What Treatment is Available for Prescription Drug Abuse?

What Treatment is Available for Prescription Drug Abuse?

When people think of prescription drug abuse or addiction, painkillers or opioids are often the first drug class to come to mind. While the effects of the opioid epidemic remain problematic for cities and states across the nation, opioids are not the only form of prescription drug with high abuse rates. Each year, thousands of people die from drug-related overdose or misuse of different types of prescription drugs. Data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggests the death toll from prescription drug abuse often exceeds 100 people per day. Some research suggests as many as eighteen million people meet the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder based on their dependency on (or addiction to) prescription drugs. Without the help of an addiction treatment program, an addiction to prescription drugs can be challenging (and potentially dangerous) to overcome.


What Types of Prescription Drugs are Abused?


Commonly abused prescription drugs generally fall into one of several drug classes. These include opioids, stimulants, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and sedatives (anti-anxiety medications). It is not uncommon for drugs within these categories to be widely prescribed by medical and mental health providers to help alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of conditions. When used as directed and for the length of time required, prescription drugs are highly beneficial. However, many also have a high risk for abuse and misuse, which quickly leads to addiction.


Each class or “type” of drug contains many medications that are familiar to most. For example: 

  • Opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine Sedatives including Ambien
  • Benzodiazepines like valium, Diazepam, Ativan, Valium, and Xanax. 
  • Prescription stimulants include Adderall and Ritalin
  • Antidepressants include Prozac and Zoloft.


How to Tell if Someone is Abusing Prescription Drugs


It can be challenging to tell if someone is abusing prescription drugs. This is because the signs and symptoms of abuse will vary depending on the substance. Also, the effects one experiences when taking a particular substance may be the desired effects and not necessarily an indication of an addiction. However, some effects are often seen across all substances and may point to the need for comprehensive addiction treatment.


Prescription drug addiction symptoms fall into three categories: physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and behavioral symptoms. Typical physical and behavioral indicates of prescription drug abuse may include mood swings, increased isolation, financial or legal problems, breathing problems, speech challenges, skin sores, cardiac issues, stomach problems, and withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop or reduce how often they use. Someone struggling with a prescription drug addiction may also experience psychological challenges such as stress, anxiety, psychotic symptoms, and depression.


How to Treat Prescription Drug Abuse


If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to prescription drugs, the safest and most effective way to overcome addiction is to seek help at a substance abuse treatment program. Typically, a prescription drug addiction develops from using a particular medication as part of a treatment plan. However, in time tolerance and dependency develop, making reducing or stopping use without help difficult. The detox process from some prescription drugs can lead to life-threatening medical complications and is best managed in a setting where medical care and supervision are available.


Once detox is complete, you can successfully transition into the therapeutic portion of addiction treatment. During therapy, you will learn more about the root causes of addiction. Understanding the triggers or circumstances that lead to drug abuse makes it possible to develop new, safer coping strategies to use when faced with stress, depression, or other situations formerly managed through substance use. As treatment progresses and you prepare to return to your day-to-day responsibilities and obligations, you will leave treatment having developed a range of relapse preventions skills you can learn to help maintain lasting sobriety.


How to Convince Someone Addicted to Prescription Drugs to Get Help


If a friend or loved one struggles with prescription drug addiction, it can be challenging to convince them to seek help. You may have suggested or even offered to help secure a stay at rehab, and your words have fallen on deaf ears. The process of admitting to or acknowledging an unhealthy relationship with substances is complex and very individual. Each person examines their dependency on drugs in a unique way. Given that prescription drugs are “prescribed” by a trusted medical or mental health provider, the process of helping a loved one understand the risks of not seeking help may be even further complicated.


If you want to help your friend or loved one accept help, suggest arranging an appointment with their primary care provider or mental health provider. This person, especially if they were the original prescriber, can offer insight and may help your friend or loved one decide the treatment is the best next step. In the absence of a medical provider, you can also reach out to the team at Footprints of Serenity. Our admissions team can provide additional information on how you can help get your friend or loved one the help they need to put addiction in the past.

