Substance abuse comes in different levels but ultimately needs to be addressed, preferably sooner rather than later.
There are signs to look out for that indicate it may be time for substance abuse treatment. These signs include changes in behavior, strained relationships, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, isolation, and a decline in financial, physical, and mental health.
This article will cover the common signs you should be aware of to determine whether your or a loved one requires an intervention.
1. The Individual’s Behavior is Causing Harm to Themselves or Others
It is vital to seek professional help if an individual’s behavior is causing them to harm themselves or others.
This harmful behavior or tendencies can include the following:
- Substance abuse: excessive drinking or drug use that leads to health problems, accidents, or other dangerous situations
- Self-harm: such as cutting, burning, or overdose
2. Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Physical or emotional abuse: towards themselves or others
- Criminal activity: such as theft, violence, or driving under the influence
- Financial problems: as a result of their dependency on illicit substances.
It’s important to note that the harm caused by an individual’s behavior can be physical, emotional, or both and can affect the individual and those around them, such as family members, friends, or colleagues.
3. The Inability to Stop Problematic Behavior
Another sign that it is time to set up an intervention is if you or your loved one are having difficulty stopping problematic behavior. This behavior can include things such as the following:
- Repeatedly promising to stop or cut back on their substance use but being unable to do so.
- Making multiple attempts to quit abusing the substance but returning to the habit.
- Trying different methods to control their addiction but continuing to engage in the behavior.
- Going through cycles of unhealthy eating habits and other unhealthy behaviors brought on by substance use.
- An increase in lying or manipulation to hide their substance abuse.
This behavior may happen even if the person recognizes the negative consequences of their actions. It may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist, counselor, or other qualified professionals to help the individual overcome the barriers preventing them from stopping the problematic behavior.
4. A Loss of Interest in Hobbies
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed is another sign that it’s time for an intervention. When substance abuse begins to get out of hand, it can be hard to focus on anything but using, and you won’t find anything else fulfilling.
Additionally, if it is a loved one you’re worried about, watch for signs that they’ve stopped enjoying their favorite hobbies and don’t seem to participate in many activities they once regularly enjoyed, so you know when it’s time to consider stepping in.
5. Financial, Legal, or Health Problems
Substance abuse clouds judgment to the point that someone is willing to risk their physical, mental, and financial health to continue using. It’s worth noting that this isn’t done intentionally and that addiction is a disease that makes it hard to see past this clouded judgment.
If you notice that a loved one has been struggling with their finances lately, has started getting into legal trouble out of nowhere, or their health begins to decline sharply, it could be a sign that their addiction has gotten out of control and they need an intervention.
If you notice these things in yourself, reaching out to close friends and family is best. You should never feel ashamed for needing support while you overcome your addiction — sometimes, an intervention is necessary to get back on the right path.
6. Difficulty Keeping Up With Responsibilities
Substance abuse makes it difficult for individuals to keep up with their day-to-day responsibilities. In these instances, an intervention is crucial in helping your loved one avoid losing their job or falling too far behind academically if they’re in school.
Sights that your loved one — or you — are struggling to keep up with responsibilities include the following:
- Excessive absenteeism or tardiness
- Difficulty focusing or completing tasks
- Decreased productivity or performance
- Disruptive or inappropriate behavior
- Difficulty getting along with coworkers or classmates
- Negative evaluations or disciplinary actions
- Difficulty keeping a job or being expelled from school
It may be helpful to encourage the individual to seek professional help, such as a therapist or counselor, to address the underlying issues contributing to their difficulties at work or school.
7. Isolation From Friends and Family
Isolation may be a sign that the individual is struggling with their behavior and that it negatively impacts their life. You can easily spot this sign in usually outgoing individuals who are now beginning to show more signs of adopting an introverted lifestyle.
Some signs of isolation can include:
- Lack of communication with friends and family
- Avoiding social gatherings and activities
- Not responding to phone calls or text messages
- Not engaging in hobbies or interests that they previously enjoyed
- Refusing to leave the house or spend time with others
Isolation can be a symptom of the problem but also a consequence of the problematic behavior. For example, an individual struggling with addiction may withdraw from loved ones to avoid judgment or confrontation.
It can also be a sign of depression or other mental health conditions. It is important to be aware of the individual’s isolation and understand that it may be a sign that they need help.
Get the Help You Deserve at Ardu Recovery Center
Substance abuse treatment is the end goal after an intervention. If you or a loved one are ready to start your recovery journey, get in touch with the professionals at Ardu Recovery Center. Our Provo, Utah, facilities offer various treatment options to suit your needs, and our programs are made to make the addiction recovery process as effective as possible.
Call us at 801-872-8480 or fill out our online form today to get started on your path to recovery.