Alcohol Intervention: Breaking through Alcoholism

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alcohol interventionAlcohol is a subtle foe. It kind of sneaks up on its users and before they even know it they are in the grips of a full-blown alcohol dependency. Once  enslaved by a constant pattern of drinking and often times drinking too much, the person with the alcoholism may feel as if there is no way out. They either will have no desire to stop drinking or they will want to stop and find they that they can’t.

It isn’t an easy place to be for the alcoholic or their loved ones.

So what do you do? Well that is where alcohol interventions come in. Alcohol interventions can help the person who wants to stop drinking to finally quit the booze for good. And alcohol interventions can help the person who doesn’t want to quit drinking to break through their denial and finally accept some sort of help.

How do alcohol interventions work?

Well an alcohol intervention is a carefully planned process that involves family and friends, sometimes colleagues, members of your church or anyone else who may care about the person struggling with alcoholism. During the alcohol intervention you will all gather and confront your loved one about their drinking and ask him or her to accept treatment at that time.

An alcohol intervention usually consists of the following steps:


  1. Planning: A family member or friend decides that an alcohol intervention may be the best thing for your loved one. It is highly recommended that if you want to do an alcohol intervention that you consult with a professional alcohol interventionist. An alcohol intervention is a highly charged and emotional situation that has the potential to cause anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal. If you have any worries or concerns that the alcohol intervention may trigger anger or violence do not under any circumstances try to perform an intervention on your own.
  2. Gathering Information: The group members involved in the alcohol intervention will find out about the extent of your loved members drinking and research the condition and treatment programs. If you have an alcohol interventionist they can help you with this.
  3. Forming an alcohol intervention team: The group of family members and loved ones is known as the alcohol intervention team. Your alcohol intervention team and your alcohol interventionist will work together to present a consistent and rehearsed message and a structured treatment plan to your loved one. It is imperative though that your loved one doesn’t know what is about to happen.
  4. Deciding on the consequences: This can be hard for some people because no one wants to kick their loved on the street. But there has to be consequences if your loved one doesn’t accept treatment. Together, you and your alcohol interventionist will come up with reasonable consequences if your loved one denies help during the alcohol intervention. For instance, taking away contact with their children or no longer letting them live at home.
  5. Write down what to say: Your alcohol interventionist will most likely have you write down what you want to say during the alcohol intervention. What you write down should have specific incidents where the addiction has resulted in problems such as emotional or financial issues. Discuss the way that your loved one’s drinking has affected your life and others’.
  6. The alcohol intervention meeting: Without saying why, ask  your loved one to the site of the intervention where your intervention team and alcohol interventionist will be waiting. Core members of your team will then take turns expressing their concern and feelings and then the drinker in your life will be presented with the treatment options. Often times the alcohol interventionist will mediate and keep everything calm.
  7.  Follow-up: You being involved in your loved one’s recovery is helpful not only for yourself but also for their recovery. Luckily, with an alcohol interventionist you don’t have to put your life on hold to check on your loved one, they can do it for you. Seeking your own therapist and recovery support is also important. A successful alcohol intervention has to be carefully planned with the help of an alcohol interventionist. A poorly planned alcohol intervention could result in a situation that is much worse than when you started.