How To Get Someone into Rehab

How To Get Someone into Rehab

It’s rare for someone living under the crushing weight of addiction to one day have an epiphany and put themselves in rehab without incident.

While that sort of thing can happen, again, it’s a rarity. It is the exception rather than the rule.

That’s backed up by some revealing data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), who in their 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found the following:

  • An estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. This number represents 10.8 percent of the 21.7 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year
  • Among the estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older who were classified as needing but not receiving substance use treatment at a specialty facility, 95.4% did not think that they needed treatment in the past year for their substance use

Therein lies the issue at the heart of the matter; people have a very tough time admitting they have a problem. Particularly when it comes to substance use disorders. 

It is called denial and it’s hard to overcome.

Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction

Before touching on how to get someone into rehab, it’s imperative to understand what addiction looks like. The signs can vary by the substance being used, but the behavior associated with addiction, broadly speaking, has the same symptoms.

  • Taking more of a substance than intended and for longer periods
  • Unable to maintain responsibilities at work, home, or school
  • Developing a tolerance that requires larger doses to achieve the same high as before
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from drugs or alcohol
  • Inability to quit or cut back despite genuine efforts
  • Drug or alcohol use causing interpersonal issues with family and friends
  • Continuing to use despite the abundantly clear negative effects
  • Skipping activities and events once enjoyed in order to use
  • Finding oneself self in increasingly dangerous situations like driving while intoxicated, sharing needles, having unprotected sex, etc.
  • Intense cravings
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using

These won’t necessarily appear all at once and not all addictions will necessarily manifest to include all of these signs at first. However, the longer a substance use disorder goes unchecked the more and more of these will creep in and as time passes, will only get worse.

How To Get Someone into Rehab

You’ve likely already discovered that asking politely hasn’t done the trick.

That’s the nature of addiction and, more importantly, that’s the nature of denial we mentioned above.

The key to getting anyone into rehab and having an iota of hope that it’ll work is for the addict to “see the light.” They need to be shown how their drug or alcohol use is not only affecting them but others as well. To personalize the pain the addiction is causing and the havoc it’s creating. 

Often, something more is needed to get them into rehab, and that something is called an intervention.

An intervention isn’t a silver bullet but it is a pointed call to arms in the fight against addiction. Interventions force the user to be face to face with the consequences of their actions in a healthy, non-confrontational way – nothing turns a person off quicker than being aggressively attacked and badgered, that goes for everyone, not just addicts.

It’s like turning a mirror on their behavior and making them see what it’s doing to themselves, family and friends but in a caring and controlled environment.

There’s a lot that goes into planning an intervention from who participates to what you’ll say to the actionable ultimatums, it’s a lot. Given that, you shouldn’t try to do one on your own.

Reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity, interventions are what we do.

The Different Types of Rehab Facilities Available for Addiction Treatment

The Different Types of Rehab Facilities Available for Addiction Treatment

Deciding that you need to go to rehab isn’t the end of the story. It’s not as if there’s just one treatment center everyone goes to.

There are different types of rehab facilities out there that suit the differing needs of addicts. Where you or a loved one goes ultimately depends on several variables, with particular weight being given to the severity of the addiction. Some people who’ve been living with a substance use disorder for decades, generally need a vastly different level of care than those who’ve been dealing with drugs or alcohol for less time.

The Different Types of Rehab Facilities You Can Go To

The most straightforward way to break down the different types of rehabs that are available to people is to split them out into their broadest categories: inpatient and outpatient.

The simplest way to look at it is this; with inpatient care you live in the facility where your treatment is happening and with outpatient treatment, you don’t. You can stay at your home and come to scheduled appointments for treatment. You’ll also sometimes see the term “residential treatment” floating around which is just another term for inpatient care.

Going a bit more in-depth, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes long-term residential treatment as a place that “provides care 24 hours a day, generally in non-hospital settings. The best-known residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC), with planned lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months. TCs focus on the “resocialization” of the individual and use the program’s entire community—including other residents, staff, and the social context—as active components of treatment…Treatment is highly structured.”

