Today’s world is a busy, hectic place where just about everyone has a full schedule and not enough hours in the day. We try to spend time with our families and friends, but it’s not always as easy as one might think. We may see a close friend only a couple of times per week, or even only once a month, so it isn’t always apparent when their circumstances change. There are times, however, when their behavior and demeanor have changed so much that we begin to worry. Does this mean that we should immediately assume the worst and plan an elaborate, multi-party, professional intervention to confront them about whatever it is that’s bothering them?
Not necessarily. There are many reasons why someone’s attitude changes. The first step, if you’re concerned about someone, is to spend time finding out what is going on in their life. Are they depressed or anxious? Are they overworked or stressed? If you are afraid they are using drugs, you can even ask them directly. If you’re concerned they may not answer you truthfully, you can also address your worries with other friends or family members. Perhaps they have other pieces to the puzzle which can help to explain the changes in behavior.
What if You Discover Your Friend Is Using Drugs?
If you have evidence that your friend or family member is using dangerous drugs, consider confronting them with the facts. Let them know how dangerous drugs are and how you’ve noticed changes in their behavior. Give them a chance to get help on their own terms as quickly as possible. If they don’t seem concerned, be prepared with facts and information they may not be aware of, such as:
- The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States is increasing, according to Psychology Today.
- Many individuals who suffer from drug abuse and addiction have very real, treatable conditions that develop over time.
- Drug addiction is a disease and it can be treated and managed with help; it isn’t something of which the addict should be ashamed of.
- Drug abuse can affect one’s exposure to risky behaviors, including an increased risk for contracting physical diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
- More than 10 million people every year get behind the wheel of a car when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There is a chance that your friend or family member will make the decision to get help without the need for a formal intervention involving a great deal of planning. If they do not choose to get help from a simple conversation, however, they may be a candidate for a more elaborate event.
Who Needs an Intervention?
Any person using drugs can benefit from an intervention. Anyone whose health and life are in danger every time they drink or ingest drugs needs to have an intervention in one form or another. A doctor may conduct a brief intervention during a routine doctor’s visit. A police officer might conduct an intervention when he or she pulls over a car for DUI. A school official may intervene by bringing certain behaviors to the attention of a student’s parents. And a friend can intervene one on one. However, a formal intervention may be in order if the individual has refused to listen to their family and friends when it comes to their drug or alcohol abuse.
A formal intervention for drug addiction can be an emotional and frightening event for everyone. Some families choose to engage the services of a professional interventionist who has the experience and emotional distance to mediate the event. This individual will spend time in advance of the intervention to educate and train the family, help to select the intervention team, and assist in the preparation of the intervention letters each person will read aloud. They may or may not provide sober escort services to take your family member to treatment should the intervention be successful.
Getting Help for a Loved One in Need
However you decide to approach your loved one’s addiction issues, it is important to know that they have somewhere to turn for treatment. At Axis, we provide evidence-based therapies that have been proven effective and recommended by the experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We will perform a comprehensive assessment of your family’s needs and create a program designed especially for you. Our professionals will help your loved one find his or her way back using both these recommended methods coupled with alternative therapies meant to balance the mind, the body and the spirit to create wellness from every angle. If you have questions or concerns about planning an intervention for a member of your family, we’re here to help. Call now.