When is it neccessary to intervene on someone who is using drugs and alcohol?
There can be a lot of discussion about when one should intervene on a person who is using drugs and alcohol and also the level of intervention that should be done.
When is it necessary to intervene to get someone to go to long term drug rehab?
When you see that someones life is starting to be affected by the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, it is definitely time to intervene. The effect that drug and alcohol use has on an individual varies form person to person.
One person may be using opiates on a daily basis and still go to work and function well for years even without anyone knowing that he is using drugs. There are usually other indicators such as mood swings, strange sleeping patters, money going somewhere unexplained. Such drug abuse, even when the person is apparently functioning will sooner or later catch up with the person. They may get drug tested at work, be arrested for possession, start running up bills to buy the drugs. When you find out that someone is using on a daily basis and is addicted, it is time to intervene. Most often the thought will be to try out-patient first or maybe a short term inpatient drug treatment program. While that is better than doing nothing, it is usually not successful because there are physical and mental aspects that need to addressed.
Another person may just go downhill very fast. An example iis a successful attorney who was introduced to crack on his 45th birthday. Within a year he lost his practice, his house and family. He was homeless and living in his car. A situation like that shows how important it is to do something quickly when it is observed that drug use starts affecting a person's life. Again someone whose life is spiraling out of control that fast will need long term drug or alcohol rehab to have he best chance of putting his life back together.
There is a common philosophy that someone has to his rock button before intervention can be successful. This is not necessarily true. There are families who regret having waited for someone to hit rock bottom as it may mean waiting for someone to die. Our advice is to intervene as early as possible and doing it until there is success in reaching the drug abuser and making them see that they have to change. It is possible to intervene early on and get the person to see that they need to quit and they may not be using so much that they need treatment.
The sooner you intervene when you see someone using drugs and alcohol, the bigger chance that the abuse will stop before other bad things happen (arrests, overdoses, loosing jobs, homes, etc).
Early on in the process of intervention, you must do your research and find a drug treatment program. In most cases, you want to find a long term drug treatment program because short term treatment is usually not successful. For sure before staging a completefamily intervention or a professional intervention, you must have a treatment porgram picked out, so that there is somewhere to sendsubstace for long term rehab immediately after the interventions are done. Click here for information on types of long term drug treatment centers
The levels of intervention leading to long term drug rehab are:
1) Telling the alcohol or drug user that you are aware of the use and that it worries you. This can be done lighly and you may get a positve response. Some people who need drug treatment are relieved that someone brings it up as they have not wanted to bring it up themselves.
2) Educating the person on drug and alcohol and its effect on the body and mind. An excellent resource is www.drugfreeworld.org. Most substance abusers start using, thinking that they willnever be addicted. They do not know what drugs actually do to the body and the mind. Education alone can someonees make someone decide to quit. If they are not too physically or mentally, they may be able to just quit on their own.
3) A more intense personal conversation with the drug and alcohol user letting them know your concern and appeal to them to stop or get help. At this point, you can also drug test the person (especially if they are denying that they are using. You can buy drug tests at any drug store.
4) Several family members talking to the drug and alcohol user about the observations made and the worry about their lives. Appealing to e person to seek help.
5) A Family and friend intervention. This is a completely planned out staged intervention and has very specific rules for success. Read about how to do a Family Intervention
6) A professional intervention.There are people who are professional interventionists. They are hired to come and get a susbtance abuser to go to drug and alcohol treatment. Read about a professional intervention.
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