About outpatient care, they add, “outpatient treatment varies in the types and intensity of services offered. Such treatment costs less than residential or inpatient treatment and often is more suitable for people with jobs or extensive social support. It should be noted, however, that low-intensity programs may offer little more than drug education. Other outpatient models, such as intensive day treatment, can be comparable to residential programs in services and effectiveness, depending on the individual patient’s characteristics and needs. In many outpatient programs, group counseling can be a major component.”

How Each Type of Rehab Can Help You Get Sober

How inpatient or outpatient care helps you get sober is related to the specifics of your program and there is generally overlap. 

You’ll notice, for example, that both descriptions above-mentioned group work and the use of the entire community at the facility. That’s a mission-critical component of rehab but there’s more, so let’s touch on each type of rehab separately again.


Inpatient rehab is for those with the most severe addictions and the benefits are vast.

For starters, you have 24/7 support which is huge because relapse is a real threat to those who are just starting out. Having someone there, constantly, is a safety net.

Structure is another key component. Your entire day is planned when it comes to inpatient care so you don’t have time to think about drugs, let alone find them.

Which leads to the biggest helper: total focus. When going through inpatient treatment you’re 100% focused on the work of recovery. No distractions, no bad influences. Just complete commitment to the individual therapy and group work that are found in most programs.


This type of rehab is most helpful for those with less intense addictions or who are transitioning from inpatient care.

You’ll still have dedicated and set times with a counselor or therapists to guide you on the path of recovery and also group work, but that will be integrated into and scheduled around your life. Think of it as a stripped-back version of inpatient care in that sense.

Outpatient care is helpful as a support system and tool for further progress while being able to carry on with your day-to-day life.

To learn more about either option, don’t hesitate to reach out.

My Husband Is Addicted to Pain Pills, What Should I Do?

My Husband Is Addicted to Pain Pills, What Should I Do?

You plan for an awful lot with your husband; vacations, family functions, dinners, big purchases, where to send the kids for camp, a lot. You’re partners after all.

One thing that’s basically impossible to see coming though is an addiction, particularly one to pain pills as it may have started from a seemingly innocent prescription. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that in 2017 “an estimated 18 million people (more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older) have misused such medications at least once in the past year.”

Whether it started from a prescription or not though isn’t the pertinent point at the moment; the trouble is that once your partner is in the thick of a substance use disorder, what options do you realistically have to help out?

The person you married is still there, how do you get them back?

What Should I Do?

It’s no doubt a stunning statement to say to yourself, one you can’t believe you’re uttering; “my husband is addicted to pain pills”. It’s important to face this reality head-on though rather than go into denial which will only serve to make matters worse in the long run.

After you’ve clearly confirmed there’s an addiction and come to terms with the situation as best you can, the next move is to understand the nature of substance use disorders. Do some research and, critically, work on stopping any sort of enabling behavior you might be doing which includes denial, making excuses, picking up prescriptions, etc.

None of these things will be easy and the line between support and enabling in these circumstances is almost imperceptible. These enabling actions can bleed over into the realm of codependency, which James Madison University describes as “becoming so invested with each other that you can’t function independently”.

They go on to say, “in the long term, codependency takes a toll on both parties involved…there is often an imbalance because it is typically one person who consistently struggles and needs help (e.g., addiction, mental health issues, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement). That person becomes dependent on the helper. The helper often places a lower priority on their needs and becomes preoccupied with meeting the needs of others.

To that end, it’s important that you don’t forget that you have needs here too and to practice some self-care through this process. 

What makes all the above easier is finding help and support. 

How To Get My Husband Help with a Pain Pill Addiction Today

Depending on the severity of the addiction and the degree to which your husband denies there’s a problem, one of the paths you may want to consider is an intervention.

If through the course of keeping those communication lines open, you’re finding that you’re unable to break through to him and get him to come to an understanding that there’s a problem, that’s where an intervention specialist can help.

