People who are experiencing an addiction, or problem use, are eventually
confronted by outside systems. Whether this is the workplace, the law or loved
ones, it generally is only a matter of time before some level of ‘intervention’
Concerns may be expressed by spouse, family members, friends
or the doctor. When substance use begins to impact an individual’s ability to fulfill role expectations or begins to create noticeable health concerns, some level of
confrontation will usually begin.
I was referred to the EAP, it was embarrassing to be given an ultimatum.
My wife called my doctor in spite of my strong protests.
While a defensive reaction to confrontation is common, deep
down the addict already knows that
s/he is living outside of their potential. However, as with any identity we
take on, the subconscious mind will strive to prevent interference. This allows
for a self of congruence even if it is painful.
Many factors will Influence how confrontation plays out
including an individuals pre-morbid level of functioning, the extent of external
obligations and the degree to which they are being met and the systems
generally attitude around use and abuse of substances. Families who have
generational patterns of unresolved addictions are often more likely to turn a
blind eye or minimize concerns.