The biggest problem with an alcohol addiction is that it builds on itself and becomes increasingly serious with time. What may have begun as occasional drinking can quickly become problem drinking, compulsive or binge drinking and then full blown addiction. Sometimes the problems the alcoholic individual is facing can hit the crisis level, and this is the point when professional alcohol abuse interventions become necessary. It is vitally essential to understand what a professional intervention is so that you will be able to determine if this is the right type of situation for you.
What are Alcohol Abuse Interventions?
Intervention essentially comes down to creating a confrontation, notifying the alcoholic individual that his or her drinking problem a serious issue requiring treatment. One of the biggest problems with alcoholism is the fact that it affects everyone around the alcoholic individual, not just the individual on their own. This means that if you are struggling with a serious drinking problem, the likelihood is good that you are also impacting your friends and loved ones, your home life and work life, and other elements of your world as well. In a professional intervention, the people who have gathered will tell the alcoholic in their own words exactly how the drinking problem has affected them personally. People invited to an intervention might include:
An intervention is not as simple as gathering some people and launching into individual monologues about the effects of alcoholism. Interventions need to be planned carefully and developed specifically by professionals in the substance abuse arena. When you are staging an intervention, the best way to make sure that it is going to be effective is to work with a professional who has experience planning interventions, such as a substance abuse counselor for example. Because the main purpose of an alcoholism intervention is to coax the affected individual into getting professional treatment, it can benefit you to stage the intervention with the help of a professional counselor from the alcoholism treatment facility where you hope the individual will attend.
Here is the least that you need to know and understand about intervention for alcohol abuse:
- A family intervention must be a group effort in order to be successful. What this means is that everyone who is going to be involved needs to be willing to do their part in order to make sure that the process goes off without a hitch.
- The odds are good that you are going to receive some resistance from the person suffering from alcoholism, and so you will want to prepare for this. While some interventions are well received by the addicted person, most are going to be met with some frustration, denial and fighting. It is important for everyone involved to be strong and patient, because this is not an easy process for anyone who is involved in it.
- Working with a professional in the intervention specialization is going to be essential. Otherwise the odds are good that the intervention will turn into a screaming and fighting match, no matter how pure everyone’s intentions were. When you’re working with a professional, you will find it easier to stay on topic and to keep everyone’s emotions in check so that the important information can get out, and solutions will be found.
- A good intervention is one that is planned out and scheduled well in advance, but that leaves room for some unexpected plan changes. This means that everyone who is coming to the intervention should already have what they are going to say planned out, and you should already have a basic schedule of who is going to talk and when, and what they are going to say. The person in charge of the intervention will then be able to guide everyone through the process while keeping everyone on target.
- During the planning phases of your intervention, you should do some research on what treatment options are available so that you can provide the addicted person with some excellent guidance. If you can say, with certainty, that you have found some excellent alcoholism treatment programs and facilities in the area, and that there is space for them to go now, then the intervention is going to be better receives versus if you simply expect them to go find their own help.
Considerations to Make
- Come from a place of understanding, even if you have never dealt with substance abuse or addiction.
- Avoid accusations. Do not place the blame on the person with the alcoholism problem, because you cannot know for certainty that they did any of this intentionally.
- Do not be surprised if they are not ready to go into treatment right away. Sometimes the intervention is enough to get the gears turning in their mind, even if they are not yet ready to pack up and go. You should still be prepared for the chance that they may want to go that day, however.
- It can benefit you to help them pack their bags, put mail and newspaper services on hold, arrange for pet sitting and handle other details that might delay their recovery. Often people avoid going into rehabilitation because they think there is too much keeping them away from it. Try to make the transition as easy as you can.
Intervention can be a scary and frustrating process for everyone involved, not just the person with the addiction. If you are trying to plan for an intervention, there is help, support and guidance out there for you to take advantage of. Pick up the phone and call a residential alcoholism treatment facility in your area to find out what your options are. The sooner that you begin planning, the sooner you will be able to provide much needed help and support to your loved one in need while they try to overcome a life altering addiction to alcohol.