In order for change to happen, they need to confront that they have a problem.

Anyone dealing with addiction has to choose to seek treatment, they have to be shown what addiction is doing not only to themselves but to their family.

What it’s doing to you as their partner.

Unfortunately, it’s a harder point for some to get to than others.

At Footprints of Serenity, we have decades of combined experience in carefully and ethically providing that very pathway to guide people towards recovery and a future free from addiction.

To learn more about our intervention services, get in touch with us.

How To Approach an Addict in Denial

How To Approach an Addict in Denia

Although there are addicts who come to the conclusion that they need help on their own, this is unfortunately not always the case. There are many circumstances where addicts are in denial of their addictions, thinking or convincing others and themselves that they can stop at any time if they wanted to. As a friend or family member trying to convince your loved one that they have a problem, you may need to source for outside help to open their eyes to the issue. 

Classic Signs of a Drug Addiction To Look Out For

There are many signs and symptoms of drug addiction that you should be aware of before approaching your loved one about getting help. When you suspect a loved one may be abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to be aware of the signs of addiction. Once you are nearly certain that your loved one is exemplifying addict behavior, it is important to come up with a plan before confronting them about their issues.


Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for are physical signs of addiction, and other signs and symptoms are behavioral signs. Some of the physical signs of addiction include weight fluctuation, changes in appetite, lack of hygiene, sweating, shaking, twitching, enlarged pupils, bloodshot eyes, rotting teeth, emitting an odor, uncontrollable itching, and more. 


Some common behavioral signs of addiction include drastic mood swings, inability to focus on anything, inability to make eye contact, lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, isolation, hanging around a new group of people, slacking off in school or work, missing school or work, the lack of interest or care for anything, change in sleeping habits, failing to meet deadlines, requesting money for unknown reasons, and an overall lack of energy and motivation. 

How To Approach an Addict in Denial

Once you are certain that your loved one is in denial about their addiction, it is important to come up with a plan on how to approach them. It is understandably very difficult to see your loved one in a position where they are struggling, and even if you are the most logical and emotionless person in the world, it is still an extremely vulnerable position to be in.


It is never easy to talk about something as personal and sensitive as drinking or drug abuse, and it is even harder when you are confronting a loved one. One of the first important steps is to make sure that your loved one is not drunk or high when you have this conversation with them. If they are under the influence, it may be hard for them to see things clearly, and they may not be able to give you their focused attention. The goal is for your words to be able to sink in, and if they are high, it may be extremely difficult to break through.


The most important thing you can do is approach the conversation by letting them know that you are expressing real concern for your loved ones and their safety in a caring and honest way. 


Some of the tips on how to approach a loved one who is in denial about their addiction include bringing up specifics. The more specific you are, the more they will be able to see things as fact. If you bring up a behavior without giving a specific example, they will ask for the example and you will be stumped.


Next, it is important to use the word ‘I’ as opposed to ‘you.’ Using the word ‘you’ may have them think you are blaming them, or will make them question the validity of your words. The next tip is to bring up the negative effects this is having on their lives and their loved ones. Bringing up their commitments and their love for certain activities that they are no longer participating in can help open their eyes to how big their problem is getting. The last tip is to seek professional guidance and host an intervention. Filling the room with loved ones and a professional is going to help them understand the gravity of the situation and how many people are affected by their behavior. 


Approaching an addict is a difficult, and heartbreaking task that requires a lot of patience and calm. If you plan on approaching a loved one about an addiction, make sure to follow these tips and to consult with professionals. Hosting interventions is one of the best methods to approach an addict, and Footprints of Serenity is here to help.

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help Your Loved One Today

At Footprints of Serenity, our team of drug and intervention specialists work tirelessly to connect friends, families, and employers with the intervention services needed to help a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse. The goal is to provide caring and compassionate interventions for you and your loved one, and to help open people’s eyes to admitting that they need help. We believe that recovery is possible when presented with the opportunity, and we are here to provide that opportunity to you and your family. 

