When you have a friend or a loved one struggling with addiction, it’s hard to know where to start when you want to help. Thanks to the popularity of programs about interventions and addiction, it’s tempting to decide to hold an intervention, but the process isn’t as simple as it looks on TV. At Baystate Recovery Services, we speak with many people who wish to hold an intervention or have an honest conversation with their loved ones about their substance use.
When Is It Time For an Intervention?
Staging interventions can work with the help of a professional counselor or addiction specialist. An intervention helps the person see that alcohol or drugs have become a severe problem. It identifies the addiction struggle as a medical disorder and one that needs immediate treatment. Those participating in an intervention identify how their relationship to the intervention subject will change, usually ceasing “enabling” behavior.
Interventions can be life-changing, but finding the right time is often the key to their success. The ability of all family members to gather for the planning session and meeting and a spot in treatment secured for the subject are essential.
Warning Signs of Addiction
There are often several signs that someone is abusing alcohol or drugs, but an intervention is a more serious step than simply suggesting counseling for the individual. Suppose they experience a significant health problem due to the abuse and are exhibiting increased physical or mental health symptoms due to the addiction. In that case, It’s probably time for a more significant step.
Addiction is both physical dependence and psychological dependence on the drug of choice (including alcohol). Ceasing use causes withdrawal symptoms which often mean that the individual chooses to stay drunk or high to avoid the impact of the symptoms. When someone is unable to stop, it’s time for intense treatment, starting with an intervention.
Is It Too Soon For an Intervention?
Some people may worry that it’s “too soon” to stage an intervention with a loved one. However, the fact is, is that the sooner an addict seeks treatment, the better the chances that they’ll get sober and remain sober. Less severe addiction is easier to treat, and many patients have less chance of developing significant physical damage from the drugs or alcohol.
Even if a person doesn’t agree to enter treatment immediately, an honest conversation from a place of love may start positive momentum in a person’s life. Following through on a promise to cease enabling behavior, such as providing financial support or separating from a relationship, may be a “wake up” call to the addict that they do need help breaking free from addiction.
Does Rock Bottom Have To Happen Before an Intervention?
No! As we said, the sooner an addict enters treatment, the higher the chances for success. If you’re waiting for someone to reach rock bottom, you’re placed in a position to judge when that is. Is it an overdose? DUI? Further harm to relationships and their ability to work? Hitting rock bottom isn’t the only reason to seek treatment. Any time that drugs or alcohol have a negative impact on someone’s life, relationships, and health is a sign that there’s a problem.
Getting Care and Support For Addiction
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we can help. Staging an intervention, even if it’s just a one-on-one honest conversation, can help your loved one regain control of their life and health. Recovery is a journey, and Baystate Recovery Services can help you start on the path to sobriety. Call us today to discuss treatment options or to speak with a counselor about the right way to talk about addiction with someone you care about.