During an alcohol intervention , an alcoholic will be directly confronted by their families, friends, and ideally, with the help of a substance abuse counselor to express their concern over the alcoholic’s drinking problem and how it affects those around him.

Ideally, alcoholism intervention should be conducted under the care of experienced substance abuse counselors who are knowledgeable in this delicate process. This is crucial because the basic premise of intervention alcohol abuse is to get the alcoholic to seek a professional alcohol treatment program.

Alcoholism Intervention

Alcoholism intervention should also be preferably based on the alcoholic’s readiness to cope with his alcohol problem and the severity of the alcoholic addiction. Typically, patients who are alcohol dependent are recommended to undergo a professional alcoholism treatment program so that they can successfully abstain from alcohol.

Likewise, when deciding if the alcoholic should undergo outpatient or inpatient alcohol treatment will greatly depend on the person’s tendency for alcohol withdrawal, readiness for change, family support, access to specialized treatment, employment status, and resources. On the other hand, alcoholics who are resistant to formal alcohol treatment may be swayed to go on peer-directed groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, along with outpatient counseling.

However, for alcoholics who are pregnant, take medication, have life-threatening medical conditions or those who have a track record of failed and repeated attempts at alcohol abstinence are advised to undergo inpatient alcohol treatment programs in alcohol rehabilitation centers.

Is there Really a Right Timing for Alcoholism Intervention?

Timing is definitely a big factor when trying to stage an alcohol intervention, however, and this is one big however; there is a debate as to when actually is the best time to do it. As stated above, alcoholic intervention should be determined by the alcoholic’s readiness to cope and the severity of his alcohol dependency.

But what if the alcoholic is not ready to change, but is starting to go on a downward spiral that will ultimately lead to dire consequences? Or what if his behavior is really starting to affect his work or relationships with those around him but he is not willing to accept the fact that he has a drinking problem?

Alcoholism Intervention

In this context, alcoholism intervention should be done the soonest time possible whether the alcoholic is ready or not. On the other hand, various research suggest that the most ideal time for an alcoholism intervention should be conducted after, and not before, a major event has transpired as a direct consequence of a person’s alcohol problem.

How to Do an Intervention for an Alcoholic

This can be events like lying about important things to hide the person’s alcohol dependence or a more serious event like being arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) because in these scenarios, the alcoholic is highly likely to feel guiltier and more remorseful.

The Basics of Alcoholism Intervention

Research also suggests that alcoholic dependent men will be more willing to undergo alcoholism treatment when their jobs are threatened or if their employers are part of the alcoholism intervention. Interestingly enough, one research also pointed out that alcoholics who sought help because of the threat of unemployment showed considerable improvement in their performance at work and drinking behavior after an alcoholic intervention.

In any case however, the participation of an experienced substance abuse counselor is crucial in determining the exact timing of an alcoholism intervention because they are professionally capable of gauging an alcoholic’s readiness and severity of drinking problem.

The Basics of Staging an Alcohol Intervention

The first thing you need is of course, to have a definitive plan. Aside from the substance abuse counselor, you should also seriously think of who to invite to the alcoholism intervention. Likewise, you should meet with all of the invited people to settle the basics such as when, where, who speaks first, how long, and what should be said.

Ideally, you should already have researched all possible alcohol treatment programs in the event that the intervention is successful to make it faster and easier for your loved one to choose the alcoholism treatment and facility right for him.

Alcoholism Intervention

To help you with this, you can arrange another meeting between you and the counselor you will be inviting as they are knowledgeable about such things. Remember that your loved one should be kept in the dark about the alcoholic intervention for the most favorable impact.

Everyone included in the intervention are advised to write a letter expressing their concerns over the alcoholic’s drinking problem that particularly addresses how they are affected by the alcoholic’s drinking behavior. This is done so that the invited people will be more ready with their written words as opposed to speaking directly to their loved one which will be very difficult for both parties because interventions are always emotionally charged.

In addition, it is vital that involved people should write their concerns in a non-judgmental way so as not to get the alcoholic in a defensive mood that will most likely result in a failed intervention. During the actual alcoholism intervention, everyone will have to take turns as determined in the initial meeting in order that the alcoholic will get a clear view of how his alcohol problem affects not only himself, but everyone around him as well.

Once finished, your loved one will be faced with a life-changing decision; to undergo an alcohol rehabilitation program or else bear the consequences of his decision if he chooses not to go. In most cases, consequences can involve divorce, losing his family, work, or home. And yes, there is a chance that an alcoholism intervention may fail, but the important thing is that you tried your best to help your loved one and now all you can do is continue hoping for the best.

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  1. H

    Hermann T. Meyer


    The problem is not that there are no prevention measures which are successful but that we have not the politicians to take them up. The WHO resolution for an alcohol strategy is a wonderful tool. It should be used. And the people should be educated to help politicians using it.

  2. D

    Debra Rincon Lopez


    I was a heavy drinker for years. If I could have seen the recovery in my future, I would have done is sooner? I think they need real people to talk to more students and young folks that would help alot! ALCOHOL KILLED ALOT OF MY TRIBES PEOPLE, MOSTLY YOUNG PEOPLE. WE NEED TO FIGHT THIS AS HARD AS WE CAN FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN EVERYWHERE!!!

  3. R

    Rose Vasquez Colon


    No need to publish. I have a question though: Are community prevention experts part of the caucus? I have spent the last 17 years in the field of alcohol/drug prevention specifically around changing the way our community lives in regards to policy and ordinance adoptions. Reducing youth access to alcohol is sort of my expertise. I worked for a CBO for most of my career and now work at our County Health Department overseeing prevention programs. I’m interested in sharing best practices. Rose

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