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Recognizing When to Intervene with Addiction

Page Summary

It has been said time and time again that there are millions of people who suffer from substance addiction. For those who do not seek treatment, their lives begin to crumble, they lose everything they love and often become depressed and suicidal. Because people are ashamed or scared to get in trouble with the law, It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of addiction in order to recognize when to intervene with addiction and help the loved one regain control of their life.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms

Conducting an addiction intervention is nothing to be taken lightly; it should only be done after considering advice from a trained intervention specialist. The intervention specialist will ask the severity of the addiction which can be deduced by recognizing the signs and symptoms of addiction. The signs and symptoms will include both physical and behavioral.

The physical symptoms of addiction consist of:

  • Aching muscles
  • Sleeplessness
  • Excess mucus
  • Excessive bodily secretions of the eyes and pores
  • Bile
  • Nausea
  • Heart damage
  • Decline of respiratory system
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Confusion
  • Sense of elation
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

Behavioral signs of addiction include:

  • Lying or deceptive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Significant increases in sleeping time
  • Worsening performance in school or work, eventually loss of job or expulsion from school
  • Decreasing attention to hygiene
  • Loss of motivation
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Borrowing or stealing from loved ones
  • Hostile behaviors toward loved ones
  • Decline in self-esteem

It may seem overwhelming to recognize the signs; however, it can make all the difference between life or death for a loved one. If a loved one does exhibit addictive behaviors, it is extremely important to help guide them toward treatment, and one of the best ways to help is by organizing an addiction intervention.

Organizing and Conducting an Intervention

Whether someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, an intervention should be conducted in the same way. A drug intervention, as well as an alcohol intervention will begin with a phone call to a licensed intervention specialist. The specialist will either offer tips for how to organize an addiction intervention or they may even offer to conduct the intervention themselves. When a specialist is present during the drug intervention or alcohol intervention, they can keep things on track and help guide addicts toward the road to recovery.

addiction intervention

A successful intervention will take place in a positive environment in order for the addict to feel comfortable. It is important to know that most addiction interventions do not work the first time; people get too emotionally charged, feelings get hurt, people run from their problems, isolate themselves and make their problem even worse. Do not give up after the first try; continue to guide and support with as many family interventions as it takes.

It is extremely important to consider the addict’s feelings and use words of encouragements during what they may see as an ambush or attack. The following is a list of what is acceptable to say during an intervention:

  • I love you
  • Thank you for everything you have done for me
  • I am here for you
  • This is not your fault; it is a disease

By using positive words rather than negative, the addict will feel like they are being helped rather than attacked. The following is a list of what not to do during an intervention:

  • Yell or scream at each other
  • Speak over each other
  • Lash out at the addict

It is important to let the addict know that addiction intervention is not to shame or attack them; it is only to help guide them toward a better life. Let the addict know that they are loved and everyone only wants what is best for them.

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