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How To Stage An Alcohol Intervention

May 24, 2008
There is no denying that living life with an alcoholic can be difficult. Although you always desperately want your friend or family member with a drinking problem to seek help, your repeated urgings that they quit drinking always seem hostile, and may be used as another excuse to abuse alcohol. When your loved one has a drinking problem that you think they need to seek serious help for, them the best course of action might be an intervention.

Before you even consider intervening and telling your friend, family member, or spouse to seek help, you should know that interventions have one goal, and one goal only .The goal is to make your alcoholic loved one realize that not only do they have a potentially life threatening problem, but that the only way to help themselves get healthy and sober is by entering a place where they can stay and get help from licensed professionals who do this sort of thing for a living.

Who You Should Contact

It might be that the easiest part of planning an intervention is to contact a substance abuse counselor who can not only advise you on how to live with your alcoholic, but can also be present at the intervention to keep things under control. Counselors are used to talking to alcoholics who believe that every attempt to get them to sober up is some sort of personal insult. A counselor can not only advise you on how to follow through with the intervention, but they can advise the person you care about who has the drinking problem.

The last thing that you want during an intervention for an alcoholic is for the person being intervened upon to enter a state of shock and storm out in a rage, only to go to the bar or liquor store. One method of preparing an alcoholic for an intervention is to mention that you have been speaking to a professional about their problem, more importantly, a professional who wants to get them help. Dropping subtle hints about something as major as an intervention can be risky business, so make sure to speak to a counselor if you're not quite sure what to do.

One of the people who would perhaps like to see your alcoholic friend or family member get sober that you might not have even considered is their employer. More frequently interventions for alcoholics take place at the place they work, because it is one of the few places they go where they aren't too terribly drunk. Make sure the employer is sympathetic to your plight and understands your intentions, and if you're in doubt about speaking to an employer then ask a counselor first.

Of course, interventions are not always effective in convincing the alcoholic that the best course of action is for them to seek treatment. However, if you are genuinely concerned about the health of your loved one, then it may be the only option available.

With alcoholism, there is not any known cure, but there is treatment. Four weeks at a treatment facility is only part of a lifetime spent sober, and you must always think about what will happen if either the intervention or the treatment fail. Don't offer ultimatums that you don't plan on delivering on. Becoming properly prepared for failure is the key to success. Best of luck to you.
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