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It is often difficult for loved ones to understand or come to terms with seeing their loved one struggling with alcoholism. This is why professional services are most often required, along with the help of an alcohol intervention specialist when loved ones feel they have to step in.
Many people become addicted to alcohol in order to cope with depression often brought on by great trauma such as the loss of a loved one, a breakdown in a relationship, job loss or financial difficulties, and even childhood trauma.
Drinking alcohol often provides relief from pain caused by such traumatic events. The rise of an alcohol addiction is often slow and is an unconscious decision. No one wants to become an alcoholic but as with any addiction, the sufferer has no choice.
The ‘solution’ provided by alcohol consumption brings with it severe consequences not only to the drinker’s health but also to his or her relationships with other people. Drinking alcohol is a temporary fix and once users begin to sober up, the pain resurfaces. Over time tolerance to alcohol grows. More alcohol is required to keep pain at bay. Unfortunately, friends, loved ones and colleagues feel powerless to help.
Alcoholism can be classed as a disease. Seeking professional help is unquestionably the right decision to make. Rehab 4 Alcoholism sends a qualified counsellor or therapist to your home or place of work in order to complete intervention sessions.
Intervention counselling provides friends, family and colleagues of those struggling with alcoholism an essential lifeline when it comes to support.
Call Rehab 4 Alcoholism today on 0800 111 41 08.
The primary aim of an intervention is to encourage the person to seek help for their addiction. In many cases, those performing the intervention will do so before the point of ‘hitting rock bottom’ as a way of avoiding this happening.
For many who struggle with alcohol addiction, there is a deep sense of denial and the intervention process is designed to tackle this denial and promote a sense of motivation to overcome their problems through professional help and support. An intervention is also an excellent way to demonstrate to the person that they have people who love, and are concerned about them, further motivating them to break free from their addiction,
Prior to intervention, our counsellor holds a ‘pre-intervention’ meeting with family members. A ‘schedule of issues’ is drawn up. This schedule forms the backbone of the intervention meeting. This pre-intervention meeting makes sure our counsellor fully appreciates all relevant information concerning the addiction.
Our counsellor collects as much relevant information as possible from each party attending the meeting. Family members are briefed on what to expect during the intervention meeting and on rules enforced. It is vital family members carefully listen to instructions. A failure to do so could result in the addicted person terminating the meeting without a satisfactory resolution.
An intervention is a chance for you and your group to meet with the addicted person. It is a chance to talk about how their alcohol addiction has negatively impacted their lives. Usually, each person within the group will have the chance to discuss their feelings and give an account of how the behaviour of the person has affected them.
In addition to this, each member of the group will encourage the person by way of a plea, to seek professional treatment. This does not have to be a simple speech, members of the group might use letters, videos or other media to get the message across to their loved one.
For many families with a member who is battling alcoholism, an intervention can be an opportunity to break free of any enabling behaviours and make the addicted person accountable for the actions but it can also provide a safe space for everyone to air their concerns and thoughts.
Knowing when to intervene can be difficult. For many people, there is a belief that help is not required until the person struggling with alcoholism reaches a complete low. But alcohol intervention is best done before this point, before their alcohol addiction goes too far.
You might look out for certain signs that addiction is becoming a serious problem. These include a major disruption to the person’s life as well as a general deterioration in their health and personal care. But there are more specific points to consider when deciding on when to intervene for alcoholism:
An experienced counsellor conducts family intervention sessions seven days a week so schedule meetings around a mutually agreeable time. This means each family member is able to attend.
During sessions, our counsellor makes a note of all relevant information. Once sessions draw to a conclusion a treatment plan is drawn up for the addict’s agreement. Our counsellor makes sure the person struggling with alcoholism accepts and faces up to his or her alcoholism.
Intervention, when carried out according to pre-agreed rules, provides the initial stimulus for long-term recovery. 35% of the people we refer to rehab who are addicted to alcohol is through successful intervention. The work required for successful intervention is well worth the effort.
