If someone you care about is an alcoholic, you might want to consider planning an intervention. During an intervention session, people that care about an alcoholic tell him how much they care, how they have been affected by his drinking problem and ask him to get treatment now. The purpose of an intervention is to make an alcoholic aware of the seriousness of his drinking problem and to encourage him to stop drinking and get help. To improve the likelihood of success, plan your intervention carefully.
Pick the Right Time
Pick the right time for your intervention. Try to choose a time when the alcoholic is likely to be sober, or at least a time when he is likely to have been drinking the least.
Make it a Surprise
Don’t let the alcoholic know you are planning an intervention. That gives him time to think up excuses or plan a counterattack. If he knows when the intervention will take place, he might not even show up.
Pick the Right People to Participate
Choose participants that the alcoholic likes and respects. If the alcoholic is estranged from his mother or refuses to speak to his ex-wife at all, those are not good people to ask to participate in the intervention. Make sure all participants understand the purpose of the intervention and their roles in the process. If someone is unable to understand her role or insists on trying to work out personal problems with the alcoholic during the intervention or is otherwise unable to support the goals of the intervention, do not include her in the process.
Have a Plan of Action
Each participant in the intervention should have the opportunity to speak to the addict in turn. They may find it helpful to write down what they want to say ahead of time. Each person should tell the alcoholic how much she cares for him, how she has been affected by the alcoholism and why she wants him to quit drinking. She should ask him to agree to accept help today. If the alcoholic refuses to get help today, she should explain what changes she will be forced to make such as no longer allowing the alcoholic to live with her, no longer giving him money, no longer bailing him out of jail and so on. She should not argue or blame and should not make threats she will not be able to keep. Decide in advance the order in which participants will talk. Only one person should speak at a time.
Have a Treatment Plan in Place
During the intervention, you will ask the alcoholic to get help. Ask him to accept help and enter treatment today. Have arrangements already in place with a treatment center. Know how the treatment program will be paid for; if the alcoholic does not have insurance that will cover treatment, see if a treatment center can offer services for a reduced fee or arrange to pay the bill yourself. An alcoholic is unlikely to agree to go into treatment right away if he does not know how he will pay for it. If the alcoholic must travel to a treatment center, have a plane ticket waiting. Have a bag packed so he can leave for treatment immediately after the intervention.
Consider Engaging Professional Help
Holding an intervention is stressful and difficult. Consider engaging professional help. Many drug and alcohol treatment professionals will advise you about the best way to hold an intervention and some will even attend an intervention and facilitate the meeting if you wish.
Narconon. http://www.drugrehab.co.uk/drug-intervention.htm. Drug Intervention.
Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/intervention/MH00127. Intervention.