Alcohol addiction is a serious and severe condition. No one knows more than the family and friends of an alcoholic what a devastating and destructive force alcohol can be on an addict’s life. If an alcoholic is drinking so much that alcohol is consuming their entire existence: their emotional well being, their financial stability, their ability to lead a normal life, they may also become distant and defensive toward those who love them. It can be extremely difficult to convince a person that they have a problem. An addict’s entire mindset is built around procuring more of the substance they’re addicted to, so anyone or anything that comes in their way is viewed as a threat. Often, the only way to get through to an alcoholic is to stage an intervention for them.
Staging an intervention should by no means be taken lightly. When friends and family are ready to intervene with an alcoholic, they should enlist the help of a professional interventionist. An interventionist has a background in substance abuse and plenty of experience dealing with addicts. They will help devise a plan that is specific to the alcoholic, their family, and their lifestyle. Because many alcoholics may react with feelings of anger or rage when confronted about their problem, it is crucial that an interventionist is involved in the process, in order to help deal with the alcoholic’s unpredictable behavior.
Working With A Family
When an interventionist is working with a family to plan an intervention, they will help decide where is the most ideal place to hold an intervention. Ideally, it should take place when the alcoholic is sober. It should also be in a time and place where the alcoholic is most likely to take their family’s thoughts seriously. This may be at home or at the home of a parent. Ideally, it will be somewhere they feel comfortable.
Some interventions are completely unexpected by the alcoholic, particularly if there is a high risk that they may flee from friends and family who they know are concerned about their drinking. Not knowing about an intervention can, however, make an alcoholic feel even more defensive and teamed up against in some situations. Because of this, some interventionists recommend that friends and families make mention of their concern and the fact that they have spoken with an addiction counselor.
Convincing An Alcoholic
In almost all cases, the goal of an intervention is to convince an alcoholic they they have a problem that they need help in order to conquer. Once they admit that they have a problem, they can enter a rehab program. In rehab, an alcoholic will work with counselors and other substance abuse staff to detoxify from alcohol and build the skills they need to fight the urge to drink. There is no cure for alcohol, and an alcoholic can only expect to lead a happy, normal life once they have committed to never take another drink again. For this reason, pleas from family members to cut back or reduce the amount of alcohol they’re drinking will be ineffective. The simple reality is that an alcoholic must completely abstain from drinking.
Addiction is simply too powerful of a disease for an alcoholic and their family to fight on their own. If you know someone whose drinking has spiralled out of control, talk to other people in their life who are affected by the alcoholic’s drinking. Work with these people to formulate a plan that includes speaking with a professional interventionist as soon as possible. There is help available. By taking the right steps, you can send your loved one on their way to a productive and healthy life.