An intervention is a collective effort by people who care about a person that’s showing signs of addictive behavior. If staged properly, the person willfully agrees to enter a rehabilitation facility for treatment. During an intervention, there will be a discussion about what substance the person is addicted , followed by an explanation on the negativity it brings to the person’s life and his family.
According to Dr. Maher Soudah of the Kaiser Wellness Center, those who require an intervention show signs of compulsive behavior. He or she may not choose to care about the consequences at all, regardless of how negatively it affects his or her life and the people around.
Although different drugs have different effects, addiction symptoms are fairly similar. Knowing these signs is important so you can arrange an intervention and help your loved one get better.
1. Disappearing Valuables
Majority of drugs cost a lot of money, so you may notice that a loved one is always short on cash. Often, they end up selling whatever they can to get a fix, including your valuables and other materials in the household.
If you’ve noticed missing valuables or money, confronting the person you are suspicious of may end in a disaster because they often get defensive or violent. People with addiction don’t want to be confronted about their habit, so a defensive answer confirms that he or she is, in fact, doing something wrong.
2. Change in Physical Appearance
People close to a person suffering substance abuse may notice this first. Often, addiction to a chemical substance results in poor hygiene because they simply can’t care much. Combing, brushing teeth, and showering will become less frequent. The person will soon become disinterested in how he or she looks and could appear wearing the same type of clothing every day.
Weight loss or abrupt weight gain can also be a sign, Dr. Maher Soudah notes, considering that dangerous drugs may cause eating habits to change. They also may sweat irregularly, have pinned pupils, or suffer nosebleeds from time to time.
3. Change in Attitude and Behavior
An extreme change in attitude can also be noted among people suffering from substance abuse. Some may act disinterested or depressed, and others may get aggressive, get in trouble, or defy authority. Someone who was once positive will start to become overly negative, while others will completely shut themselves out.
Behavioral changes may also be noted. Sleeping patterns may change over time, with some sleeping too much and others not sleeping at all. Activities once enjoyed will go unnoticed, and responsibilities will be taken for granted.
4. Unexplained Disappearances
Addiction often pushes a person to lie, simply because they don’t want people to know where they’ve been and what were they doing. You may notice a loved often disappears a lot and has a hard time explaining his previous whereabouts. They will evade your question and begin to get secretive, and when a confrontation ensues, their explanation often doesn’t make sense.
5. Finding it Impossible to Stop
Some addicts decide to stop taking drugs because they want to change or someone to close to them talked them out of it. This is a good sign, actually, but if a person who’s addicted admits to you that he simply can’t stop or have a hard time doing so on his own, it’s time to intervene. Professional help is the only way out of it.
“People close to the addict are the ones in the best position to stage an intervention,” Dr. Soudah says. Signs of addiction are also a cry for help, especially if the changes are causing the person and those close to him distress.
If you notice any of these signs on your loved one, you already know what to do. Remember that there is always a way to get better.