What Does Heroin Look Like?

What Does Heroin Look Like?

Heroin, a commonly abused illegal drug in the U.S.,  is a member of the opiate family and is derived from the opium poppy plant made from morphine. Heroin addiction is a rampant disease that claims countless lives every year, and as the opioid crisis has risen, so has the continued illegal use of this heavily addictive drug.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

Heroin is an opiate made from morphine that can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Otherwise known as smack, dope, junk, or horse, heroin is an extremely addictive substance that comes either in the form of powder or a black, sticky substance. Heroin is made from morphine and changes back into morphine when it enters the brain. 


When heroin enters the system, it binds to opioid receptors, which are the parts of the brain responsible for pleasure and mood. Heroin strikes the brain stem, which is responsible for controlling bodily functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and arousal. The potency of heroin is so extreme that those who use it feel the high very quickly. 


Heroin is most commonly ingested in powder form through snorting the substance into the nose. The substance can appear either white or brown in color, and it varies based on the purity level of the drug. On the other end, heroin is also seen in a solid, sticky form that can be hard to the touch. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a powerful opioid that causes a shift in a person’s brain, causing a person to experience intense cravings for the drug and leading them to abandon former interests and other parts of life. There are many signs and symptoms that may be indicative of someone who is suffering from a heroin addiction that loved ones should look out for. 


Some of the behavioral signs and symptoms of a heroin addiction include stealing money or items to pay for heroin, asking family or friends to borrow money for drugs, experiencing eviction, foreclosure, or bankruptcy as a result of spending money on heroin, avoiding loved ones, forgetting or ignoring family responsibilities, failing to go to work or attend school, becoming uncharacteristically violent, and lying to avoid being caught.


Some of the other physical signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include loss of appetite and lack of eating, losing a significant amount of weight, wearing long sleeves even when it is hot out to hide needle marks, unexpected changes in mood, and a change in the appearance of teeth and skin. 


Although it may be difficult to confront a loved one who you suspect is experiencing an addiction to heroin, it is important to bring up your concerns. Heroin is a dangerously addictive substance that can take over a person’s entire life after using the drug once. The long-term effects of heroin use include severe damage to a number of different organs in the body including a person’s lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain. Sharing needles also adds a layer of danger that can lead to infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Therefore, it is extremely important to confront a loved one who you suspect is abusing heroin. 

How To Get Your Loved One Help With a Heroin Addiction 

Heroin addiction can be difficult to treat, and therefore it is important to open their eyes to getting help. Heroin addiction can be treated through rehab at treatment centers that offer varying levels of care depending on the level of addiction someone is experiencing and how they respond to treatment. 


Some of the different types of rehab for heroin addiction include inpatient rehab for heroin abuse, outpatient rehab, residential rehab, teletherapy for heroin abuse, dual diagnosis treatment and more. Some of the types of therapies that one should expect include a 12-step facilitation therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, community reinforcement approach, contingency management, family behavior therapy, teletherapy, rational emotive behavioral therapy, and more. 

Reach Out to the Team at Footprints of Serenity Today

Footprint of Serenity offers intervention services for people looking to help their loved ones to overcome a heroin addiction. Confronting your loved one will be life-altering for them, and they will end up thanking you when they ultimately overcome their battle with drug addiction. Heroin is an extremely powerful drug that can cause life-threatening side effects, and confronting your loved one about it will show how much you care and they will feel better knowing that someone has faith in their potential. Contact us today for more information. 

Knowing When It’s Time to Have an Opioid Intervention

Knowing When It’s Time to Have an Opioid Intervention

Watching someone you love suffer is among the hardest things there is in this world.

The despair that comes with it, the uncertainty, the feelings of helplessness and the unending worry all grow worse by the day.

Emotions run raw and you look back wondering what you could’ve done differently to have avoided this scenario.

It’s a natural reaction.

While the past can’t be changed you can influence the future. There is a chance to right the ship so to speak and an opioid intervention can be a powerful motivator.

