The Process of Holding an Intervention for Alcoholism
Talk to Them Personally
If you have any impact on their lives, you may be wondering what you can do to directly help them. If your opinion holds weight with them, that’s a great tool to be able to utilize, but not abuse. Their trust in you is something that needs to remain throughout the intervention and rehabilitation process, but talking to them personally could prime the intervention process to flow more easily.
Don’t pander to them, and be firm, yet gentle. Let them know a little bit of how you feel, and see if it resonates with them. If they listen (and they give themselves a good hard look in the mirror), they may agree and tell you that they know they have a problem and need help. This could soften the entire intervention process.
When you plan an intervention, it’s crucial to know who’s important and influential in the alcoholic’s life, and how to approach them. It feels like you’re plotting against your loved one, but in fact, you’re garnering the support of the alcoholic’s closest friends. When they can look at the big picture and see that everyone is concerned, that’s where the power of an intervention comes in.
Deciding on a Time and Place
You know that saying, “There’s a time and a place for everything.” Everyone’s heard that at least once before in their lives. It especially rings true to when you’re trying to perform an alcohol intervention. There’s a careful and specific way you should go about doing this. The environment matters, as well as the free space between you and the alcoholic.
You don’t want them to feel cornered by any means. It can lead to a completely negative and horrible reaction. They can become extremely agitated at the drop of a hat, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid. The time and place should be somewhere comfortable to the alcoholic. Don’t ambush them at a public spot, or their bar of choice. They need to feel safe, and that their loved ones are being constructive, not destructive.
The time and place can make or break the initial response to an intervention. The wrong choices can send the alcoholic in question out the door, which will make another attempt immensely more difficult.
Scripting the Intervention
There are a hundred different things you want to say to the alcoholic. You’re angry, hurt, and disappointed, but you need to stave your tongue. Letting the wrong words out can flip the script and immediately shift gears; they won’t listen to you if you get too emotional. The main thing that they should see on your face is concern.
Scripting the intervention is where a lot of the diligence comes into play. You’ll be able to carefully construct your own personal part in the intervention, but the entire event needs to be scripted. It may seem like you’re deceiving your loved one, but nothing could be farther from the truth. You’re ensuring that the right things are said, and that you’re not putting a wrench in the gears with your words.
Scripting can be difficult, especially if none of the present members have any sort of experience partaking in an intervention in the past. Getting your voice through, while getting a message through to the alcoholic, is a tricky spot to be in. This is one of the crucial components that can aid your efforts, or send them spiraling down in flames. This is one of those times when you need a professional intervention specialist.
Unique Attributes of an Alcoholic Intervention
As opposed to other addictive substances, alcohol abuse still leaves the person in question comprehensible and with a little more clarity. Substances can really mess with your head on an almost continuous basis, and alcoholism has peaks and waves. Even the worst alcoholics can’t be consistently drinking at every waking moment, so there are more frequent times where they can comprehend what you’re saying and doing during an intervention.
Anyone would get angry being “ambushed” when they realize that they’re in an intervention, but the instant anger element can be taken out of the equation if it’s done correctly. An intervention doesn’t have to set them off, but even when it does, it’s up to those throwing the intervention to remain calm and collected. Showing outrage, even if you’re being screamed at or told extremely hurtful things, can be like severing a lifeline. It isn’t about you at this point; it’s about them, getting them help, and getting through to them.