At some in their lives, most people will discover that someone they know or love has developed a drug problem. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people have a substance abuse problem. Sometimes, an intervention is needed to help that loved one break through their denial. When confronted, the denial turns to hostility. They are offended you would suggest they have a problem because their perception of the reality of their drug use has been skewed by chemical alterations in their brain. When that denial is so deep it threatens their lives or their drug use threatens the lives of others, it is time for an intervention.

Here are 5 signs that someone you know needs a drug intervention:


You notice because they are doing more drugs than you’ve seen them do before, or drinking more in front of others than before. Maybe they’re running through their prescriptions too quickly, or spending too much money. As an addiction escalates, tolerance develops, which means the body and brain need to consume more of the substance to get the same effect.

Deceptive Behavior

Your loved one might hide bottles of alcohol, show up at events already intoxicated, or hide opiate prescription medications in unmarked bottles. They can also spin a good story to explain where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing, and with whom. In an intervention you can address all these deceptions and move toward treatment.

Changing appearance

Addiction affects the brain and the body. Appearance will change in physical appearance and hygiene. Their clothes may appear disheveled, they may shave less often, and they may even stop showering regularly. Some drugs, like heroin and meth, have bad effects on the skin, like needle marks, wrinkles, and scars from picking the skin, which many will often try to disguise with more makeup or long sleeves. Note, however, that a decline in appearance may not occur until the later stages of addiction.


Heavy substance abusers can experience blackouts: periods of time that the he or she cannot recall fully or at all. If you make a remark about something they said or did at a party, and they look baffled or skeptical, take that a sign of serious substance abuse, especially if it occurs more than once or twice.

Financial Problems

When financial problems can’t be explained—when the money can’t be accounted for—that’s a deal breaker with addiction. Eventually the cost of substance abuse catches up to an addict and they can no longer hide dire financial straits. If someone is wealthy, the eyebrow-raising bank notes could take a long time show up. If you’ve been enabling the addict with extra money, the intervention is a good time to let them know that their drug-funds have been completely cut-off. Offer only funds for treatment and support for recovery.


The pain of addiction isn’t limited to the addict, and neither is the treatment. To learn about our family therapy and family programming, call Cypress Lake Recovery today: 866-217-2636