With alcoholism being a complex illness, there isn’t a ‘one type fits all’ solution when it comes to intervening. For this reason, there are a variety of alcohol addiction intervention models that are commonly used.
If you have never had to stage an intervention before, it can be difficult to understand where to begin. There are certain things that you can do to try to make the intervention as successful as possible. Planning it out beforehand can make a real difference. Below we have listed some tips to help you intervene on a loved one’s alcohol habits:
Without the assistance of an intervention specialist, many people find that the addicted person becomes defensive and unresponsive to the process. However, these highly trained and experienced people can be there to keep communication open and calm as well as helping the person to come to terms with what is happening and accept help.
Your intervention group can be made up of a variety of people, this might include friends and family as well as professionals who have been or will be involved in the care of the patient. This group can develop a strategy which is best suited to the individual and offer them support throughout the process.
Your intervention specialist will provide you with much information on alcoholism allowing you to arm yourself with knowledge before the intervention takes place.
You can also practise telling stories of how the person’s behaviour has negatively impacted the members of the group but it is important to review these and use the right wording to avoid pushing the person further away from help. Rehearsing and getting things just right can make your intervention much more structured and therefore, successful.
It is a wise idea to hold the intervention in a place that is familiar and comfortable to avoid causing unnecessary stress to the person struggling with alcoholism. It is also important to try to schedule the intervention when you know that the person will not be under the influence of any substances.
The outcome of the intervention is very uncertain and you do not know how the person will react, so it is important to prepare yourself for every eventuality. The specialist will have a good knowledge of how to calm a tense or aggressive situation but it is important to be ready to call for emergency help.
If an intervention is going to be successful, some things should be avoided at all costs. Perhaps most importantly, you should never hold an intervention spontaneously – interventions require careful planning and specialist support and doing it ‘off the cuff’ will not provide the results you are looking for.
It is also important to remember that you do not need the addicted person to have already hit rock bottom it is preferable to intervene before this happens as a way of preventing it.
You should calmly approach the intervention and never be aggressive or judgemental as this will likely have the opposite effect. It is also worth considering the timing, you should never try to intervene while the person is intoxicated since they may be extremely volatile and unable to understand what is going on as readily.
Setting consequences during an intervention is one way of urging your loved one to obtain support for their alcoholism. But it is important never to backtrack on these. If you want the intervention to be successful, you should stick to your word.
Finally, if you complete the intervention and it has not been successful, this does not mean that you should give up. Leave some time for things to settle and try again. In a lot of cases, interventions do not work the first time around and you should be prepared for this.
Planning what to say during an intervention can be overwhelming. There is no doubt that your mind will be filled with hundreds of things you wish to say but it is important to keep to the essential points and not to go over the top.
However, there are some things that you should say to make the intervention more likely to be successful:
During a family intervention, our counsellor attempts to settle an appropriate treatment plan for your loved one. All interested parties are welcome to attend. Our counsellor sets down meeting rules and invites all interested parties to sensitively and positively voice concerns.
A positive atmosphere is essential otherwise the person concerned could interpret the meeting in a negative way. This would stall progress rather than promote it. Intervention meetings are geared so the person in question accepts that treatment is needed. The counsellor explains the ‘disease’ aspect of addiction to the person concerned.
When planning an intervention, you want things to run as smoothly as possible and for the result to be that the person can access help and support for their alcohol addiction. To do this, there are certain things you can do.
You should ensure that the time of the intervention doesn’t clash with important aspects of the person’s life such as work or a time of emotional trauma, they will be unlikely to be able to focus on the intervention. You should also ensure that, for the same reason, the person will not be under the influence.
It is easy to point the finger during the intervention but to be successful, you should avoid shaming or being aggressive towards the addicted person. This may only exacerbate their feelings of guilt or shame and make them less likely to accept help.
When you are detailing the effects that the person’s behaviour has had on your life, you should be as specific as you can. This will likely have more of a lasting impression on the person than an offhand, brief comment. That being said, you should be certain that you are concise and do not ramble at length, as this can make the person lose focus.
