Alcoholism Intervention

An intervention is a planned, non-judgmental and non-violent confrontation of someone with a drinking problem by their friends and loved ones. The process is meant to clearly illustrate the damage that the subject's drinking has caused the people that love them, and to extend them an offer of help through previously arranged formal treatment. The goal of the intervention is to get your loved one to recognize they have a problem with alcohol and need to get professional help to get better. Intervention is the best course of action to choose if your loved one is in denial about having a drinking problem, especially when others agree that there is a problem and are willing to show their support by participating in the intervention.

Remember: Interventions save lives.

How an Intervention Works

The importance of an experienced interventionist during the intervention process cannot be overstated. Groups will need an objective and relatively detached third party to mediate the dialogue and guide the proceedings. To start with, a small and committed group of loved ones assemble on the addict's behalf. Logistical arrangements are made such as where and when the intervention will be hosted. After this, a professional interventionist is contacted and brought into the planning. After being thoroughly vetted and interviewed, the professional interventionist finds the right treatment center for the alcoholic and makes arrangements for their admission, should they choose to accept help. After the arrangements are made, the group and the interventionist decide what to say, write out a script, and usually craft their own individual letter highlighting how the subject's drinking has affected them personally. It's also important to prepare for both a "yes" and "no" answer. The group needs to decide what consequences will be leveled against the subject, should they deny help, as well as logistical arrangements to get them to treatment should they accept.

Possible Difficulties of an Intervention

The most common enemy of a successful intervention is denial. Often, the subject refuses to seek help or even stay for the proceedings on the grounds that they don’t even think they have a problem. Many times, even when someone does believe they have a problem, they’re resistant to take the steps necessary to correct it. Another possible roadblock to successful alcohol intervention is judgment. If the subject feels they’re being ambushed by those who claim to them the most, they’re liable to exhibit hostility, hurt feelings and indignation, no matter how unfounded. An overt display of emotion or hostility can be counterproductive to the process, and drive the subject to drink even more to cope with the tension. A professional interventionist realizes this, and does their best to keep judgment out of this extremely delicate situation.

The Lasting Benefits of Interventions

Many people drink just because they're depressed and feel nobody cares about them. By organizing an intervention on their behalf, you're not only asking them to receive treatment for their immediate addiction, you're telling them that you want them to be around for a long time, and you still believe they can transform back into the person that brought so much joy to the world around them. If the subject accepts and follows through with treatment, they will see when the dust settles and their perspective is restored that they're lucky to have such amazing and proactive people in their life, and will find joy in that every day as they pursue the rest of their recovery.

Contact the National Alcoholism Center anytime toll-free at (888) 515-7704 or through our online form for our recommendations of the best alcohol treatment centers for you or your loved one!

Alcoholism treatment should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a professional licensed treatment facility.