The question is when to make that move.

We’ll circle back to that in a moment.

What Are Opioids?

It’s instructive to know more about opioids and what an opioid addiction looks like.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines prescription opioids as “a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some prescription opioids are made from the plant directly, and others are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure. Opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Prescription opioids are used mostly to treat moderate to severe pain, though some opioids can be used to treat coughing and diarrhea”

You’ll know prescription opioids aka legal opioids, from brands like OxyContin or Vicodin.

An Illegal opioid on the other hand is heroin which has essentially the same effects.

The definition also mentions lab-made opioids or synthetic opioids. This is referring to an opioid like fentanyl which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

From 1999 to 2019, nearly 841,000 people have died from a drug overdose according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They add that “overdoses involving opioids killed nearly 50,000 people in 2019, and nearly 73% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids”.

What Are the Signs of An Opioid Addiction?

This is critical.

Understanding when someone transitions from being in control to being controlled by an opioid is huge when it comes to knowing when to step in.

Here are the signs of opioid addiction:

  • Unable to cut back or stop using
  • Work, home and school life are hurting 
  • Relationships with family and friends begin to fall apart, increased isolation
  • A tolerance develops meaning that they have to take larger and larger doses to get the same high
  • Experiencing intense cravings
  • Financial difficulties
  • Legal troubles related to finding more opioids, i.e., stealing
  • Doctor shopping in order to get more prescriptions
  • Lack of attention to personal hygiene
  • Decreased motivation 
  • Drowsiness and slurred speech
  • Depression
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Shift in sleeping patterns
  • Constipation
  • Going through withdrawal symptoms if not using

You may not notice all these things all at once but as soon as they begin to crop up, don’t dismiss it as a phase. Opioids are intensely addictive and once someone is hooked it tends to get worse when left unimpeded.

How to Know When It’s Time to Stage an Opioid Intervention

That all brings us back to the question of when. When do you reach a breaking point as a family member or friend?

There’s no specific point, to be honest. Each individual is an individual and their circumstances are all unique. A key consideration is about control; can they control their opioid use or is it controlling them?

Once an addiction truly takes hold it begins to dictate the choices a person makes. Life becomes about the pursuit of opioids, if your loved one is at the stage or you feel like they’re nearing it, it’s vital to talk to someone about the next steps and if it’s the right time for an intervention.

At Footprints of Serenity, we have decades of experience that can help guide you to an answer that’s right for your loved one. Reach out to us and let’s talk about it.

How to Stage an Intervention for Young Adults

How to Stage an Intervention for Young Adults

There are few things more heartbreaking than watching the potential of a young adult be whipped away and shattered by drug abuse or early alcoholism.

It can crush you as a parent, making you wonder where you went wrong or what you could’ve done differently to avoid this fate. As a friend, you can’t figure out where your paths diverged so dramatically.

It’s a tough reality to live in and whether you’re a family member or friend, there’s a sense of utter hopelessness that permeates the whole thing.

Just by being here and reading this though, you’ve clearly not given up on the pursuit of bringing them back from the brink. To that end, an intervention for young adults is very much something you should be considering if all else has failed up to this point.

Perhaps you’re not sure if this is a “phase” they’ll grow out of or if they’re well and truly addicted.

Signs a Young Adult Is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Knowing what addiction looks like is the only way to stand a chance at getting your loved one the care they need for it.

