When a loved one is using drugs, the concerns that plague your mind are understandably frightening. There were 23.5 million people who needed treatment for substance abuse in 2009, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports, and only 2.6 million of them received it. It’s hard to say how many of those going without would have gotten the care they needed if someone had stepped in and pushed the issue.
The majority of drug and alcohol addicts will need professional help to kick their addiction, but a lot of them don’t even attempt to reach out for it. In fact, many addicts use drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with the things they don’t like about themselves or their life. This is especially true among those with mental illness, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one-third of those with mental illness are also substance abusers. Both depression- and anxiety-based disorders are highly common among comorbid patients, and the symptoms of these disorders can compel a person to mask or numb their feelings with a drink, joint, or hit.
When it’s time to do something
When you notice that your loved one’s drinking or drug use is having negative effects on his life, it’s time to intervene. Don’t be surprised if you attempt to question your loved one about his drug use and he immediately becomes defensive. Denial is often the first reaction you’ll receive. Your loved one is aware that what he is doing is not beneficial to his life, but when addiction is in play, he doesn’t have control over his use. Sometimes the lack of control is just as embarrassing for the addict as the behavior itself.
A drug or alcohol intervention should be approached with professional help whenever possible. Friends and family members may assume that if there is a part of the rehab process they can cut costs on and tackle on their own, it’s the intervention, but this isn’t correct. Since the intervention could be the turning point for your loved one, it’s imperative that it is handled with care, and a professional can often make the difference in your family member choosing to get help.
When handled correctly, interventions can have a 98 percent success rate, The Fix reports. Professional interventionists know how to encourage an addict to get help in a situation that is often fraught with emotions. They are able to remain emotionally unbiased, which friends and family members cannot be. Interventionists are also trained in how to handle tense situations that could turn aggressive or even violent. More than anything, interventionists help to keep the conversation on track and the focus of the intervention in plain sight.
Taking the first step
There is a common belief that a user must hit rock bottom prior to heading to treatment, but this is not true. An addict’s life doesn’t have to be in shambles before she seeks help. Oftentimes, the encouragement of family and friends can motivate an addict to seek help before severe damage has occurred in her life.
When you come to us for help, we can assist you in planning the best way to approach your loved one with your concerns. Call today to learn more.