When you realize that a friend or a family member has taken drug and/or alcohol use much too far, it may be time to see about an intervention. That can be done on a personal level, with family and friends, or it can be done on a professional level through making a person get help. You’ll know, generally, when it’s time to get help for someone. Alcohol use in someone who’s of age should be occasional and not excessive. Someone under legal drinking age shouldn’t be drinking at all. For drugs, there’s a sharper line. There shouldn’t be any illegal drug use, and legal medications should only be taken by the person they were prescribed to, and only in the specified dosage.
That doesn’t mean every underage person who sneaks one drink needs rehab, though, or every person who tries marijuana or takes a friend’s pain pill for a severe headache should be sent away to ‘get clean.’ Ideally, people wouldn’t use illegal substances and would follow rules that are set out for legal ones, but this is not a perfect world. Where intervention comes into play is generally through a realization that the person can’t stop the drugs or alcohol – or that he or she is getting sick from them.
Some people also lose jobs and families, and they continue to make lifestyle changes in order to accommodate drug and alcohol use. In those kinds of cases, intervention services may be necessary, significant, and important. The abuse has gone on for a long time at that point, and stopping on his or her own with willpower alone may no longer be possible. That’s when interventions can really have the most impact, and they can save lives that would otherwise very likely be lost to the abuse of drugs and alcohol.