When Does A Habit Become An Addiction?

Most of us have bad habits of some sort. In most cases, these habits are completely harmless. But what happens when a habit spirals into a dangerous addiction? Do you smoke? Do you drink to excess? Do you take pills or use cocaine from time to time? Have you been taking prescription drugs for as long as you can remember? None of us expect to become an addict, but addictive behavior can develop very quickly. Before you know it, you’re not in control, and your addiction is taking over every aspect of your life.


Am I an addict?

We often say that we’re addicted to things in a light-hearted manner. But the reality is that addiction is a real threat to society. Bad habits won’t land most of us in trouble, but addiction can. When you have an addiction, you’ll continue to do something even though you’re aware of the negative consequences. You’re willing to put your family, your finances, and your health on the line to get that next fix.

If you think about something all the time, and it has become your priority, you may be an addict. Are you willing to sacrifice other things to buy pills or a bottle of vodka? Are drugs, gambling, or alcohol the first thing you think about when you wake up? Are you willing to push the boundaries and take risks just to get that high? Has your behavior changed? Are you lying to others to cover your tracks?

Addictions don’t just affect your mental health. They also have implications for your physical health. If you’re a drug addict, you may find that your heart races sometimes. Or you may have lost weight. If you’re an alcoholic, you may have jaundice. If you smoke all day every day, you may have a smoker’s cough and breathing difficulties. Many people who have addictions also struggle to sleep.


Where can I get help?

The most important step on the path to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and seeking help. There are some amazing facilities and treatments out there, but they’re no good to you if you don’t want to be helped. If you do want to reach out, there are various options. See your doctor or contact a charity that helps addicts. Seek advice from your therapist or research drug rehab centers. There are many different treatment techniques and methods, which may be beneficial. Often, it’s a matter of trying therapies and seeing what works best. The methods that are recommended may depend on the type and severity of your addiction. In some cases, medication and talking therapies may be sufficient. In other cases, intensive rehabilitation may be the best approach.

Image credit: Brandon Giesbrecht – https://flic.kr/p/b6XZJa

You may never have thought in your wildest dreams that you would become an addict. The trouble is that a one-off can quickly turn into something much more serious. If your life is governed by smoking, drinking, or going to the casino, you may well have an addiction. Even if you feel fine physically, this doesn’t mean that all is fine and dandy internally. It can take a long time for the effects of an addiction to become apparent. What is important is that you seek help if you are worried about your behavior. Early intervention can make all the difference.

Intervention: An effective treatment for substance abuse problem

Drug and alcohol addiction can be crippling not only to the sufferer but to the people that love him. There are many times when the person who is addicted cannot see how their addiction is destroying their life and the lives of the people who are around them. They simply are not able to help themselves get clean. In these cases, it may be necessary to stage an intervention. Understanding how this process works is key to helping your loved one make the changes he needs to fix his life.

drug addiction
Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkTGEfolhqg

What is an Intervention?

Many people have heard about interventions but few people understand how they actually work. An intervention is a process in which loved ones of an addicted person step in to demand that they get help or treatment. Interventions are meant to empower, not to shame the person. They are often necessary when a person cannot understand the extent of their problem and how it is affecting their life.

How to Stage an Intervention

There are several things that you should and should not do when staging an intervention.

Practice what you will discuss

This is one of the most important factors in hosting a successful intervention. It is easy for the discussion to get derailed and turn into an emotional blame-fest. By making an outline of what you will talk about and what you will not, you can keep the conversation on the topic at hand.

Be concrete and specific with what you want from your loved one. Don’t just say, “we think you need to get help.” Say things like, “we have found a list of Houston drug detox centers and we want you to enroll in a program by next month.” This will make your intentions clear and make it more likely that your loved one will follow your advice.

Involve the Right People

An intervention is not an opportunity for you and your family to gang up on the person and humiliate him. Struggling with drug addiction is a challenge in itself, and it can be hard for the sufferer to face reality. Involve only those people who are absolutely essential to the conversation such as a parent, spouse or child. Don’t advertise the intervention or mention it to others who are not involved. The key is to preserve the person’s dignity while attempting to help them with their addiction.

Stage it in a Neutral Place

Avoid having the intervention in a place where the person will feel trapped or intimidated. Choose a neutral place that will allow for privacy and give the person the means to leave, if necessary. The last thing you want to do is to make the person feel cornered or attacked.

Hire a Professional

The best way to conduct an intervention is to hire a professional who specializes in staging these types of events. Interventions are deeply personal, and if they are not handled correctly, they can destroy relationships. A professional will be trained in how to handle these situations with grace, and they can give you guidance on how to proceed. Interventions often get emotional and can devolve into screaming, tears and arguing. A professional is a neutral third party who can keep the atmosphere calm and make sure you stay on the topic at hand.

Give Consequences

There have to be real consequences in order for your loved one to take action. An intervention is not just a simple chat. This is a serious effort on your part to change the course of another person’s life. Deliver real consequences and be prepared to act on them. Some people tell their loved one that they will have to move out if they don’t enroll in drug treatment. Other people tell them that they will lose their relationship with their children or spouse. Still others withhold financial support if the person does not get help for their addiction. Remember, however, that the addiction is a real medical condition that requires professional care. Most people who are addicted sincerely want to quit but find it challenging to do so.

Staging an intervention is an effective way to force a loved one to get treatment for their substance abuse problem. There are professional intervention companies that will step in and help you to plan and execute your intervention with your family member. They have years of experience and offer trained professionals who can make the process run as smoothly as possible.

If your loved one is addicted, don’t wait to take action. His life depends on it.