staging an intervention

Staging an Intervention for a Problem Drinker

While some people successfully quit drinking without professional help, many others find the habit has become too intertwined with their lives. You may need to stage an intervention to defeat denial, overcome objections and convince a loved one that they have a drinking problem.

A professionally orchestrated substance abuse intervention is your opportunity to talk to a friend or family member, express your concerns about their well-being and tell them how much you care. The ideal outcome is to help them face the realities of their alcohol addiction and encourage them to begin an inpatient or outpatient recovery program.

Signs of a Drinking Problem

It can be challenging to spot when someone’s relationship with alcohol has crossed the line between casual and problematic. Often, people living with a substance use disorder go to great lengths to hide the evidence and prevent others from suspecting they are addicted.

Here are some issues you might notice a problem drinker experiencing as alcohol begins to take over their life.

  • Prioritizing drinking over job and family responsibilities
  • Drinking alone because they are ashamed about how much they drink
  • Frequent blackouts that cause upsetting memory gaps
  • Doing irresponsible things like driving drunk
  • Relying on alcohol to manage stress

Benefits of an Intervention

During an informal conversation, it’s easy for your loved one to change the subject or walk away if someone mentions that they need help. In contrast, a professional interventionist is adept at keeping the meeting on track, allowing each participant to describe examples of how the person’s self-destructive behavior has harmed them. An interventionist can also prevent arguments and flaring tempers that might cause the meeting to devolve into hostility.

Successful interventions require specific planning, forethought and attention to your loved one’s needs and circumstances. Before the meeting, research rehab facilities and their philosophies. Once every member of the intervention team has had a chance to read their prepared remarks, you can present detailed suggestions for a treatment plan.

Throughout an intervention, you should also define the consequences of their actions if they choose not to accept help. These may include taking away visitation rights with children, refusing to pay their bills or asking them to move out until they’re willing to begin therapy.

Professional Intervention Help When You Need It

Admitting to an alcohol addiction can be scary. Seeing how many friends and family members are willing to offer support during an intervention may be the encouragement your loved one needs to turn their life around. However, in some cases, problem drinkers aren’t ready or willing to face the facts and accept responsibility. No matter the outcome of the intervention, it’s vital to be patient and stick to the plan and remarks you rehearsed. Helping the person with the addiction realize the extensive impact their drinking has had on the people who care about them most may eventually inspire them to seek treatment.

As qualified interventionists, our role is to work directly with families and friends to set healthy boundaries, help you break the cycle of denial and convince your loved one to enter a treatment program that leads to long-term recovery. Rich Whitman is a recognized national expert in leading drug and alcohol interventions and has spent his career helping thousands of people transform their lives. Contact us today to request help.