The Process Of Holding An Intervention For Alcoholism

Talk to Them Personally

If you have any impact on their lives, you may be wondering what you can do to directly help them. If your opinion holds weight with them, that’s a great tool to be able to utilize, but not abuse. Their trust in you is something that needs to remain throughout the intervention and rehabilitation process, but talking to them personally could prime the intervention process to flow more easily.

Don’t pander to them, and be firm, yet gentle. Let them know a little bit of how you feel, and see if it resonates with them. If they listen (and they give themselves a good hard look in the mirror), they may agree and tell you that they know they have a problem and need help. This could soften the entire intervention process.

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When you plan an intervention, it’s crucial to know who’s important and influential in the alcoholic’s life, and how to approach them. It feels like you’re plotting against your loved one, but in fact, you’re garnering the support of the alcoholic’s closest friends. When they can look at the big picture and see that everyone is concerned, that’s where the power of an intervention comes in.

Deciding On A Time And Place

You know that saying, “There’s a time and a place for everything.” Everyone’s heard that at least once before in their lives. It especially rings true to when you’re trying to perform an alcohol intervention. There’s a careful and specific way you should go about doing this. The environment matters, as well as the free space between you and the alcoholic.

You don’t want them to feel cornered by any means. It can lead to a completely negative and horrible reaction. They can become extremely agitated at the drop of a hat, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid. The time and place should be somewhere comfortable to the alcoholic. Don’t ambush them at a public spot, or their bar of choice. They need to feel safe, and that their loved ones are being constructive, not destructive.

The time and place can make or break the initial response to an intervention. The wrong choices can send the alcoholic in question out the door, which will make another attempt immensely more difficult.

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Scripting The Intervention

There are a hundred different things you want to say to the alcoholic. You’re angry, hurt, and disappointed, but you need to stave your tongue. Letting the wrong words out can flip the script and immediately shift gears; they won’t listen to you if you get too emotional. The main thing that they should see on your face is concern.

Scripting the intervention is where a lot of the diligence comes into play. You’ll be able to carefully construct your own personal part in the intervention, but the entire event needs to be scripted. It may seem like you’re deceiving your loved one, but nothing could be farther from the truth. You’re ensuring that the right things are said, and that you’re not putting a wrench in the gears with your words.

Scripting can be difficult, especially if none of the present members have any sort of experience partaking in an intervention in the past. Getting your voice through, while getting a message through to the alcoholic, is a tricky spot to be in. This is one of the crucial components that can aid your efforts, or send them spiraling down in flames. This is one of those times when you may need a professional intervention specialist.

Unique Attributes Of An Alcoholic Intervention

As opposed to other addictive substances, alcohol abuse still leaves the person in question comprehensible and with a little more clarity. Substances can really mess with your head on an almost continuous basis, and alcoholism has peaks and waves. Even the worst alcoholics can’t be consistently drinking at every waking moment, so there are more frequent times where they can comprehend what you’re saying and doing during an intervention.

Anyone would get angry being “ambushed” when they realize that they’re in an intervention, but the instant anger element can be taken out of the equation if it’s done correctly. An intervention doesn’t have to set them off, but even when it does, it’s up to those throwing the intervention to remain calm and collected. Showing outrage, even if you’re being screamed at or told extremely hurtful things, can be like severing a lifeline. It isn’t about you at this point; it’s about them, getting them help, and getting through to them.

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The Intervention For Alcoholism

One of the best things you can do to assist your loved one is to stage an intervention. This is where the ultimatum is delivered; this is where the emotions come out. To those who aren’t familiar, an intervention may sound like a one-hour affair that is a surefire deal, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

There’s a great deal of planning and execution that goes into a proper intervention, and it may be difficult to stage one on your own. It involves the most impactful and close-knit friends and family that can truly speak to the alcoholic, and a lot of restraint on everyone’s part. You can’t just unleash the flood gates of everything you’ve been feeling; it all has to be mapped-out and scripted. That’s a difficult thing to adhere to, but it’s more necessary than you may realize.

An intervention can quickly sour and become the anti tool of what you’re trying to accomplish. Instead of convincing your loved one to enter rehabilitation, you could be enacting them to take further refuge from their inner circle, and that makes the job so much more difficult. Planning is absolutely everything when it comes to an intervention.

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A Proper Ultimatum

There’s no easy way to deliver it. It’s going to be difficult coming out, make your heart sink, and keep you in suspense until something happens. It tells the alcoholic that all of their lifelines are gone, and that they’ve royally messed up. The objective is that their overwhelming disappointment in themselves and what they’ve done will be enough to make them realize the gravity of the situation.

Seek Aid From a Professional

An interventionist can direct and plan an intervention with you to get the highest possible chance of a positive reaction. They help you understand what’s imperative to say, and what’s damning to let out. An interventionist is your secret weapon in the last-ditch effort to get through to your loved one and help them see what their life was before, what it is now, and how to get back there.

If you don’t believe that you can handle it on your own, or you just want someone to collude with and assist with the production of an intervention, there’s no better choice than a specialist. Their knowledge and experience can play a vital role in the difference between a successful intervention, and a complete and utterly failed attempt.

If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism, there is help available. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available options.

Published:

Author

Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

Theresa Parisi

Photo of Theresa Parisi
  • Theresa Parisi is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager (CBHCM), and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) with over 12 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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