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You know that a loved one has a substance abuse problem, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve hit rock bottom yet.

That’s when you’re supposed to hold an intervention, right? Not necessarily.

There is not right or wrong time to hold an intervention, which can make the decision to host one a little tricky. Every situation is going to be different, and the needs for every family and addicted individual are going to vary. For one person, a few months of heavy, steady drug use will warrant an intervention, whereas it may take years for another family to set something up for their loved one with a decades-long drinking problem.

When you’re trying to decide if an intervention is the best way to go, you can always seek the advice of an addictions specialist, such as a counsellor, doctor, social worker, psychiatrist, or especially an intervention specialist. These people will be able to give you a medical opinion on what would be the best approach to dealing with the addiction in your family.

An intervention does not need to be hosted by a professional interventionist; many families host interventions on their own. A professional interventionist can, however, offer a sense of support to the family before, during and after the intervention. An interventionist is trained in counselling and conflict resolution, which can be crucial to have if the addicted individual has a history of mental illness and/or violent behaviour. There is no harm is reaching out to a professional for their advice, and to see what they can offer you and your family during this trying time, before you make your decision to host an intervention.

There is no playbook for what to look for before hosting an intervention; it is a case-by-case, family-by-family type of situation, in which you need to assess your family’s needs and those of your addicted family member or friend. If you feel as though you cannot continue living and dealing with your loved one’s addiction, that’s an indication that it’s time to take action and effect change, for everyone’s well-being. A person doesn’t necessarily need to hit “rock bottom” before someone steps in to offer them a helping hand, or before a treatment is going to work. It is always worth the effort to look for help for someone you care about.

Have questions? Contact us, we’d be happy to answer them.

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