When to Intervene to Help a Loved One Get Off Opioids

It’s never easy to know when to help a loved one get off opioids. You can’t just talk to an addict and expect change immediately. Sometimes, they may be unaware they have an opioid problem. 100% of the time, they do not feel comfortable talking about the addiction with you.

Therefore, it’s ideal to know the best time to intervene. You don’t have to wait till when they’re showing acute signs of opioids abuse. Baby steps when the problem is still in its infancy is the best approach.

Furthermore, there’s no straightforward way to assist a person with opioid dependence. It takes patience, time and great willpower to achieve sobriety.

If someone refuses to rectify their behaviour, then trying to talk them into getting help won’t work. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to help a loved one make changes in the long run. Read on to know more about holding an intervention for opioid abuse.

How Do You Know When To Intervene?

For you to intervene, you need to know how to approach someone with opioid addiction. Here are some signs that’ll let you know the right time to step in and help.


Isolation plays a significant role in letting you know when to help a loved one get off opioids. Addicts have a lot going on in their minds. They tend to lose touch with reality.

Most times, they distance themselves from people because they are scared of what others may say. If you notice a person is always unavailable or locked up their room. Then, this may be a pointer for you to intervene.

Change in dressing

When is the best time to intervene? Well, this is one of those times. Hygiene is the last thing someone dependent on opioids will worry about. Yes, we have days where we may be feeling off and not want to change out of our clothes.

However, if this evolves into a habit, then it may be signs of a deeper problem. The lives of many addicts revolve around the substances they abuse. Therefore, they forgo various things, including their hygiene.

Strange behaviour patterns

If you pay close attention, you will see a change in the attitude of your loved one. They may start to speak to themselves, wander about, get aggressive, keep late nights and gesticulate frequently. Identifying their strange behaviours will let you know the next step to take.

If you recognize any of these behavioural patterns, it may be time to intervene in your loved one’s situation. The urgency of the situation increases, especially if they have a history of opioid abuse.

Increased dependence

The straightforward answer to when to help a loved one get off opioids is the point at which dependence starts. Has the person been taking more than the prescribed dose? Do they require extra dosage to relieve pain? This means they’re slowly building a dependence on the drug.

As time progresses, they’ll require more and more of it to get the desired effect. In cases like this, the individual is most likely unaware of their addiction. It’s up to you to plan for an intervention that leads them to opioid addiction treatment.

Brain fog

Forgetting things quickly or taking a while to reply when they’re asked questions indicates that your loved one’s thoughts are foggy. There’s every possibility you may want to ascribe this symptom to stress.

On the other hand, if they are currently using legally prescribed opioid medication, it may be time to worry. This may be a pointer answering when to help a loved one get off opioids addiction. Again, if you notice their speech is slurred, and their response is weird. Don’t hesitate to call other family members to talk about it.

Rapid mood swing

It’s rare to meet someone proud of being a drug addict. Hence, people struggling with it tend to get aggressive and defensive when confronted. When you inquire about their whereabouts, they may become agitated and throw tantrums.

Even when you silently accuse them of it, they may turn secretive. Before it gets worse, it’s time you step in and talk them into getting opioid addiction treatment.

Related Article: How To Prevent Opioid Addiction Relapse

Financial difficulties

Constant financial issues are another sign to help a loved one get off opioids. If they have a stable job, then there’s a big reason to worry.

Opioid medication isn’t free, and neither is it cheap. As such, people with opioid addiction will do everything possible to get it — including spending money recklessly.

Sometimes, your loved one may even begin to lower their standard of living or even go as far as borrowing to get the drug. If you notice this, there’s every possibility they’ll need opioid addiction treatment.

Steps to Take in an Intervention for Opioids Addiction

Intervention for loved ones will positively affect their treatments. You may feel scared to talk to someone about addiction because it’s a touchy subject. Besides, it may seem like a betrayal when you involve other members of the family.

You may also be experiencing the greatest fear of losing them to opioids. Therefore, it’s not surprising you’ll want the best way to help the person. Luckily for you, we’ve highlighted the steps you can take to assist your loved one in their opioid recovery journey.

Build trust

This is essential when you want a person to see the need for change. You need to let your loved ones know that you’ll support them throughout the treatment process.

Most importantly, avoid nagging, yelling, criticizing or even lecturing them about their behaviours. This will only make them distance themselves from you. A little mistake on your part can undermine the trust you’ve already regained.

Help yourself

Coping with a loved one who is dependent on opioids can be quite stressful. They can often be irrational. Therefore, you should seek support when dealing with an addict.

You need to acquire stress management skills that’ll suit both you and your loved one. For this, you can join online support groups or even see a therapist.


You can’t just walk up to your loved one to talk about their opioids addiction. No addict will willingly attend their intervention. You need to set the mood. Pick a place and time with people who understand the situation. Keep in mind that not all family members have to be present.

If they’re around their immediate family or best friends, they’ll feel more comfortable and loved. The conversation should be sweet and short. It shouldn’t come off as a boring lecture that’ll corner the person.

There’s no guarantee that this step will go smoothly. In the end, the decision for a person to get help solely relies on them.

Propose treatment options

Most people who want to overcome addiction do not know how to go about it. However, if you raise options that can help them get well. They’ll be more than willing to change.

Related Article: How Opioids Turn Unwitting Patients into Addicts

Final Thoughts

Knowing when to help a loved one get off opioids is crucial. It’s not the time to feel scared or helpless. Sure, staging an intervention for a person you love can be a challenging ordeal. However, it can also empower you to take back your life and regain control over your emotions. The healing process is a long journey. But with the right intervention, you and your loved one can begin on the right path.

That being said, at Inspire Change Wellness Addiction Treatment Center, we’ll walk you through this journey. Contact us today to see how our treatment programs can be the solution to your loved one’s opioid problem!

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