Families can express concerns of abuse behaviors to a trusted authority figure and arrange a planned intervention, and can also ensure that a negative experience (a DUI, or intoxication induced injury) is used as a reinforcing teaching opportunity by calling for an intervention during a very acute receptive state.
Too many people exhibiting at risk behaviors never get a chance to benefit from a brief intervention, which can often be enough to change behaviors and better health. Statistics indicate that almost half of all people with alcohol disorders are never appropriately diagnosed, even though primary care medical staff must surely have suspicions of abuse. Family seems to be in a unique position to influence drug abuse prevention by arranging for a brief intervention with a trusted authority figure.
It may not work for all, but the cost benefit ratio is firmly tilted in favor of a brief intervention. There can be little harm done by counseling moderation in consumption and encouraging harm reduction. It makes no sense to wait until substance abuse becomes addiction before acting, and everyone benefits far more from early and easy brief interventions.
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