At some point in their lives, many people discover someone they know and love has a problem with alcohol or drugs. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (cite). How do you know if an intervention for addiction is the right next step for your loved one?
The largest obstacle to getting addiction treatment is self-denial. Addressing a person who inhibits substance abuse behavior is often met with extreme opposition. There are a few factors that contribute to this attitude. Our society tends to have an incorrect viewpoint on addiction being a failure of morality, which can threaten an addict when confronted as so. Imagine taking away something personal to you. How can the person with an addiction cope without having a drink or the drug of their choice? How can they survive all the challenges presented to them in daily life? In their eyes, you are threatening their only vice to survive.
Here are 5 major signs that someone you know needs an alcohol or drug intervention.
The person needs a lot more alcohol or prescription pain medication. You might notice they are filling a prescription or buying a case of beer more often. When an addition escalates, a much larger tolerance will develop. The human body will then require more of these substances in order to get back to a “normal” feeling. If you begin to see tolerance increasing to risky levels, an invention should take place.
The person who is addicted will attempt to disguise their behavior. They may hide their bottles of alcohol, or even show up at parties or events already intoxicated to cover up their drunkenness. If the addict is addicted to pain or prescription medication, they may hide them in unmarked bottles as to unable them from being identified as addictive substances. An intervention is the proper time to address the deceptive behavior and move the addict toward a path to treatment.
3. From Responsible to Just Getting By
If a person has been known as reliable and responsible, they may start slipping up by showing up late to work, oversleeping, or beginning to let their grade slip. If you have known a person for a while, may recognize normal behavior for that person. This may be a person who is never late for work, is always on time, and turns in his or her work. If this is the case, these changes shouldstrike you as alarming and is good reason to address this with an intervention.
4. Financial Issues
The person may be having unexplainable trouble with money. Addicts can become very cunning at manipulating those around them to help feed their addiction. If someone is wealthy, these issues can be hidden much easier, which may mean their addiction can progress to a much more serious stage before they feel financial pressure to find a solution. If you have been enabling the addict with money, the intervention is a good time to let them know that money will only be put toward treatment from here forward.
Your friend or loved one may begin to avoid doing social things they used to. The person may start finding solace in new friends that abuse substances like they do. The intervention may actually be the first time the addict has been in the same room with all their loved ones at the same time. Breaking the isolation is an integral part of the intervention process.