkers who are impacted by the person’s addiction.
  3. Learn and Rehearse – You should write down the entire intervention. Rehearse it at least once to ensure every member of the group knows what to say and when to speak.

Perceptions of An Intervention

People don't always feel comfortable about taking a part in an intervention. They are often emotional and scary to the person being confronted. The important thing to note is that they are highly successful. Sometimes, it's the last-ditch effort to get a person to get the help they need. 

Moving Forward

If the intervention is successful and the person agrees to get addiction treatment, the intervention specialist will help them take the next step. They will help make the introduction into treatment as smooth as possible. As the person moves forward with their treatment, it’s essential that every member of the group follows through with any promises made during the intervention. Remember, agreeing to get help is just the first step towards achieving an addiction-free life.



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