Having an intervention for someone living with addiction or substance abuse can be the best way to help him or her transition into the treatment process. An intervention can help the person see that alcohol and drugs have become a serious threat, present the option of addiction treatment, and identify what will change at home or in the relationship if that person refuses to get help. An intervention is life-changing not only for the individual struggling with addiction but for the entire family as well. Knowing when to have an intervention can be a difficult choice in order to have the best chances of a good outcome.
There are some common warning signs you should be aware of that can indicate it’s time to have an intervention.
Dodgy Behavior: When you are close with someone, you know when something is wrong. Behavior starts to change and there could be schedule changes that just don’t seem to make sense. For example, your loved one may start going out late at night when there is no destination in mind. Noticing changes in behavior can be the first step in knowing something isn’t right, whether it’s addiction or something else going on.
Increased Tolerance: Have you noticed more refills of prescriptions or some extra bottles at night in order to get the same effect? This means the body is building up a tolerance and he or she requires more of it each time in order to get drunk or high. When an addict needs more of their vice, he or she runs the risk of overdosing as time goes on.
Changes in Appearance: Everyone has lazy days where they don’t get out of pajamas. However, if it is becoming a habit then it could be addiction or depression. The center of an addict’s life is their vice so keeping a neat appearance isn’t on their mind. Oral and personal hygiene will become secondary and all they want is high.
Health Problems: Alcohol or drug use can play a major rule in health problems. Those who drink heavily or use drugs may have abnormal test results if they visit their doctor for routine screenings. These problems can provide data for families and are a strong indicator that abuse has evolved to dangerous levels.
More Emotions: Enhanced emotions can manifest with unchecked rage or aggression. If you ask your loved one where they are headed, he or she may get defensive immediately or aggravated. No one wants to admit an addiction so he or she will deny everything and sneak out. Being accused can set an addict off to a different level.
Barely Getting By: Addiction isn’t cheap. Drug dealers can offer first fixes for free and then reveal the trust cost of how much it’s worth at the point where addiction is already a problem and money is an issue. If your loved one was once living a lavish life and now is borrowing money or pawning possessions, you should pay attention.
Isolation: Addicts have a lot going on mentally and it can be hard for someone who has never been an addict to understand. Addicts can become lost in themselves since they know others will disapprove of their habits. Addicts will isolate themselves and usually stop attending social events, even ones that are required. It can be hard to get a hold of and find an addict.
You may be concerned that it’s too soon to hold an intervention and if you hold it too soon, it decreases the likelihood that it works. With addiction, there is no such thing as “too soon.” Fatal overdoses are common in the United States and the sooner someone begins treatment, the better. Early addiction treatment is always recommended because less severe addictions are easier to treat and there are better outcomes.
Even if the intervention doesn’t end with an individual in treatment, there is still value in an intervention and it helps create positive momentum in that person’s life. Since one of the aspects is letting the person know how life will change if that individual doesn’t go to rehab, it’s important to follow through on that promise.
Every family will be different when it comes time to stage an intervention. The best time is when all participants can gather for both a planning session as well as the intervention itself. You should already have a spot secured for a rehab program. The person living with addiction needs to be sober and available.
Rehab is usually not approached for the first time at an intervention and families have usually already suggested the person talk to someone. Once it’s clear the person’s life could be in danger then it’s time for an intervention.
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health or addiction, be sure to reach out to us. At Warner Park Recovery, it is our mission to help get you on the right track. Give us a call today.