Drug abuse and addiction are complex problems that can systematically and thoroughly destroy an individual’s health, relationships and life. Where drug use began as the individual’s choice, it soon becomes a driving need that they have absolutely no control over. Their body can grow to depend upon drug substances in order to function within the new “normal” it has created, and the individual will find himself willing to do anything – including steal, lie and deceive, in order to obtain and use more drug substances.

It is very rare that an individual suffering from drug abuse or addiction will admit that they have a problem or that they need help. There may be many reasons for their denials, not the least of which is the belief that drug substances help them, the belief that they still function normally despite their drug use, the belief that they cannot actually function without drug substances, and the belief that there is no way for them to fully recover from drug use.

Some individuals don’t actually understand drugs and how they affect the individual. They believe that drug use, and therefore drug addiction, is the individual’s choice. In actual fact, some drug abusers and addicts are aware that drugs have damaged their life. They may desire to achieve freedom from drugs in any form, they simply don’t know how to attain it. The truth is that such an individual needs support and encouragement from others in order to reach out for help and move onto the path of recovery. This can best be done by staging an intervention.

Determining If Intervention Is Necessary

Because few drug abusers or addicts will actually admit that they have a problem and they need help, concerned family members and friends will need to determine if drug abuse or addiction is occurring and intervention is necessary. Following are some basic signs of drug abuse and addiction:

Sudden and significant weight loss or weight gain
Poor personal hygiene and deteriorated appearance
Regular fights with friends and family members, often over insignificant things
Promising to get help but never doing so
Isolating self from others, including family members
Withdrawing from social occasions the individual previously enjoyed
Lying about one’s whereabouts or activities
Stealing from or deceiving others
Denying drug use despite evidence that it’s occurring

If an individual is displaying the signs of drug abuse and addiction, they will benefit from an intervention.

The Process of Intervention

Interventions are far more than emotional confrontations of a drug abuser or addict. They are well-planned and organized meetings that seek to help an individual admit they have a problem with drug use and need to make a change. The most critical components to an effective intervention include:

Forming an intervention team that consists of family members and friends who are concerned about the individual’s health and drug problems.
Learning about drugs, addiction and rehabilitation.
Speaking with a professional interventionist or addiction specialist or both to learn more about staging a successful intervention.
Planning and rehearsing the intervention meeting, including who will speak, in what order, and what will be said. Facts regarding the individual’s drug use and the damages it has caused should be presented, as well as consequences for refusing treatment.
Researching rehabilitation treatment options to present to the individual at the intervention meeting.
Setting an intervention time and place that will work best for the individual.
Inviting the individual to the intervention without alluding what is occurring.
Proceeding with the intervention meeting as planned and rehearsed.
Enrolling the individual in rehabilitation treatment without delay.

Interventions can and normally are highly successful, but it’s important to recognize that the individual may not always immediately agree to participate in treatment. Sometimes they walk away from the intervention meeting having refused help, only to approach their family members or friends some time later and ask for help. The bottom line is that an intervention lets the individual know that others are aware they have a problem and they need help, and are willing to support them in getting the help they need to restore a healthy, happy and productive life.