How Do I Know My Loved One Needs an Intervention?

How do I know my loved one needs an intervention?According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 17 million Americans classify as alcoholics.  Alcoholism is a disease and needs to be treated as such.  The problem is that many alcoholics are not interested in changing their behavior.  Even those who want to change are frequently unable to do so, or unable to maintain abstinence because the disease never really goes away.  Intervention is one of the most effective ways of helping an addict get the help he needs.

If you are wondering whether someone you love needs an intervention, you will be looking for many of the most common signs of addiction.

  • Frequent bad moods. If someone is often angry, irritable or withdrawn for no apparent reason, this may be due to depression or addiction.
  • Ignoring obligations at work, at school or at home.
  • Losing interest in activities that used to bring pleasure.
  • Secretive behavior or absences that he does not explain.
  • Financial problems such as a frequent need to borrow small amounts of money.
  • Extreme mood swings. Again, this can also be a sign of depression, but the “rush” and “crash” swing is also associated with substance abuse.
  • Paranoia or anxiety.
  • A change in physical appearance such as taking less care with grooming and hygiene or losing an unhealthy amount of weight.
  • Physical signs. Some drugs cause dilated pupils.  Some drugs and alcohol will make the addict’s breath smell bad.  Some drugs and alcohol can cause tremors.
  • A significant change in friends and social activities, especially when your intuition tells you the new choices are bad ones.

If you know someone who is displaying a combination of these characteristics, the chances that he has a substance abuse problem increase with every additional item on the list that he displays.  If that person will not admit that there is a problem, that is when intervention is the most important tool to use.  If everyone in the addict’s life gets together and issues the ultimatum that they will no longer participate in enabling behavior and that the addict must seek treatment, this is your greatest chance of success.

When an Intervention Is Necessary Immediately

An intervention would be considered a “crisis intervention” if the addict displays any behavior that is harmful to others or self-harming.  It is unequivocal that your loved one needs an intervention if he drives under the influence of drugs of alcohol, is physically abusive, neglects a child or puts a child in a dangerous situation, or becomes suicidal.

Call (888) 371-5722 at any time if you think your loved one needs an intervention and you would like help staging one.

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