Confronting a loved one about their alcoholism is never easy, and going about it in the wrong way often leads to more harm than good. So how should a concerned family member go about staging a successful intervention?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most pertinent considerations regarding alcohol addiction and staging an intervention.
The Unique Challenges of Interventions for Alcoholics
If you are considering staging an intervention for an alcoholic in your life, it’s important to remember that there will be many obstacles to success. Unlike other drugs of abuse, alcohol is cheap, legal and widely accepted by society. Understanding the unique challenges of holding an alcohol intervention is crucial in helping your loved one achieve sobriety.
Many alcoholics are misinformed about the realities of alcohol addiction. They may believe that their alcohol use is not a problem because they are able to hold a steady job. They might think that real alcoholics drink from the moment they wake up, only stopping when they pass out on the street.
Some alcoholics are enabled by friends and family who encourage their drinking, perhaps as a way to justify their own addiction to alcohol. Enlisting the help of a trained interventionist who understands the ins and outs of alcohol addiction can help families overcome the many obstacles to alcoholism recovery.
The Power of Alcoholic Denial
Breaking the spell of denial is a necessary step in getting an alcoholic to accept the help that they need. However, this is easier said than done.
Getting an alcoholic to admit that their drinking has gotten out of control is not as simple as presenting them with logical arguments. After all, addicts are usually very skilled at justifying their behaviors, and will not accept the truth without putting up a fight.
If you plan on staging an intervention for an alcoholic loved one, prepare to hear some of the following statements:
- “I can quit any time I want to.”
- “You would be drinking too if you were in my situation.”
- “I’m an adult. Who are you to tell me how to live my life?”
- “If my drinking is such a problem, why am I so successful?”
Keep in mind that the more addicted to alcohol a person is, the harder it will be to overcome their denial of the problem. This is why we recommended that family members seek help from a professional interventionist with experience in dealing with even the most stubborn alcoholics.
Professional Help for Friends and Family
If you’re wondering how to get someone into alcohol rehab, or if you don’t feel confident in your ability to stage an intervention on your own, enlisting help from a professional addiction interventionist can be immensely helpful. Friends and family may have good intentions, but they usually lack the skills and objectivity needed to be effective during the intervention process.
A professional interventionist is not emotionally invested to the same degree as an addict’s family is, which allows the interventionist to approach the situation as a neutral third party. It’s important to have someone in the room who can remain calm when emotions begin to run high. Otherwise, the intervention runs the risk of turning into a screaming match, with both sides trading insults instead of trying to reach a mutual understanding.
Those trying to help an alcoholic family member can feel like they’re being pulled in two directions. While they want to show support and compassion toward their loved one, they also may be tempted to deliver some tough love. The best way to find a balance between these conflicting emotions is with the guidance of a skilled interventionist.
Alcohol Intervention Preparation Advice for Families
A little bit of preparation goes a long way toward staging a successful intervention. Going in without a plan can even do more harm than good.
This is why we recommend that family members educate themselves on alcoholism before confronting their addicted loved one. Yes, there are numerous books and documentaries on the subject. But, groups like Al-Anon can also be a great resource for learning what it’s like to live with an addiction to alcohol.
Some additional advice to keep in mind when getting a family member the alcohol addiction help that they need includes:
- Consider staging the intervention in neutral territory, rather than the addict’s home.
- Wait until the alcoholic has had their first drink of the day before confronting them.
- Choose a time when the intervention meeting won’t be interrupted.
- Prepare a script of talking points before holding the intervention.
It’s also important to not get discouraged if the first intervention is unsuccessful. It takes time for an alcoholic to come to terms with their addiction. Don’t expect immediate results; instead, think of an intervention as planting the first seeds of change. The important thing is that the alcoholic now knows how their family feels about their addiction.
How to Have an Alcohol Intervention
Nearly everyone knows the goal of an intervention for alcoholism is to get a friend or family member to address their addiction and go to treatment. However, few know the best way to go about it. An intervention is not the time to start pointing fingers and placing blame.
A successful intervention will be centered on expressing concern and sharing feelings. It is also important to communicate to the alcoholic that they are not alone; there are people who love them and want the best for them.
While this advice sounds simple, all too often interventions become a hostile airing of grievances. Good intentions are simply not enough. A professional interventionist from Family First Intervention can guide and collaborate with the friends and family members of an individual struggling with alcohol addiction in order to lay a solid foundation for recovery.
Contact an Expert on How to Get Someone into Alcohol Rehab
Remember, alcoholism is one of the most difficult addictions to treat. When seeking help for a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction, you should look to use every valuable resource available.
Reach out today to Family First Intervention. We’ll tell you how we can help your family plan an intervention that paves the way for lifelong sobriety. As part of our process, we go one step beyond and help your loved one get admitted into a treatment center that best suits his or her recovery needs.