It is wise to come up with a treatment plan before proceeding with the intervention, however, it’s upon accepting the treatment, the addicted person feels that something else might be suitable, you should help them to explore this.
If you have laid out consequences, then you should stick to these. This will show the person that you are serious about helping them get their life back together.
It is important to have a treatment plan in place before you attempt an alcohol addiction intervention. The reason for this is that it will take the stress away from the addicted person, it can be tiring enough for them agreeing to treatment in the first place without having to then research and find a facility by themselves.
There are multiple treatment options which can include day-care or a full residential rehab and looking into your options allows you to find the choice that is right for your loved one. You may also decide to speak to a professional who can assess the needs of your loved one and determine the best treatment option for them.
There are two possible outcomes of intervention – either the person accepts help, or they don’t. Hopefully, it is the first and the most important thing to do now is find an appropriate treatment plan as soon as possible.
You should get your loved one to be seen by an addiction specialist who will perform a detailed assessment to determine the best course of treatment for them – this could be early intervention, a residential program or an outpatient treatment plan. You should take into consideration the following points:
Not all interventions will be successful, in fact, in a lot of cases, more than one intervention may be required to encourage the person to seek help for their alcoholism.
If the intervention meeting does not go as planned another meeting is possible at short notice. The aim of the intervention is to direct the person who is struggling with alcoholism to a rehabilitation programme.
If the person struggling with alcoholism refuses treatment, another intervention meeting may be advisable. Typically, a second meeting is not required. Alcohol addiction intervention is a formula which has worked for many years and in most instances, one meeting is all that is required.
The addicted person may refuse to accept that there is a problem. In this case, they may feel as though they are under attack from those who care about them and may become upset and offended.
In contrast, the person may refuse to accept help but may gain an understanding of the concern and love of their family and friends. This may be seen as unsuccessful, but it may also encourage a change in certain behaviours – in some cases this can lead to the person seeking help in the future.
If you do not get the outcome you were hoping for, it is important to stick to your word where consequences are concerned but continue to provide support and understanding to your loved one. You may decide to try another intervention at a later date.
An intervention is not without its risks and it is important to remember that emotions will be running high for everyone involved. In many cases, the person being confronted may react aggressively or unpredictably which may pose a danger to other members of the group.
There is also the risk of causing deep emotional upset and further fraying relationships. If this happens, it may be necessary to cut ties with the person for some time whilst things settle, before perhaps trying again.
With interventions not being a part of most people’s everyday lives, there is a sense of mystery surrounding them and many myths have developed. However, these can easily be dispelled:
An intervention can prevent a person from having to reach rock bottom, which is more preferable than reaching it. In any case, it is not easy to define when exactly a person has gotten to rock bottom meaning that the sooner help can be obtained, the better.
It is important to remember that addiction is an illness and the brain’s chemical balance is interrupted during the throes of the disease. In addition to this, there are many psychological elements to the illness and these, along with the physical issues must be addressed for sobriety to be achieved.
Alcoholism may not always be successfully treated on the first attempt but that is not to say that subsequent attempts will also be unsuccessful.
Addiction does not target based on character traits and morals; it is important to keep in mind that anyone can be affected.
The addicted person may be upset or even offended by the intervention but with time, they will begin to realise that those around them are simply trying to help.
Quite the opposite is true. If the person is under the influence, they will not be able to fully understand the conversations and may be much more volatile.
It is important to have an intervention specialist as part of the group but anyone can join in. Colleagues, professionals and family should all take part if they wish.
Once the intervention is over, your job is to continue to provide support and encouragement for your loved one. It is worthwhile giving them the recognition they deserve for agreeing to seek help, as, for people struggling with alcoholism, this is a huge step in the right direction.
In addition to this, you can also take note of the following advice to keep the person engaged in their treatment:
There are many times that an intervention can be used this might include for those who struggle with eating habits or those addicted to gambling. However, some of the most common issues that can be intervened on are as follows:
At Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we help put alcohol intervention specialists in touch with families in need. Call us today on 0800 111 41 08.