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Alcohol Abuse Intervention: Knowing When to Act

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One of the hardest things for alcoholics to overcome is denial.  Most people with alcohol use disorders think they can control their drinking.  Others are so lost in an alcohol-induced haze that they don’t fully realize the extent of their problem.  In either case, an alcohol abuse intervention will help them come to terms with their situation.

If you have a loved one who needs help with alcohol abuse, an intervention may be the best course of action.  Given that the effectiveness of interventions is often questioned, here are some things you should know beforehand. 

Alcohol Abuse Interventions:  Reality vs. the Stigma 

Alcohol Abuse InterventionIn reality, many alcoholics function normally during the day.  They go about their lives just like everyone expects them to.  But, during the evening and into the night, they consume large quantities of alcohol.  Because of this, their physical and mental health suffers. Obviously, these individuals don’t realize they need help. Or, they don’t want to admit it.  This scenario will continue year after year unless family members stage an intervention.  

The stigma surrounding alcohol abuse interventions often prevents families from taking action. Their reluctance is due in part to not knowing what to expect.  Then again, they may be hesitant due to skewed portrayals of interventions they watched on television or online.  

An intervention can be effective when conducted properly.  But, choosing the right time and place is the tricky part.  If you’re considering planning an intervention, talk to an intervention specialist before you begin.

When Is It Time to Stage an Alcohol Abuse Intervention?

Every situation is different, so there’s no perfect time that works for everyone.  Many families struggle with the decision for various reasons.  Should they wait until the loved one hits rock bottom?  Should they wait until the holidays are over?  The reasons to wait are endless.  However, the longer they wait, the alcohol abuse will worsen to the point of severe consequences.

Here are some questions to ask that can help with the decision about when to stage an intervention.

Has your loved one…

  • Stopped engaging in activities they used to enjoy?
  • Missed work or school due to drinking?
  • Lost control of how much alcohol they consume?
  • Continued drinking despite adverse effects?
  • Suffered relationship problems due to their drinking?
  • Experienced withdrawal symptoms?
  • Started drinking more to get the desired effects?
  • Displayed aggressive or violent behavior?

The goal of an intervention is to help a loved one recognize the extent of their problem.  It’s not about placing blame or asking for forgiveness.  An interventionist will offer suggestions on how to approach the individual without confrontation.

Why Are Professional Interventionists Recommended?

Few people want to be held accountable for their actions, especially when they think they’ve done nothing wrong.  The same applies to people involved in interventions.  Their reaction to the encounter can be unpredictable. 

During an intervention, family members read or talk about how the alcoholic’s behavior has affected them.  Honest disclosures can provoke unpleasant responses from the alcoholic.  Because of this, It’s not unusual for an intervention to be emotionally charged.  

Since no one can predict how the intervention will affect the individual, it is wise to engage the services of a professional interventionist who are experienced in keeping things from going awry.  

What to Expect After an Alcohol Abuse Intervention

A properly conducted intervention will help a person break through denial and agree to seek treatment.  Once they agree to enter rehab, they should do so immediately.  Otherwise, they’ll be prone to change their mind.  Usually, the interventionist will escort the individual to the designated rehab.  

While their loved one is in rehab, family members are encouraged to attend family therapy sessions.  During family therapy, they learn how to encourage and support their loved one during and after rehab. As a result of therapy, families often become closer.  This is especially true for families that are dysfunctional as a result of a loved one’s addiction.

It’s important to note that an intervention isn’t a drastic measure.  In essence, it may be the only way to help someone who has an alcohol abuse disorder.  Although it may be challenging and emotional, staging an intervention is a sign of caring.  Not only does it help the individual, but also helps the entire family regain peace of mind.

Reach Out to Our Intervention Specialists at Design for Change Recovery

Our intervention specialists at Design for Change work with families from the first step to the last in planning an intervention. Their expertise ensures that the entire process delivers the desired outcome.  

If you’re ready to take steps to help a loved one overcome alcohol abuse, contact our Lancaster, CA facility today.  One of our certified interventionists will evaluate your family’s circumstances and recommend a course of action.  

When your loved one agrees to seek treatment, we offer evidence-based treatment customized to his or her specific needs.  

Reach out to Design for Change Recovery today to begin helping your loved one overcome alcohol abuse disorder.

Sources: – Intervention: Help a Loved One Overcome Addiction

Alcohol Abuse Intervention: Knowing When to Act