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Is It Time for An Addiction Intervention? – How to Tell

Addiction is serious, no matter what. If someone you love is going through struggles with drugs or alcohol, an addiction intervention can be the best way to kick start the treatment they need.

However, an addiction intervention needs to happen at the right time. If someone you care about feels ambushed or that they’re not being understood, it could end poorly, and they could refuse to get any help.

It’s never easy to see someone you love struggle with drugs or alcohol. So, when can you know if it’s the right time for an addiction intervention? Let’s take a look at some of the signs.

Sudden Behavioral Changes

Let’s face it; you know your close friends and family members. You know how they typically act—their normal behaviors, their personality, their preferences, etc. One of the best ways to tell if it’s time for an addiction intervention is simply to pay attention.

Has their behavior changed? Does something about them seem off? These subtle changes can be a good indicator when it comes to some of the first signs of an addiction. It’s essential to find out whether it’s an addiction causing the shift in behavior or something else. But, sudden behavioral changes are nothing to take lightly.

Stuck in a Fog

Has the person you care about become increasingly “foggy?” Do they have a hard time keeping up with conversations? Do they get confused easily? Maybe they’re struggling at work or school and can’t stay organized or be on time.

These are all vital signs that shouldn’t be ignored. It might be easy to make up excuses for someone, suggesting they’re just tired or stressed. If these signs become consistent, however, they might be turning to drugs or alcohol, and it could be the right time for an addiction intervention.

Isolation from Friends and Family

Common indicators of addiction are when someone stops doing the things they typically enjoy and isolates themselves from the people they love.

An addict often knows that what they’re doing is problematic. They can become ashamed or feel like no one will understand them. Isolation is often more comfortable for an addict than it is to face reality or people.

If someone you care about is spending much of their time alone, avoiding friends, making excuses to stay by themselves, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Talk to Someone About It

If you feel worried about your loved one, there’s a good chance someone else is, too. Don’t be afraid to talk to another close mutual friend or family member about your worries.

One of the worst things you can do is to keep your concerns to yourself. Or, to wait until the signs become extremely obvious, and your loved one is even deeper into their addiction.

Instead, pay attention to some of these warning signs to know when it’s time for an addiction intervention. Make sure you understand what the intervention itself should look like. You can choose to perform a “soft” intervention that is a bit more positive with fewer consequences, or a “hard” intervention that may require the one you love to get professional help to overcome their addiction.

It’s okay to be nervous about launching an addiction intervention for someone you care about. But you don’t have to do it yourself. A trusted therapist can help you to understand some of the signs indicating our loved one is dealing with addiction.

If you’re not sure how to navigate an addiction intervention, feel free to contact me or visit my page on addiction interventions to learn more.

Categories
Addiction Recovery

Addiction Interventions

Addiction Interventions

Compassionate Intervention Consults (aka “soft interventions”)

So you are trying to decide whether or not to organize an intervention for a loved one? Choosing to confront a loved one about their addiction is a difficult decision and most people are at their wits’ end by the time they start looking at intervention as an option. You need reliable and targeted information to help you determine what’s best for your loved one. And perhaps more importantly, for them to be able to see the severity of their current situation. I have worked in this field, in this city, for over 22 years and I know the resources available locally, within and outside of Texas.

Before You Start

When you start planning an intervention for a loved one struggling with addiction you want to be sure the  professional you work with looks at your family dynamic in its entirety. There are a lot of different certifications, licenses and types of interventionists out there – very few of them are fully and independently licensed and even those who are credentialed rarely are licensed in both mental health and addiction. Fewer still have the precision that comes with years of counseling professionals struggling with addiction or having served for years as the Clinical Director of an inpatient medical detox hospital.

“Recovery is an evolutionary process of the self.

It requires change, commitment, community and time.”

BW Carrettin, 2013

Whomever, you consider – be intentional. Ask questions; interview them. You are trying to do the best you can for the one you care about – it’s okay to be thorough. Here’s a hint/hack for you; if the professional cannot weather a little scrutiny and direct questioning from you, how could they ever be successful in an intervention?

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that getting sober is only a fixed state (think is or is not), but staying sober is a gradual, ongoing process. To fully embrace and maintain true, life-changing recovery requires a commitment to whole life recovery as a way of living. This isn’t accomplished in a single week or even a month or two of treatment in a facility. But it can certainly begin there. The person who is addicted will ultimately need to commit to major lifestyle changes in order to return to enjoying a full life and ongoing success. In the beginning, just getting into treatment is a start in the right direction. While I definitely want those who need it to go to treatment, I want more. My goal is to have them understand for themselves why they need it and to make that choice. They are the only person who can ultimately decide if they will stay sober/clean. I believe it helps if they decide to start the path as well.

A Different Kind of Intervention

In my practice, I provide in-office, compassion-driven intervention consultations and therapeutic services for adults struggling with addiction. Through my practice, I also provide counseling for clients after they complete treatment and work with spouses and families of loved ones in active addiction and early recovery. Through my work I help families prepare to undertake a substance abuse intervention and also find the best possible treatment options for the adult who is in crisis. With over 20 years of experience working with individuals and families in crisis I am uniquely qualified to help you develop the best possible treatment plan for your loved one. My non-confrontational, invitational approach to intervention is proven effective and allows for a family to lovingly, effectively and compassionately encourage a loved one to get the help they need.

Please note, I do not use “tough love” or other adversarial, aggressive approaches. I have seen these work only insofar as, occasionally getting a person to agree to go to treatment and shortly after admitting, leaving against medical advice and relapsing, which can ultimately be life threatening. That is not to say that getting a person into treatment isn’t a first step or that harder approaches have not been successful for some and may be what your loved one needs. But if force is the flavor you intend to use, I am not the best option for you.

“Sobriety is a state of condition. Recovery is a way of living.”

BW Carrettin, 2003

Knowing the Options

I have developed relationships with many hospitals, residential treatment centers, intensive outpatient programs, physicians, and sober living houses over the years and have acquired inside knowledge of all these options. Each year, I dedicate time to personally visiting, evaluating and re-evaluating programs so that I can stay up to date on what they are doing and how they are doing it. This helps me to effectively support you and help you select the most effective programs available for your loved one’s needs. We work together so that you have the best information from the intervention through the treatment process and into aftercare to make it less stressful for you. The goal is to do everything possible to ensure you have the best information and support possible.

My Services

The consulting services I provide are both individualized and comprehensive. I assess each individual’s and family’s strengths and weaknesses to develop a plan that most effectively addresses their treatment needs. I meet you where you are in the intervention process and tailor a plan that helps you achieve your goals for success. Collaboration is key and I often consult with other professionals and utilize a team approach to develop a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary plan to most effectively meet your individual needs. Additionally, I can follow up with the program while your loved one is in treatment and coordinate aftercare plans for after they have completed a program.

In addition, I am a Nationally Board Certified counselor, fully and independently licensed therapist, licensed addiction specialist, have advanced training in traumatic loss and am trained in critical incident stress management. This means that I am uniquely qualified to assess programs and match individuals to the right type of services for their individual needs. I also work closely with the family after the intervention in order to support you through the treatment and recovery process and prepare you for your loved one’s eventual return home.

If this sounds like I may be the right person for you, please give me a call.

Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.