Often times, when a loved one or family member is addicted to an opiate such as heroin or prescription painkillers, the deciding factors as to whether they will ever recover depends on intervention. Sadly, intervention is often a last ditch effort to get an individual to accept help—but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some considerations that can help you to decide whether intervention is the answer to your loved one’s opiate addiction:
The Severity of Opiate Addiction
As a general rule, the more severe the addiction problem the more difficult it will be to communicate with the addict in a way he or she will understand. With chronic, long-term opiate abuse, the brain’s functional capacity undergoes considerable decline, impairing a person’s ability to think, make sound judgments and empathize with the concerns of others. Under these conditions, it’s best to use a drug intervention specialist.
The Potentiall for Violent Outbursts
Opiate addiction not only impairs the addicts thinking, but also warps the brain’s emotion-based processes. Opiate effects also weaken a person’s ability to control his or her impulses, which makes for a potentially volatile situation when conducting a drug intervention meeting. If your loved one has exhibited violent outbursts or has a tendency towards violent behavior, a drug intervention specialist should be called in.
History of Mental Illness
The combined effects of mental illness and opiate addiction only work to aggravate an existing drug problem. This type of scenario greatly increases the likelihood of a volatile intervention meeting.
Loved ones struggling with depression, anxiety and/or bipolar disorders rely on the effects of opiates even more so than someone who’s not affected by mental illness and will likely view the intervention as a serious threat to their well-being. This is another situation where the services of a drug intervention specialist should be seriously considered.