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An addiction to drugs or alcohol can fragment previously happy families, derail promising careers, and seriously damage health and well being; and left unchecked, addictions inevitably run their full course of destruction. There's a truism that people need to hit rock bottom before they can really see what a mess they've made of things, and really get motivated to seek and benefit from needed drug or alcohol treatment.

Unfortunately, what's perceived to be true and necessary is not so, and people can benefit from intervention and therapy at any stage in the progression of addiction, and generally, the earlier drug treatment is sought, the easier the transition back to sobriety, and the better the ultimate prognosis of recovery.

People do not need to admit to a problem to benefit from therapies and treatment, and if you can ever convince someone needing help to get it, their wall of denial may come crashing down under during the scrutiny of individual and peer group therapies.

The best time to initiate an intervention is as soon as substance use threatens to become abuse, and well before an addition has taken hold. People should express their concerns or arrange informal and brief professional interventions as early as possible, using abuse prevention as a much easier and preferable way to manage substance use and abuse behaviors, before the problem becomes too severe.

If you hold concerns about the use behaviors of a loved one…those concerns are very likely justified. Not everyone one who flirts with heavy use and abuse consumptions will become dependent, and some may simply walk away unharmed from the abyss of dependency; but because so many unwittingly slide into addiction and heartache, early intervention is the best kind of kindness, and whether ultimately needed or not, can do no harm and may do a world of good.

Sometimes a 20 minute conversation of concern can spark a needed change in behavior, and new and not yet severe dependencies may respond well to minimally intrusive outpatient therapies, avoiding the expense and disruption of residential care.

No one needs to suffer the pains of hitting rock bottom, and to watch someone proceed through destruction without intervening certainly does nothing to assist them in their battles.

The earlier the better…drug treatment and intervention before the inevitable heartbreak of addiction.

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Page last updated Sep 11, 2010

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