How To Hold An Intervention For An Alcoholic – An Expert Guide



  September 10, 2018    

Contrary to belief, interventions are not just about trying to persuade your addicted loved one to open up about his or her problem and seek help. In fact, the primary function of any intervention is to help the whole family to make changes. It may surprise many to know that you cannot be the interventionist and a family member of an alcoholic. You are either one or the other.

Interventions are all about changing families. They are not about airing complaints or delivering speeches. Alcoholics are usually very comfortable with their addictions since the people, things, and places around them allow them to stay comfortable. Giving a speech won’t fix that problem. It can only be fixed by everyone involved making the necessary changes and taking the required steps for success.

What’s An Intervention For?

Interventions enable friends and relatives to give their loved one the chance to admit that he or she has an addiction to alcohol and to make a change in his or her life before the problem gets worse. Interventions are the perfect time for family members and close friends to demonstrate how alcohol has been a destructive influence and has had detrimental impacts, not only on the addict but also on those around him or her.

Interventions also give family members and interventionists the chance to discuss possible detox treatments that could help them to make a full recovery. It’s also the opportunity to present the alcoholic with the possible consequences should he or she refuse to enter a detox program.

When To Hold An Intervention

Alcoholics don’t just suffer from substance abuse. There are other issues that they are going through that lead them to abuse alcohol. Since they cannot face the problems they encounter in their lives, they try to cover them up by seeking an escape. This means that even if you manage to somehow prevent someone who is addicted to alcohol from drinking, he or she will probably relapse unless the deeper issues are properly addressed.

It is very common for people who are alcoholics to believe that they have their drinking and, indeed, the rest of their lives, under control. They refuse any help that they are offered and believe that everyone and everything around them are the cause of their problems. If you see the signs of alcoholism in your loved one, never be afraid to seek an intervention quickly. The earlier your loved one gets help, the better his or her chance is of making a full recovery.

What Happens In An Intervention?

Usually, there are several parts to any intervention.

First, there is the planning stage. Interventions must be meticulously planned out, with specific attention paid to the circumstances and needs of the alcoholic. It is always sensible to seek professional help to plan an intervention properly. And, it is often wise to ask the professional to also participate so he or she can offer relevant information and support.

Once the intervention is planned, it is important to ensure that all the friends and family members who will be attending are prepared. Interventions are frequently dramatic and emotionally charged. There is always the possibility of outbursts of anger or even violence. Discussing the situation with a professional will help to make sure that all attendees are prepared to respond appropriately to these challenging situations.

Sometimes, an alcoholic may simply refuse to participate or leave immediately. If the addict recoils as soon as he or she is met with the intervention and chooses to walk away, it is important for the family to respond in an appropriate manner.

The consequences for the alcoholic must be outlined clearly. He or she must know how serious the situation is. These consequences could include taking his or her vehicle away or refusing to give him or her any money. Dealing with an addiction to alcohol is often a frightening and lonely thing. When the addict sees just how many of his or her relatives and friends are there to support him or her, the person may actually feel encouraged enough to begin his or her journey toward recovery.

Sharing is a key part of an intervention. Each friend and family member will take turns talking. Each person will discuss the way in which his or her life has been affected by the addiction. This is designed to help the alcoholic understand the feelings and concerns that his or her loved ones have about his or her well-being and health. After everyone has had his or her chance to talk, the alcoholic is then presented with an outline for treatment. The person may decide to accept that offer immediately or may take some time to decide depending on the attitude of the family.

What Happens If The Alcoholic Refuses To Cooperate?

Inevitably, sometimes, the alcoholic is not yet willing or ready to admit responsibility. In fact, holding an intervention can sometimes trigger further behavior problems that may further complicate relationships with his or her loved ones. Nevertheless, whatever the outcome of an intervention, patience is key. Sticking with the plan to make the addict face the consequences of his or her actions is vital. Eventually, the alcoholic will realize just how much his or her problem affects his or her family and friends. It may only be after experiencing these consequences that the addict will be encouraged to seek treatment.

Holding An Intervention – A Whole-Family Approach

Most people who have an alcoholic in their family try repeatedly to get through to their loved one just how bad his or her problem is. Usually, they are unsuccessful every time. Even if they are successful in persuading their alcoholic loved one to enter detox, that is no guarantee of success. When their loved one comes back home, he or she will simply be returning to a sick and manipulated family that enabled his or her addiction in the past. It is for this reason that treatment fails so frequently. If families don’t break the cycle of codependency or seek professional help, they will never be able to repair the dynamics that the alcoholic broke.

Key Facts To Consider Before Holding An Intervention

• Talking an alcoholic into seeking treatment isn’t the same thing as an intervention.

• You can either be an interventionist or a family member, but not both.

• Families are usually seen by alcoholics as their main problems.

• Alcoholics should never be able to choose their treatment center and care.

• If enabling and codependent behaviors don’t change, the alcoholic’s addiction cannot

• change either.

• There is no need to wait until your loved one asks for help or hits rock bottom.

• Words and rules cannot fix alcoholism and neither can kisses and hugs.

A professional intervention will improve the chances of success by making changes right at the heart of the problem – the family itself. Until all the enabling behaviors are changed, the alcoholic will be unable to change.

SOBA College Recovery Addiction Treatment Center is an outstanding facility for alcohol detox in NJ. Our highly trained, expert team is on hand to offer the best possible advice, treatment, and long-term support for your loved one to ensure the best possible chance of long-term sobriety. We can help you to hold a successful intervention for the alcoholic in your life so that you and your loved one can get help.

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