Alcoholism, unfortunately, is a big epidemic in the United States. About 50% of Americans have consumed alcohol at one point or continue to do so in their lives.
According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2014, about 25% of the study participants reported that they binge drink. This number could be even higher as these are people who actually report it. For someone who is dealing with alcoholism, he or she may be less inclined to report this, especially in a survey.
Denial is a typical factor when it comes to someone dealing with alcoholism. For loved ones, this can be a very emotional and complex situation. But, in order to see any type of improvement or treatment, they must stage an intervention to help this person overcome their condition.
Alcoholism can affect more than just the person dealing with the condition. It can affect relationships with people that are most important, such as family and close friends. Typically, these are the people who will notice the telltale signs alcohol addiction.
Family and friends will also be the ones who want to help their alcoholic loved one seek treatment as soon as possible because they care about this person so much. One of the first things that family members can do is to express their concerns in a way that allows their loved one to feel supported. This process can be done through an intervention.
Family members should be cautious and aware of the risks involved with staging an alcohol intervention. They have to be prepared to see that their loved one might not be ready to hear what they may have to say. Reactions can be full of anger, disappointment, and sadness.
Alcohol interventions are necessary because it’s the first step in providing the proper treatment that an alcoholic needs. If done purposefully, family members will see progress towards alcoholism treatment.
What follows are some very important factors you should keep in mind when planning to stage an alcohol intervention.
Determine the Goal for the Intervention
Before your family decides to stage an alcohol intervention, you should ask yourselves what the goal is in doing so.
If your goal is to help a loved one seek permanent treatment and live a quality life, then the intervention is warranted. Staging an intervention can open up lines of communication and offer families a chance to help one another in this life-threatening situation.
An intervention and the treatment that follows must be motivated with complete alcohol sobriety. This is the only sure way that an alcoholic can truly recover from an addiction.
Usually, family members and close friends can identify when someone is dealing with alcoholism, but there are rare cases where alcoholism is not necessarily present. So, having an intervention can help people understand what other internal conflicts the person may be going through and potentially rule out alcoholism.
Either way, an intervention is a great way of figuring out the problem for both parties and determining the next steps towards necessary treatment.
Consider How the Intervention Will Take Place
Loved ones who want to initiate an intervention should understand that there is a lot of planning that’s involved for it to be successful. Taking the right steps will ensure that the process goes smoothly and with fidelity, which will only benefit everyone.
Here are the typical steps that are taken in a traditional intervention:
Consult With a Doctor
It’s advisable that loved ones consult with a doctor or professional in determining what steps they can take towards planning an intervention. Doctors are trained in determining what to expect when it comes to not only treatment options, but also in developing strategies on how to approach and confront individuals with alcoholism.
It may also be beneficial to invite your doctor to the intervention so that they can help facilitate the conversation and offer professional advice in the process. Other individuals that loved ones may want to include are close friends and family.
The people involved should be those that the person can trust and have a close relationship with. Strangers or acquaintances can make the person feel uncomfortable and unwilling to open up.
Alcohol addiction can be something that your loved one has a lot of trouble dealing with. So, if he or she were to see how many people cared about their treatment and them in general, the receptive component may be more positive. However, it’s important to remember that sometimes, multiple interventions may need to take place in the event that your loved one does not respond well to the initial intervention.
Allow Time for People to Speak
People who are present should be encouraged to share their feelings and experiences with the person suffering from alcohol addiction. They might have stories or instances that reveal the type of effects the person is having on their relationship. The hope is that the addict will understand where these people are coming from and be able to become more aware of his or her impact on these people.
This stage is very important and can be a very emotional one. A lot of time can be taken during this process, but that should be understood from the get-go. Depending on how long the situation has been going on, it could take a few minutes to a few hours before everyone has expressed their feelings.
People who are speaking should also make sure to pay attention to their tone and not attack the person being intervened. Even if someone is suffering from alcoholism, he or she is still able to identify body language and cues. Make sure that the speaker’s body language matches what he or she is trying to convey.
Offer a Solution
Now that your loved one has been made aware of each person’s feelings and concerns, a plan should be presented to him or her in the form of treatment. Effective treatment can be through a professional and credible facility with a dedication to helping patients recover. Be sure to give your loved one time to evaluate the situation and an opportunity to make a decision, though.
Being forceful or demanding can only push them further away and make them decline treatment. What’s worse is that it can completely ruin the relationship and trust that your loved one has with their family and friends.
The point is to show your loved one that there are options that are effective and sustainable. You don’t want to scare them with anything that would make them want to refuse treatment over the fear of being overwhelmed.
What Happens After an Intervention?
At this point, it’s now up to your loved one to make a decision and seek treatment following an intervention. Family members and friends should be aware that there may either be apprehension or openness following an intervention. This is all considered normal and part of the intervention process. There are two paths that a post-intervention can take.
Refusal to Seek Treatment
Your loved one might refuse treatment regardless of all the efforts made by people that they love as well as medical professionals. This is his or her choice in doing so. If this does in fact happen, understand that you can always conduct another intervention at a later time.
Rehabilitation only works when the addict is ready to make a recovery. If the addict is a child, sometimes parents might force rehab whether the child wants to go or not.
All of the efforts and care of the family’s attempt to intervene in your loved one’s situation can make him or her realize the need to seek treatment. This is one huge success, but only the first of many towards a long recovery.
Families should be prepared with finding a facility that specializes and has experience in working with patients dealing with alcohol addiction. Their alcohol rehab program should prove to be effective and meet the needs of the patient. The factors that you want to look for in a rehab program are that they not only provide treatment that leads towards abstinence from substance abuse but one that has fostering strategies to prevent any potential relapses.
Plus, you want the program to be one that will be conducive to the needs of the patient and provide continuous support for his or her condition. Most alcohol rehab programs will begin treatment with detoxification processes. Make sure that you become knowledgeable in their processes so that way you are always aware of the treatments provided to your loved one. This will help you feel more confident in their services and their overall care for your loved one.
Alcohol addiction can affect many people in their relationships with others. Alcoholism can make others segregate themselves from the people that they love and sometimes they have no control over this condition. They end up missing out on family events and social gatherings to where people begin to wonder what is going on.
In severe cases, family members and friends may witness an alcoholic being out of control, thus hoping that he or she will receive treatment as soon as possible. An alcoholic needs to be made aware of his or her condition but in a way that shows support and care from loved ones. An alcoholic should feel fortunate to know that there are people out there who care enough to want to stage an alcohol intervention and helping him or her seek the treatment that is necessary to get better.
Are you in search of a reliable facility that can provide rehabilitation services for someone suffering from alcoholism? Contact a recovery center so that they can provide you with information regarding treatment as well as any other advice to help you with the intervention process.