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No family member wants to stage an intervention. The reality show Intervention became a hit when A&E started airing it in 2005, but it was a messy and not entirely realistic hit.

For one thing, the show claimed it had a 75 percent recovery rate. For people not on TV, staying sober is a lot harder. Experts say a treatment clinic with a 15 percent recovery rate is doing well. 

Getting sober for a few days is easier than staying sober for a lifetime. If you’re interested in intervention services for a loved one, you should know what you’re getting into. You should also bring in some professionals to help you.

Keep reading to find out how to do an intervention for an alcoholic. 

The Right Intervention Approach

Watching a loved one deal (or refuse to deal) with alcoholism is frustrating. It’s natural to want to yell at them or scream at them. But if you want them to get help, you must resist those urges.

Interventions should get planned and scripted a certain way. It’s not a time to bring in someone who is struggling so you and other family members can berate them.

Alcohol intervention must start with research and hard work. It may sound weird to have an intervention dress rehearsal. But not having one is a common mistake that could cause the whole intervention to go off the rails.

The people who participate in the intervention need to say how they feel, but they can’t get too emotional or upset. It’s a fine line to walk, which is why practice is necessary.

Focus on “I” statements. Say things like “I worry” or “I feel” rather than “You always” and “You never.” Experts say such statements are a better approach to conflict resolution

Focus on Specific Consequences

Expressing your feelings to the alcoholic is important. But for an alcohol abuse intervention to succeed, there also must be consequences.

In other words, you can’t say, “If you keep drinking, I’ll get upset.” Some part of the addict’s brain already knows you’re upset. But it’s not enough to get them to stop drinking.

You have to do more than get upset. Getting upset is enough. Instead, you should talk about specific things that will happen if the alcoholic doesn’t enter treatment. 

For instance, the alcoholic’s long-term partner might say, “I’ll have to break up with you if you don’t get help.” They have to be serious about that threat. It can’t be an empty ultimatum. 

We’ve all issued threats we don’t mean. For instance, we’ve been at work and said something like “If the boss asks me to do this, I quit.” Then the boss asks us, and we keep working there anyway.

Alcohol intervention programs won’t work unless the alcoholic experiences consequences. If you’re going to participate in an intervention, you must be willing to back up your words with actions.

Finding Intervention Services

This is all a delicate exercise. Intervention services shouldn’t be a DIY project. Trying and getting it wrong can be worse than never trying at all. 

Alcohol abuse can break a family. We can help you put it back together again.

Contact us today for more information about our alcohol intervention services.