Alcohol Intervention: How to Do an Intervention for an Alcoholic?
People who constantly drink alcohol do not consider themselves addicted to alcohol and do not admit their illness. Therefore, quarrels, threats, attempts to persuade them will not force them to undergo treatment. Alcohol dependence in men and women develops in a similar way. The addiction arises gradually. It can start with the use of light alcohol drinks (beer, wine, cocktails).
One of the ways to help the addict is to use an alcohol intervention method. The alcohol intervention can be done by family and friends. In many cases, it also involves the help of specialists who have knowledge and experience helping the addict. The goal of the intervention is to convince people to start treatment.
Motivation for treatment
People will give up drinking if they can find a reason that motivates them to take this step. During an alcoholic intervention, a professionally-led meeting, the following reasons may make a person to consent to treatment:
- Family preservation. A drinking family member (husband, wife, son, etc.) turns the life of a family into a nightmare. Quarrels, criticisms, ignorance of problems lead to the breakdown of close relations with an alcoholic – marital ties break, and children receive psychological trauma, which is reflected throughout their life. The child can repeat the fate of the drinking parent. The desire to keep the family becomes an argument during an alcoholic interventionfor giving up addiction.
- Job loss. Alcoholics are unable to fulfill their professional duties fully. Absenteeism, appearance at the workplace in a drunken state, failure to fulfill assigned tasks are the reason for dismissal. A person is left without means of subsistence and deprives relatives of material well-being.
- Degradation of personality. Awareness of the uselessness of society can change the attitude towards alcohol. The loss of friends and family, the rejection of a favorite hobby, a change in spiritual values lead to the isolation of the individual from society. The desire to regain “their place in life” is prompt to get free from addiction.
- Health. Alcoholism causes diseases of the cardiovascular system, digestive organs, and so much more. Long-term use of alcoholic beverages threatens human life.
Motivating to receive treatment means to prove to the person the destructive effect of alcohol on their lives and discuss the concerns of the loved ones and friends about these negative consequences.
What to tell an alcoholic
Returning a loved one to a sober lifestyle requires patience, understanding of relatives and those who surround them. You can’t ignore them. Caring communication will help the drinker decide on treatment. During the alcohol intervention, it is desirable to talk about the following points:
- Talk about how the attitude of people around them changes for the worse when they are drunk. The opinion of outsiders (colleagues, friends) is important to a person. You need to focus on situations when a loved one committed an improper act without blaming and being offensive. Gradually, the alcoholic will realize that they are alienating their surroundings and losing their image.
- Discuss future life plans. Human nature forces people to set goals, achieve them, and strive for new things. Unobtrusively voice their problems and lead to the idea that only they will be able to solve them (for example, repair the car and take the child to school, since it is far away and on the other side of work). Do not blame or force them to avoid a negative reaction. The individual will begin to independently solve problems (at first simple, then more complex) and take responsibility.
- Indicate poor health. Problems with sleep, heart, and others occur in all drinking people. Talk about diseases without associating them with alcoholism, but in the context of the gradual transformation of a healthy person into a sick person. You can offer joint sports (morning jogging, cycling), proper nutrition. Plant the idea of restoring their health, but do not mention the alcoholism treatment, since they do not consider themselves alcoholics.
With a desire to change their life, they will realize the need for therapy and alcoholism treatment. The task of the family is to support this initiative and help in the fight against the disease. Keep in mind that such talks are often not successful at first and you might need to make several attempts before seeing any progress.
Alcohol intervention tips
Conversations about the need for therapy and treatment are conducted with a sober person. In a state of intoxication, people do not perceive information adequately. They can respond to attempts to discuss this topic with aggression.
For a conversation, you need to choose the right moment (the person is not drunk and does not have a hangover syndrome). Under the influence of alcoholic beverages, the brain becomes clouded, the drinker experiences euphoria. It is impossible to convince them at this time. In a state of a hangover (experiencing an irresistible desire to get another drink) people do not hear the arguments of persuasion. The optimal time for a conversation will be the time after a negative event that happened due to the fault of a drunk (dismissal from work, spending money on alcohol, etc.).
The tone of the conversation should be friendly and calm. It is not worth starting a conversation with criticism and accusations. The screams of family members provoke an angry reaction from the alcoholic (may result in a fight). Confidently voice the reasons for the need for treatment.
This is where a professional comes in during the alcohol intervention because they know what to say and how to say it. A firm voice will give the idea of the seriousness of the situation and make them think. Attempts to arouse pity for yourself and your loved ones will not bring success. Shifting the blame on a drinking relative for your broken life should not be done, so as not to push them away.