Intervention is the action of someone other than oneself that intervenes. The word intervene means to take a decisive or intrusive role (in); to modify or determine events or their outcome; to take charge, by-passing those normally asked to deal with the circumstance and doing it for them. Observation and experience demonstrate that most family members are not sufficiently trained to intervene when someone suffers from substance abuse. Calling on an intervention service can become necessary before life becomes overwhelming. There are many different forms of intervention, as you will see below.
The one thing with drug or alcohol addiction is deciding if or when a person needs an intervention service. In this field, there are various approaches. Some can be overly aggressive, and others more relaxed and inviting. There are also varying degrees one can intervene. For example, if you saw a friend who was too drunk and felt sick, you would most likely escort them to a bathroom. Let them purge the alcoholic toxins from their bodies, get a cold cloth, and help them sober up. Maybe you would drive them home. Of course, these are all forms of interventions.
You would act if you saw a loved one lying on the floor with a syringe in their arm with the white of their eyes showing. There would be no hesitation in calling 911 to save them. You would absolutely not wait for them to return to consciousness and get their permission, right?
In day-to-day living, when is the right time for a drug or alcohol intervention? The moment will vary with each circumstance. Okay so, what are some of the indicators that can guide us to act or not act? For people related to someone with a drug or alcohol problem out of control, you know how difficult it is. You are up until the early hours of the morning, hoping not to receive that phone call from the police or, worse, the morgue.
Usually, the first step is to talk to the person about their behaviour. From their response, you know if they recognize a problem exists or not. If a person sees they have a problem, they will be open with you. The individual will deal with it, find help, or seek addiction counselling. They know they must act now before they lose everything that matters to them. That is as far as you would go.
However, a person that refuses to acknowledge the problem exists will most likely require more work. When talking to a person about their drug or alcohol indulgences and denying it, you might start considering professional services.
They will say things like: “I can handle it,” “I don’t drink that much,” or “leave me alone I know what I am doing,” and other variations. It tells you the person does not or will not recognize their destructive behaviour or how it is harming themselves and others.
When addiction has altered the person’s personality and can’t see it, it’s time for a professional interventionist. Waiting will only put off the inevitable. Addiction will not take time off. It always worsens.
If you are uncertain if it’s time to call for an intervention service, you should call Addiction Referral & Consultation Services. We specialize in bringing understanding and help to families. Our addiction specialists can help you decide the best course of action. Just ask about our referral to professional interventionists. We are a phone call away. Calling, requesting a callback or filling out our contact form can be your first step.