staging a drug intervention for a friend

Chances are pretty good that, at any given moment, a loved one, friend or coworker is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Estimates are as high as 1 in 10 people, making it more likely someone in close relationship needs treatment. The biggest obstacle to treatment is denial and hostility towards any suggestion of receiving help. Know the 10 signs someone close needs an intervention.


  • Tolerance: the individual needs more alcohol, pain medication or other substance of choice to achieve same effect. Person may fill prescription more often, buy extra alcohol more often or appear to escalate behaviors. If behavior becomes risky, intervention is a good idea.


  • Deceptive Behavior: Addicts will try to disguise behavior by hiding bottles of alcohol, show up at events intoxicated so as not to drink much in public or hide prescription medication in unmarked bottles. Address deception with the individual and suggest treatment as an option.


  • Appearance: An individual with addiction has one goal: to get more drugs or alcohol. Clothes may appear disheveled, less clean shaven, appearance is tired most of the time and women may use makeup to disguise appearance. Pointing this out to the individual can help break denial of addiction.


  • Forgetfulness: Heavy drug or alcohol users may experience blackouts or brownouts. (periods of time which the person cannot recall). When making a remark about something said at a party, the person may appear confused. If this occurs more than once or twice, it is serious. Reminding the individual of this may aid in the intervention process.


  • Financial Woes: Money problems cannot be explained even though person with addiction is adept at manipulating others. Individual may not be able to hide the financial stress caused by addiction even if it takes time to show up.


  • Risky Behavior: Individual may experience unusual number of accidents or injuries. If a person receives one or more DUIs are not receiving the message to stop drinking. If a person is injured while on drugs but still cannot stop, it may be time to intervene.


  • Moody: A person may experience irrational behavior or mood swings while in addiction. Moods swing from happy to sad, up and down frequently. It becomes tougher over time to hide emotional ups and downs.


  • Making Ends Meet: Previously responsible people are now late for work, oversleep, let grades slip, the list goes on. Make a list and see what shifts have occurred.


  • Increasingly Isolated: Individual will prefer to be alone rather than do things which used to bring joy. Social circles may narrow to those preferring the same drug or drink of choice. Breaking through isolation can be a powerful piece of the intervention puzzle.


  • Mental Health Concerns: Depression, anxiety and paranoid behavior will increase over time. Alcohol and drugs are self-medicating for real emotional and psychological issues. Mental health issues are exacerbated with use requiring intervention and medical support.



Hired Power offers support for addictions. Call us at 800-910-9299 to find out how we can help you or your loved one overcome substance abuse.

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