The Importance of an Intervention; Advice from a Therapist
Identifying Substance Abuse
Substance abuse can begin as early as adolescence. It isn’t uncommon for teenagers to be involved in illicit drug use or drinking; however, signs of early substance abuse are not always easily identified. Parents can be unaware of their child’s recreational habits similarly to how adults can be inattentive to a friend or loved one’s change in drinking habits. Whether it is a younger person who succumbed to peer pressure or an adult who decided to start experimenting with drugs or alcohol, it’s important to be aware of the signs of early substance abuse. By learning this information, you can address the issue by, for example, staging an intervention or recommending a therapist. Knowing what to look for can help parents and friends catch substance abuse early on, making the recovery or withdrawal process easier and shorter.
Sometimes we just want some ‘me-time’. Other times, we exit from family activities or responsibilities because something is preoccupying our time. If someone you know has recently become more distant and is vague about how they’ve been spending their time, you may want to investigate as respectfully and honestly as possible. Ask them if they’ve just needed some time alone or if something has been bothering them. If an individual has begun abusing substances, likely signs include distancing him or herself from others, avoiding obligations, and neglecting relationships. Asking light questions can help you figure out if the person you know is just in need of me-time, or if he or she may be internally battling an urge to drink or abuse drugs.
What Should I Do Next?
If you have determined that someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse, a helpful step is to hold an intervention. Early intervention can identify underlying issues and triggers which can mutually be agreed upon to avoid among the group. An intervention typically includes close family and friends but can also include a therapist who is trained in intervention therapy. At DiRomaTherapy, we implement two types of intervention styles: the Johnson Intervention and the Systemic Intervention.
The Johnson Intervention approach is similar to your idea of a traditional intervention, with a pre-intervention, then a real intervention, all in the attempt to encourage an individual to attend counseling. It is designed to counsel and educate the family and friends so that their approach can be more goal-oriented, sympathetic, and understanding. The Systemic Intervention system is designed to work with a client for a longer period of time with no surprises. This involves the individual suffering from substance abuse as well as close family members and in many cases, a therapist.
Identifying the needs of the individual is an important part of any intervention. There are a variety of ways to help your loved one receive the appropriate treatment they need. Since everyone is unique, addiction requires individualized treatment. Many professionals recommend therapy as an excellent start to aid in the recovery process. Therapy is not just about venting or relaying one’s feelings. Regular sessions with a therapist can help you identify what triggers you are susceptible to, what goals you have, and how you can improve and enjoy your daily life, substance-free.
At DiRomaTherapy, we create a safe, secure, judgment-free zone in which our clients can feel open and honest. Individual counseling can help you or your loved one manage his or her abuse and recovery in a professional, thoughtful environment. Therapists have studied and witnessed many forms of substance abuse and can often see more extractable information than the surface data of what we tell them. Having someone who is able to identify and communicate those deeper meanings of what we tell them can be immeasurably important in helping the individual have a higher understanding of his or her actions and thoughts.
If you are looking for a resource to help you start an intervention or a substance abuse counselor to recommend to someone you love, DiRomaTherapy is a great place to start. For more information on forms of therapy and substance abuse help, please visit our website or give us a call today at (203)-667-7526. We are here to help you and your loved one through this process in the most productive and caring way possible.