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According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among young people aged 12 and older in the United States, 5.3% or 14.5 million people had an alcohol use disorder. Out of the 14.5 million people, 9.3% were aged 18 to 25, and 5.1% were 26 and older. Per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually. Alcohol-related death is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Alcohol addiction is a devastating problem, and countless families struggle with addiction across the United States.

Most Americans struggling with alcohol addiction try to reduce their drinking without any formal treatment, and unfortunately, this is not always successful. Staging an alcohol intervention and ensuring success is done with hiring a professional interventionist. Family intervention groups operate across the nation performing interventions and helping families. Staging an alcohol intervention takes planning, and a family interventionist ensures the intervention is successful.

What is an Alcohol Intervention?

An intervention allows a family to take control, and relatives and friends present their loved ones with an opportunity to accept their problem and make changes before the problem begins to become significantly worse. Professional interventions help families in many ways, such as providing family members and friends the opportunity to show how alcoholism has been destructive and how it has had a detrimental impact on the addicted person and the people around them.

Alcohol intervention also allows healthcare professionals and family members to explain how the treatment works and how it will help. Professional interventions also help addicts understand the consequences of their actions if they choose not to accept a treatment plan. An alcohol intervention is necessary because most alcoholics cannot accept treatment and attend a drug or alcohol treatment program.

Planning an Alcohol Intervention

The planning process begins with contacting a professional interventionist who spends significant time on the phone with the family explaining the intervention process and what addiction is. When a family hires a professional interventionist, they meet with them in-person, and the first day is family education day. Everything is planned, such as who will be in attendance, where the intervention is taking place, and what treatment is available. Interventions require planning, and specific attention to the addict’s needs and circumstances. A professional interventionist prepares the family for what to expect and helps the family overcome problems with enabling and co-dependency.

The people involved in the intervention are those who are not easily swayed by the alcoholic and those who keep a cool head during the intervention. Performing an intervention on the spot without any planning does not lead to success. It is important not to use the intervention to express anger or frustration at the person with alcohol addiction. The intervention is not a way of forcing the person into treatment, but rather demonstrating how the addiction has impacted their life. Also, intervention is not the last resort, and early intervention saves lives. Families could perform an intervention at any time to help their loved one addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol Intervention Models

There are several models used for an alcohol intervention, and one of the most common is The Johnson Model of intervention, which is referred to as the first organized model of intervention. The Johnson Model follows a standard blueprint, and it does not include the alcoholic in the planning process. Confrontational approaches follow the same approach and are often misunderstood as ineffective because they force the addicted person into the corner. However, the process presents consequences and should be considered a tough-love approach. The people involved in the intervention tell the alcoholic how their addiction has impacted their life and the life of the alcoholic.

The tough love model often goes together with the Systemic Family Approach, which is an intervention model that consists primarily of family members who form the intervention group. Professional interventionists are familiar with various models of interventions and help a family organize the best approach. Alcohol interventions are successful and work with proper planning and organization with family and friends.

Tips for Holding an Alcohol Intervention

After hiring a professional interventionist, the first tip with organizing a family intervention is choosing the intervention team wisely. The people involved with the intervention are those who are not antagonistic towards the alcoholic and express their concern in a loving manner. The next tip is finding the right time to talk, which is not the time when the alcoholic is under the influence of alcohol. The intervention should also occur in a private or formal spot, where the alcoholic feels comfortable and cornered. During the intervention, it is important to pay attention to the order of speakers, and everything is rehearsed.

A professional interventionist helps the family hold rehearsals and stick to the script. The people involved in the intervention should use open, warm body language, and keep tempers under control. A family interventionist helps the family develop a backup plan and ensures the people in attendance do not give up. Once an alcoholic agrees to attend treatment, an interventionist continues to work with the family and counsel them while their loved one is in treatment. Alcohol intervention should not be considered as a last resort, and early intervention saves lives.

Sources:
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29393/2019NSDUHFFRPDFWHTML/2019NSDUHFFR1PDFW090120.pdf
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics


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