Alcohol addiction or dependence is a serious issue worth talking about and tackling in the early stage of the illness.
The sooner one receives the required help, the easier the process of healing and staying abstinent in later life.
Of course, it is never effortless, and those addicted to alcohol or other substances work continuously throughout their life to maintain their sobriety and healthy coping mechanisms.
If your loved one starts to exhibit signs of alcohol addiction, it is time to act.
Addiction intervention is one of the ways family and friends can approach the topic of treatment and offer support to their loved one.
What exactly is an alcohol intervention, and how to conduct it in a safe and constructive manner? We answer these questions below.
Alcohol intervention is essentially a meeting with a person struggling with alcohol addiction, held with the purpose of helping them face their problem and offer meaningful solutions.
During an intervention, family members and friends have the opportunity to voice their concerns and talk about their experiences with how the person's addiction affected them.
It is also an opportunity for a mental health professional or a medical professional to explain the most beneficial treatment options and help an addicted person choose the best course of action.
The intervention process is not easy for anyone who's participating...
Oftentimes it provokes strong emotional reactions in both the intervention team and the person struggling, which is why having a solid strategy in place is so crucial.
A clear understanding of what an intervention is meant to be and what its goals are is the first step to success.
The main purpose of most interventions is to confront the addicted person with their actions, and mobilize them to seek treatment.
Someone who struggles with alcohol abuse may find help in a detox program, an inpatient rehab center
, local support groups, and a doctor's or a therapy office.
Those who abuse alcohol have strong mechanisms of denial, which is why an ordinary talk with a loved one might not be enough for a person to change their actions.
Meeting with a few people who have solid arguments and their best interests in their hearts is a powerful impulse to make necessary changes.
However, it's imperative to remember that an intervention is not the opportunity to force anyone to seek addiction treatment.
It is always the decision of an addicted person to take steps toward a better life, and it cannot be made for them.
Not all interventions are focused on helping an individual achieve full sobriety.
In some cases, the goal of an intervention meeting is to help a person gain control over their addictive behaviors, so they can learn how to avoid various triggers and lead a more peaceful and balanced life.
It's always beneficial for everyone involved to consult an addiction specialist or a social worker before conducting formal intervention to choose the best approach and receive comprehensive support in the matter.
Once you've made the decision to conduct an alcohol abuse intervention, the next step is to plan it.
Alcohol abuse interventions require a clear plan of action to give all the participants the needed tools and support throughout the process.
Here are the stages of an adequately carried out alcohol addiction intervention:
Addiction is a serious mental illness, which may be more challenging to fully comprehend by people who do not specialize in the subject. That is why asking for a help of a professional when preparing for intervention is very important.
An addiction professional will help you assess the situation, guide you on how to act during an intervention, and offer you a full scope of their expertise. Additionally, you can invite them to be present during an intervention to help guide you through the process and present the person you're helping with treatment options.
A professional interventionist will be able to answer all of your questions, helping you avoid any major mistakes to increase the chance of a successful intervention.
- Organizing the group
The intervention team can include family members and close friends of a person struggling.
There are no hard limits to the number of people who can participate in alcohol abuse interventions. However, it's rather appropriate to assemble a group of people that can actually help the person. Every person present should have a clear reason to be there and be actively participating.
It also might be a good strategy to avoid inviting people who might be overly emotional or are in conflict with the person you're trying to help.
An intervention group should have a united front and should be able to communicate with each other effectively.
- Preparation time
Reaching out to those suffering from substance abuse problems can be very emotionally challenging. The intervention team should be prepared for various reactions from the person addicted.
Some people will be willing to hear you out and follow your lead, while others may start to scream, cry, deny the problem and leave the meeting. Sometimes more than one intervention is necessary to convince a person struggling to start treatment.
It's advisable to consult a substance use disorder interventionist to learn how to prepare for what may transpire during an intervention.
- Setting firm boundaries and consequences
The whole purpose of an alcohol intervention is to help an addict realize the scale of their substance abuse problem and offer them a treatment plan. But what if they refuse to accept the help?
When that happens, there should be some consequences put in place to let your loved one know that this matter is serious.
These consequences will be different, depending on the person. You might ask them to move out, or they may lose their rights to visits with their children.
It's important to be firm in holding those boundaries until the person is ready to ask for help in their alcohol use disorder.
- Talking about your experiences and feelings
During an actual intervention, all team members share their feelings and how their loved one's behavior influenced their lives.
It's crucial to illustrate the concerns of group members, as this serves as a strong impulse for a person to stop drinking and begin a treatment program.
- Present the treatment options
The last step in an intervention for alcoholism is to offer an addicted person treatment options.
With the support of a social worker or a professional interventionist, come up with a detailed treatment plan to make it as easy as possible for a person struggling to benefit from the help offered.
At the end of the intervention process, they must decide whether to start the treatment or face the consequences.
As important as it is to know what to do during an intervention, it's also significant to be aware of what should be avoided.
If you wish to help your loved one, here is what not to do when conducting an intervention.
Don't do spontaneous interventions. An alcohol abuse intervention is not something you can just decide to do on the spot. It should be a carefully planned process -- only then can it prove to be effective in addressing your loved one's addiction.
Don't use this opportunity to express your frustration. It's not the time for you to be bitter and judge the person struggling.
Don't treat intervention as a way to force someone into treatment. You can stage an intervention and have all the best intentions, but you cannot make someone seek professional help. It's crucial to lose such expectations before an intervention starts.
Don't expect full cooperation. A person you want to help may feel attacked, ashamed, or try to avoid treatment. Many intense emotions might be displayed during an intervention, and your loved one may want to leave and refuse to cooperate.
Don't host an intervention at home. Private places like that can be emotionally charged, so choosing a more neutral environment is encouraged.
Don't view an intervention as "the last chance." Sometimes there is a need for multiple interventions before a person suffering from alcohol use disorder decides to start therapy.
Don't set too weak consequences. It's crucial for the whole process that the intervention for alcohol addiction brings noticeable changes.
Types of Interventions
There are a few types of interventions for alcoholism.
According to American Addiction Centers, the most common one is the Johnson model which we described in this article.
It's one of the more confrontational models, as it does not include the subject of an intervention in the planning stage.
The Tough Love or Love First model focuses more on expressing the concerns, not as much on the confrontational aspect of the intervention. Still, it's somewhat similar in execution to the above model.
Something different offers the ARISE model (A Relational Intervention Sequence for Engagement), which allows the subject takes part in the initial planning stages.
The whole process has several levels of meetings. Including the person struggling in the process from the very beginning can be very beneficial, as the research suggests, which is why this model is considered one of the most effective in addressing substance use disorder.
How to Get Help Today
When someone you love is suffering from addiction, it is an incredibly difficult situation to endure.
An alcohol intervention might be one of the few constructive and effective methods of helping someone with active addiction.
But it's imperative to prepare for it and consult with a specialist who can point you in the right direction.
If you need more resources on this topic, you can find them here.
At Miracles Asia we offer guests both Residential Rehab and Online Rehab Programs, so you can find help for your loved one no matter what your situation entails.
Take care of your mental health as well, and see how you can receive help as a family member of someone with an alcohol or drug addiction.