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Intervention for Alcoholism

The idea that intervention for alcoholism should only be a last-ditch effort is a misconception. In most cases, it is far better to get right to the point and help someone in need before they are too far gone. If a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, this may be their best bet.

Navigation: Helping an Alcoholic Loved One, Planning an Intervention, Knowing What to Say, A Proper Ultimatum, Professional Help for Staging an Intervention, Rehab Is Your Best Chance


The idea that intervention for alcoholism should only be a last-ditch effort is a misconception. In most cases, it is far better to get right to the point and help someone in need before they are too far gone. If a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, this may be their best bet.

Intervention needs to be done, and it needs to be done correctly. That is why a great deal of effort goes into the intervention process. It is not a simple fix, but it is your best shot at getting your loved one to listen to reason.


Helping an Alcoholic Loved One

If the person with alcohol addiction is directly connected to you, your opinion holds weight with them, and this is a great tool that needs to be used—but not abused. Interventions work only if there is a foundation of trust. This trust needs to remain throughout the process of intervention and rehabilitation.

Talking to them personally could help make the intervention process flow more easily. When talking to them, be sure you remain firm yet gentle. Do not pander to them. Let them know how you feel and see if it resonates with them. This could soften the entire intervention process.


Planning an Intervention

This is easier said than done. It is possible that the person in question does not connect with your message and they may refuse to seek treatment. To reduce the odds of this happening, it is important to make a plan. When planning an intervention, it is crucial to know who the person values and who is important to them.

Although it feels like you are plotting against your loved one, you are in fact garnering the support of their closest friends. When the person sees that everyone is concerned for their well-being—that is where the power of an intervention comes in.

Once you have other people on board, you may set the perfect time and place for the intervention. Timing is the key. The environment also matters: the place needs to be comfortable and there needs to be free space between you and the alcoholic. If it is in close quarters, they may feel like you are cornering them and force them to close off or withdraw. They may have a completely negative reaction to this. Not only will they become agitated, they may even lose their trust in you. That’s exactly what you want to avoid.

This means you should not ambush them at a public spot. They need to feel safe so that they can feel that their loved ones are being constructive and not destructive. The time and place can make or break the initial response to an intervention. If you get it wrong, the next attempts will be significantly more difficult.

Knowing What to Say

Intervention involves a lot of communication. Therefore you need to know what to say. Although you are angry, or hurt, or disappointed, you need to keep these feelings under control. The goal is to have a productive and honest conversation, but it should not develop into a fight. The main thing that they should see is concern.

If you script the intervention, you will be able to carefully construct your own personal part in the conversation. Getting your voice through while getting a message through to the alcoholic, is a tricky thing to accomplish. This is one of the reasons why people hire a professional intervention specialist.

Anyone would get angry or upset when they realize that they are in an intervention. But these negative feelings can be taken out of the equation if it is done correctly. An intervention needs to remain calm and collected. So even when you feel like showing rage and saying hurtful things, remember that this is not about you: it is about them getting help and getting through to them.

A Proper Ultimatum

The ultimatum is where it gets emotional and extremely difficult. There is no easy way to deliver it. It will keep everyone in suspense until something happens. It tells the alcoholic that all of their lifelines are gone, and that they have messed up. The objective is that their overwhelming disappointment will be enough to make them realize the gravity of the situation. When the ultimatum is delivered, the alcoholic individual needs to make a choice: and hopefully the right one, which is to get started on treatment and rehabilitation.

To those who are unfamiliar, an intervention may sound like a one-hour affair that is a surefire deal, but that is far from the truth. There’s a great deal of planning and execution that goes into a proper intervention, and at the end of the day it might not even work. People react to these things in their own way, which means the result can be unpredictable. There is no guarantee that an intervention will work.

Professional Help for Staging an Intervention

While the result of an intervention cannot be dictated no matter how well executed it is, there is one way to significantly boost your chances of success: hiring a professional. Everyone knows that an intervention can quickly turn sour and even get the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish. It can convince a loved one to enter rehabilitation or further withdraw from their inner circle. But an interventionist can direct and plan an intervention with you to get the highest possible chance of a positive reaction.

Their job is to help you understand what is imperative to say, and what should not be let out. Consider them your secret weapon in the last-ditch effort to get through to your loved one before it is too late. You can help them see what their life was before, what it is now, and what needs to be done about it.

If you need someone to organize, plan, script, and perfect your intervention with you, then hire a specialist. Their knowledge and experience can play a vital role in the success of the intervention.

If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.


Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.



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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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