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Who needs an intervention?According to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are nearly two million admissions each year to facilities that treat alcohol and drug addictions.  Note that the actual figure in the country would be even higher, because not all facilities report admissions to a governmental office. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released survey results showing that over 23 million people needed treatment for an abuse or dependency problem, so only about 10 percent of those who need help are getting it in a treatment facility.

Who Needs an Intervention?

If you are reading this, you probably already suspect that someone you care about is among that other 90 percent.  There is tremendous variation among demographics when looking at who needs an intervention.  People of every race and age group are affected, as are people in urban and rural areas, those with higher education and those without, and individuals in every income bracket.

It is probably not surprising to learn that alcohol treatment is the most common reason people enter extended-stay facilities (typically for about 28 days).  More surprising, however, is that marijuana is the next most common reason, surpassing heroin by several percent.  Many people do not believe that marijuana is addictive or that it can be a problem that requires a treatment facility, but in fact over 15 percent of admissions are for marijuana abuse.

Also significantly represented in treatment centers are cocaine/crack addiction, dependence on other stimulants and opiates other than heroin.  Though there are far fewer cases associated with other substances, you may know someone in need of an intervention for sedatives, hallucinogens, tranquilizers or inhalants.

Symptoms of Addiction

Regardless of the substance being abused, there are certain signs that you can be on the lookout for to determine when someone needs an intervention. Among them are:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work or home
  • A general trend in moods toward being irritable, withdrawn or angry
  • Manic bouts of euphoria or bursts of energy followed by an obvious “crash”
  • Secretive behavior or unexplained absences
  • Loss of interest in activities that previously brought pleasure
  • Asking to borrow money and not returning it
  • Losing old friends and spending time with new people who don’t have much to say to you
  • Loss of interest in physical appearance or a clear neglect of hygiene and grooming
  • Anxiety or paranoia that was not characteristic before

Though these are all things to look out for, you have to trust your intuition and knowledge of the individual.  If you suspect there is a problem, proceed as though there is. Help is available if you call (888) 371-5722.  Experts will help you determine if someone you love needs an intervention and help you prepare for it.