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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’ begins. 

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 protests.

My family watches me closely at events.

While a defensive reaction to confrontation is common, deep down the addict already or problem user 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. 

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