Intervening in an Alcoholic’s Addiction

You have been living under stress for weeks, months, maybe even years now. As time goes on, you start to feel hopeless about how to help someone you love. You are now at your wit’s end and do not know how to handle the situation anymore. These are common worries and thoughts of someone struggling with a friend or family member with alcoholism.

A person trapped with an alcoholic may be clueless about how to handle the problem. They do not want to make circumstances worse, nor do they want to hurt any relationships. Whether you maintain complacency or become too aggressive, both extremes can have serious consequences.

So how can you properly intervene in an alcohol addiction without tearing family or friends apart? Intervention is a delicate topic and process that needs to be taken seriously. However, by informing yourself, you are already one step further down the right path.

Defining an Intervention

Trying to stop poor life choices does not always require the otherworldly force of divine intervention, especially in something as personal as addiction. An intervention is defined as the act of coming between something to prevent or alter the results or course of events, which are typically structured and delivered by a close friend or family member.

While family or friends can plan their own intervention, many often hire a professional interventionist. In an intervention, each friend or family member should express their feelings and how the alcoholic’s addiction has affected them. By sharing openly and honestly, the group should be willing to compromise with one another.

The overall goal is ultimately to convince an addict to seek treatment for their alcoholism. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways to approach an intervention.

Putting Together an Intervention

When first planning an intervention, one of the most important aspects is figuring out who should participate. This very much depends on the individual and who they are closest to.

Common participants include immediate family members like parents, spouses, or children. Some alcoholics might be choosing to drink because of poor relations to immediate family. In these cases, they might be closer to the extended family members such as grandparents, aunts or uncles, or siblings.

In other potential situations, some addicts might either be disconnected or have no family to connect to. You may have to reach for further connections such as mentors, employers, coaches, or even teachers. If they have someone considering intervention in the first place, chances are they have close connections of some kind.

After preparing the people involved, you should practice the intervention with all available participants. Focus heavily on practicing what you have to say, rehearsing the intervention, and staging the invention itself. With proper planning in advance, you can arrange the strongest possible intervention.

Finally, you should arrange plans for the possibility of the addict in question agreeing to treatment. Research and consider the best treatment options and centers for your close friend or family member. There may not be certainty on what treatment works best, but researching as much as possible will always help.

Back-Up Intervention

Preparation is key to intervention, and this, unfortunately, includes if the intervention itself backfires. But if the person in question refuses treatment, there are other solutions to consider.

For the intervention itself, make sure to have everything–including potential rebuttals–arranged. Many stubborn addicts will often make excuses to refuse treatment.

In the case that an alcoholic continues to refuse, be willing to set boundaries with them. Make it clear that you do not plan to enable their habits by financially supporting them, taking responsibility for them, or continue to expose yourself to dangerous living conditions.

Finally, if you happened to intervene by yourself or simply with other family members or friends, consider seeking professional help. There exist professional interventionists who are experienced in such situations and can give an unbiased perspective on the situation. The intervention itself can be challenging and intimidating, but is why preparing and seeking help are so crucial to the process.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Recovery Program or our Long Term Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.