Here are some big things to keep an eye out for:

  • Change in their friend group, either suddenly or gradually, to people you don’t know or are of questionable character
  • Relationships with family and friends become strained
  • Becoming increasingly secretive and lying about what they’re doing and with whom
  • Preferring to be left alone
  • School, work and homelife are suffering i.e., skipping school or a decline in performance, being reprimanded at work, skipping family dinners
  • Overtaken by a lack of motivation and general apathy
  • Communication becomes sparse
  • Losing interest in activities they typically found joy in
  • Disregarding curfew if they have one
  • Getting in legal trouble, like stealing to fund drug or alcohol purchases
  • Eating habits shift dramatically, accompanied by weight gain or loss
  • Significant changes to sleep patterns, either sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Mood swings, irritability, and emotionally unstable
  • Increasingly poor hygiene, not showering or changing clothes for example
  • Slurred speech and drowsiness
  • Bloodshot eyes dilated or pinpoint pupils depending on the drug of choice
  • Needle marks if they’re injecting drugs or suspiciously wearing long sleeves even when it’s hot 
  • Picking at skin
  • Finding drug paraphernalia 

It’s a lot and not everyone will experience all of these but signs but the longer addiction to alcohol or drugs is left to linger, the worse it will get and the more of these will crop up.

If you’re noticing more and more of the signs, it may be time to consider an intervention.

How to Stage an Intervention for Young Adults

Critically, you should not stage one on your own.

Interventions are delicate and highly charged situations that can easily get out of hand if not guided by a trained and professional interventionist.

They require detailed planning and attention to detail that’s unwavering.

First, they’ll meet with you to discuss the goals of the intervention, i.e., go to rehab, and build the intervention around that.

Then they’ll help you assemble a group of family and friends who will participate in order to create the maximum effect.

At this point, an interventionist will also help you research treatment centers that align with the needs of your loved one and make sure everything is lined up so they can go straight to treatment if that’s the goal.

From there it’s about preparing what you’ll say in terms of how substances have taken a toll, expressing the emotional effects, problems they’ve caused, the strain on relationships, etc.

Among the toughest parts, aside from holding the intervention itself, is defining specific consequences for if they refuse help – this is a core part of the process and they need to be enforceable despite how hard it may be.

The whole point of the intervention is to show them how their drug or alcohol use is decimating not only their life but also the lives of the people around them. To jolt them into change by seeing the devastating all at once.

If you’re worried about a young adult in your life and think an intervention is right for them, get in touch with us at Footprints of Serenity, and let’s talk about it.

Alcohol Intervention Programs Explained

Alcohol Intervention Programs Explained

You can find alcohol anywhere. Baseball games, grocery stores, birthday parties, work events, etc. It’s everywhere.

That fact alone – that drinking is such a widely accepted and even cherished vice – makes it all the more difficult for folks to quit, let alone acknowledge that they have a problem.

That’s where alcohol intervention programs come into play.

An intervention is designed to “shake” a person awake so to speak and open their eyes to what alcohol is doing to themselves and those who love them so much. It’s like turning a mirror on their addiction, forcing them to face something they’ve been avoiding or introducing formally to the problem for perhaps the first time.

Alcohol Takes a Lot of Lives

Alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, unnecessarily taking around 95,000 lives a year according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put that number into further perspective by calculating that those 95,000 deaths equated to “2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2011 – 2015, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 29 years”.

Globally speaking, 5.3% of all deaths – 3 million people – were attributable to alcohol consumption in 2016.

Signs Your Loved One Is Addicted to Alcohol

To that end, understanding the signs of an alcohol use disorder, the formal name for alcoholism, in a loved one makes it easier for you to help them.

  • Drinks for longer than intended or having more than intended
  • Wanting to quit or cut back but unable to do so
  • Constantly intoxicated and spending an inordinate amount of time getting, drinking or recovering from alcohol
  • Planning days around drinking
  • Avoiding activities they once enjoyed because they can’t drink
  • Strong cravings for a drink
  • Continuing to drink despite the clear and abundant negative consequences
  • School, work and homelife are suffering due to drinking
  • Repeatedly and frequently blacking out
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Building a tolerance so needing to drink more to get the same effects as before
  • Denying a problem exists
  • Weight loss
  • Decreasing personal hygiene
  • Pulling back from friends and family
  • Drinking alone and/or at unusual hours like first thing in the morning
  • Financial problems related to overspending on alcohol
  • Legal problems due to crimes committed while drinking
  • Engaging in riskier behavior like driving drunk
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking like insomnia, nausea, depression or anxiety

Of course, these symptoms will vary from person to person depending on how severe the addiction is and how long it’s lasted.

