Intervention Information

Interventions Interrupt Addictions!


Addiction

Addiction is the ultimate act of self-destruction, family devastation and selfishness, taking down everybody and everything in its path. Families with loved ones addicted to drugs know firsthand how devastating addicts’ behaviors can be on a family-wide level.

Addiction may be diagnosed as a substance abuse disorder (alcohol, legal drugs, illegal drugs), or a process addiction disorder (food, internet, sex, gambling, debt) or a mental health disorder (depression, bipolar, mania, borderline).

A person struggling with addiction is dealing with a complex brain disease that compels them to continue their drinking or substance abuse even when faced with damaging and harmful consequences. These substances directly impact the brain itself. The brain itself sends signals that the craving (of alcohol or drugs) is the most important focus.


Causes Of Addiction

There is no single cause for addiction. Rather, a large number of factors are involved including: genetics, biology, social, psychological and environmental factors are involved. There is no one personality type or defining characteristic that means a person is going to suffer from alcohol or substance abuse, though mental illness does often co-occur with addiction.

Chronic pain has increasingly become a factor with addiction. When a person feels pain for longer than 90 days it is considered chronic. This may lead to a prescription intended for pain management that leads to substance abuse.

Another important factor to consider is trauma. Trauma can take many different forms such as verbal, physical and mental abuse, divorce, death, etc. Trauma created intense feelings of discomfort and may cause people to turn to substances like alcohol and/or drugs in an effort to become numb.


How To Help Someone with Addiction

Addiction is one of the most selfish behavioral disorders that can affect a person. As the disease worsens, the addict is only out for him- or herself, and everyone and everything else in life takes a back seat to the drug use.

This is how you find people stealing from their loved ones, cheating on their spouses, abusing their children and a host of other awful behaviors that are possible. While it may not always be so extreme, it is true that their decisions will always favor their addiction over other responsibilities in life.

With addiction, two paths lie before the addict:

  1. Stay sick and end up in jails, institutions or dead.
  2. Get clean.

In order to learn how to help an addict, you must understand the reason why they are resistant to getting help, how your own actions contributed to enabling their behavior, how to recognize the symptoms of addiction and why it is crucial to hold an intervention.

An addict bottom occurs when things get worse faster than the addict can lower his or her standards.

Most addicts want help, but won’t initiate or follow through because they don’t have to.

This is largely for two reasons:

  1. The belief that they don’t have a problem.
  2. An enabling family system.

The Family Plays an Important Role in Addiction Recovery

For an addict or alcoholic to become clean and sober, the addicted person and the affected family must make changes. Chances are the addicted person is not going to take the first step, leaving that responsibility to the family.

Addicts and alcoholics act like professional victims and can be emotional bullies. As a result, families may be led to do or say things they normally wouldn’t.

When families call us for help, it’s not just to inquire about the drug or alcohol abuse of their loved ones. They’re also concerned about their own behavior and the harm they’re inflicting on themselves and others.

Family members play different roles that are determined by how much or how little they are being manipulated or affected, as well as by past experiences in their own lives.


Addiction And Denial

Denial is a common struggle with addiction. People may spend years denying how unhealthy and deep their habits have become. They find excuses that justify their behavior and ignore the advice of concerned loved ones watching them struggle with addiction.

Watching someone you love battle addiction is challenging. It’s painful to watch someone whose health continues to decline. It’s frustrating to find solutions for a person who doesn’t acknowledge the problem. Ultimately though, it can simply be exhausting as we feel drained emotionally, mentally, physically and sometimes even spiritually. Family members and friends are often “tapped out” and may grow resentful of the person they are most concerned about; this is why an interventionist can be crucial. Denial is a powerful tool used by the alcoholic/addict to allow the behavior to continue. Family members often use it too to hide the severity of the issue.


Holding A Drug Intervention

Every addict has an intervention at some point. Sooner or later, something happens that ends the addiction.

The only question is, “What is going to happen to end it?”

Know that all addicts eventually wind up in jail, institutionalized or dead unless they get clean.

Why wait when the odds are stacked against the addict? Neither the family nor the addict can pull out of this without professional intervention, help and guidance.

With an intervention, the family can determine when the bottom is met rather than waiting for the bottom to be reached. A professional intervention for drug addiction can help put those things back in control.


Is An Intervention Necessary?

When attempting to talk with someone in denial, it must be done while they are sober. The conversation may be difficult for them to have and hard for them to hear what you have to say. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be unfocused, inattentive, or just outright angry. When that happens, family members may become sidetracked or focused on other issues such as financial problems. The attention then shifts off the individual and conversations take wrong turns. These attempts are generally not productive steps toward recovery.

Professional interventionists have the training, experience, and knowledge needed to keep the focus on the person struggling with substance abuse disorders or mental health disorders. An interventionist will have spent time collecting information that gives a robust portrait of the identified loved one, and will guide the intervention accordingly. There are several different approaches to an intervention and a trained interventionist will know the most beneficial way to work with each individual. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to help both families and those struggling with addiction find healing.


Substance Abuse Symptoms

The most common symptom of substance abuse is a change in a person’s behavior. Specific behavior changes vary from person to person. They depend on how severe the disorder is. Symptoms may include the following:

  •  Decreased motivation
  •  Using a drug more often
  •  Suddenly needing money
  •  Decreased or increased energy
  •  Using bigger amounts of a drug
  •  Suddenly gaining or losing weight
  •  Having a strong desire to use a drug
  •  Keeping a supply of a drug available
  •  Engaging in risky behavior while under the influence of a drug
  •  Missing work or school or having a sudden disinterest in work or school
  •  Changes in behavior, including being secretive about friends and activities

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patti.pike@canaminterventions.com
415-827-3725

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