How Alcohol Intervention Programs Can Help Your Loved One Find Addiction Treatment

If your loved one, be it a close friend or family member, is exhibiting more and more of these signs over time, it may be time to take action.

The prospects of staging an intervention are understandably nerve-wracking and overwhelming which is why it’s recommended you do not do one on your own. Working with a professional interventionist like Footprints of Serenity takes the burden of planning and execution off you.

Working with a team who truly understands the process and can adjust in real-time based on previous experience is truly a game changer in terms of achieving the desired results of getting your loved one into addiction treatment.

In fact, a core element of putting an intervention together is assisting you in doing the research and helping you pinpoint a rehab facility that would best suit your loved one’s needs. The idea is to have that locked in and set up so at the end of the intervention they can choose change immediately.

The last thing you want is to convincingly make the case for treatment and then have to figure out the where and when. You want to be able to present them with a lifeline and have them act on it at that very moment.

Reach out to us to learn more about interventions and how we can help you find the right treatment for your family member or friend.

Intervention Specialist Near Me

Intervention Specialist Near Me

Addiction doesn’t often resolve itself.

Actually, let’s rephrase that slightly, addiction doesn’t often resolve itself positively.

In 2019, drug overdoses took nearly 71,000 lives according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Roughly 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each and every year as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) points out.

So, addictions and substance use disorders very much can and do resolve themselves…negatively.

Nearly 170,000 die annually from the use of substances in some way, shape or form. The despair that those deaths rain down on the family and friends left to cope with that sort of unfathomable loss is impossible to quantify.

You’re left with emptiness and an unending stream of soul-crushing questions, like; “what if I’d stepped in?”, “what if I’d done more?”, “what else could I have done?”, etc.

There are actions you can take now to prevent that outcome and save a life, considering an intervention is one of them.

What Is an Intervention?

You may already have a vague idea of what an intervention is based on the word itself and perhaps even the TV show of the same name, but let’s put a real definition to it.

The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health does a good job of succinctly explaining it, noting that interventions are “a professionally delivered program, service, or policy designed to prevent substance misuse or treat an individual’s substance use disorder”.

A critical note about interventions though is that you should not try to organize one on your own. It’s a very delicate process with lots of moving parts and an extremely emotional and charged event. Getting it wrong could have dire consequences in the opposite direction. Your loved one may feel attacked, betrayed, resentful and so on which may actually lead to them closing themselves off further and falling deeper into their addiction.

What Does an Intervention Specialist Do?

An interventionist, or intervention specialist, is someone who’s trained and well-versed in designing and organizing interventions. It sounds simple but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

An intervention isn’t just a confrontation about addiction built on hope. It’s a guided process and the odds of it being successful go up exponentially when it’s done correctly.

An intervention specialist first and foremost helps you, your family and friends formulate a plan of action and how to mitigate adverse reactions.

They’ll assist you in the research phase regarding which treatment centers and what types of rehab would suit your loved one best as well as work with you to make arrangements for admission and transportation.

An intervention specialist will then lead you through choosing who exactly will participate in the intervention to create the maximum effect. Once that’s been decided, they can help you pick meaningful consequences in the event the person going through the intervention refuses treatment (and it’s imperative to stick to your guns here no matter how difficult it may be).

Lastly, they’ll help steer what you’ll say in the intervention.

As you can see, there’s quite a lot going on and this was just the briefest of overviews.

Why You Should Let Footprints of Serenity Help Your Loved One Today

You might be wondering “how can I find an intervention specialist near me?”

Easy. You can reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity.

We have decades of combined experience in the world of interventions and have a proven track record of tactfully turning a mirror on someone’s addiction and getting them to make the right choice in seeking treatment.

If you’re not in the Southern California area, no worries, get in touch with us anyhow and we can offer advice or perhaps even connect you to an interventionist in your area. The goal is to help your loved one get better, doesn’t matter where you or they are.