When someone important to you in life is sick with a terminal illness, it can put you into a depression and keep you awake at night not knowing how to help them. If someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you probably have already seen there is not much of a difference to having to stand by someone fighting an illness. Addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, is a mental sickness that swallows the user into a dark pit of shame and guilt. These emotions, which are felt by most alcoholics, can keep people from getting help for their drinking problem.
Alcoholism is a problem that is taking our country by storm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 38 million U.S. adults confessed to binge drinking an average of four times a month. The CDC also concluded that there are about 2,200 deaths a year from alcohol poisoning. These numbers prove that your loved one is not the only one who is struggling with alcoholism. You can do your best to make sure your loved one enrolls into a rehab program.
In most cases, the hardest thing for an alcoholic to do is to admit that they have a problem. Mainly because they are in denial about their situation, but also because they feel they will be shamed by their loved ones. If you feel your loved one is stuck in a cycle of alcohol abuse, now may be the time to step up to plan an intervention.
An intervention can be a great way to get your loved one to agree on making some life style changes. If an alcoholic knows that their family and friends support them enrolling into rehab or another sober program, they will be more likely to go. Alcoholics often begin drinking to feel accepted in a group setting. Proving to your loved one that they do belong in your group by holding an intervention may help fill the hole in their life.
Tips for Staging an Intervention
When setting up an intervention there are many things that you need to focus on in order to make sure there is success. First off, make sure you assemble the right group of people. Selecting the right people is half of the battle. Gather family members and close friends who have seen, first hand, how the alcoholics actions have had a negative impact. Do not invite anyone who may act as in enabler and give the alcoholic excuses as to why they drink. Keeping every detail organized might be hard to do, but it will be worth it in the end. Make sure everyone is prepared with a scripted statement to read. The reason for the script is because during an intervention, people have some many things they want to say that the statements might be watered down or drag out losing the alcoholic’s attention.
Achieving sobriety is not easy, which is why alcoholics will need the support and concern from those close to them. Show your loved one that they are not as alone as they feel, set up an intervention to help your loved one. Achieving sobriety is no easy feat but in the right environment and surrounded by the right people, anyone can accomplish it.
Do’s and Don’t’s About Intervention
Do: Set a concerning and supportive tone. Let your loved one know that the intervention is taking place because everyone wants to see them get heathy and sober. Letting your loved one know that they will not be alone to fight against their addiction can pay dividends. Keeping your emotions in check will be huge. Do not give off the impression that you are getting mad, upset, or fed up.
Don’t: Criticize your loved one for their actions. If the alcoholic feels they are being judged, they will tune out the concerns of their loved ones and not want to take the next step towards recovery. You are not setting up a trap to point out all of the flaws in the alcoholic’s life. An alcoholic may have turned to drinking because of a bad life experience, and rubbing their face in that might lead them to drink more. Again, keep the focus on their drinking and you wanting to see them get help.
Do: Get help from a professional interventionist. Having an interventionist present to act as a neutral third-party will help with the communication flow of the intervention. Sometimes, it can be hard for family members or the alcoholic to talk about how the loved one’s drinking problem has affected everyone. The interventionist can make sure everyone’s questions, comments and concerns are addressed. The interventionist can also let the alcoholic know what the next steps may be if they decide to go for alcohol treatment.
Don’t: Give up. It is not uncommon for an alcoholic to reject the first intervention. It can take multiple gatherings of friends and family to get your loved one to want change their ways. Do not feel discouraged if you have to plan multiple interventions.
Do: Use specific examples to prove to the alcoholic that their drinking effects more than just them. An intervention may be the first realization for an alcoholic that they have a problem. And maybe they will feel they owe it to their loved ones to try to change their ways. Choosing the right order in which family members and friends share is important too. It would be a good idea to have the most damaging experiences read first. Because the alcoholic may tune out so you will want to open their eyes early.
Don’t: Go in unprepared. Hold a rehearsal intervention so that you may be able to be ready for any easy obstacles which may occur. Most alcoholics say start out saying the same things, “I don’t drink that much,” “it’s only on weekends” or “I only drink when I’m with friends.” Alcoholics tell themselves these things so much that they may truly believe it. Have comeback responses ready to prove to the alcoholic that those statement are not entirely true.
Taking the Next Step
It is important to remember that an intervention is only the first step. Once the alcoholic in your life admits they have a problem, the next stage is to get help. Be sure to encourage your loved one to look into professional help regarding detoxing, rehab, therapy and sober living accommodations. Your loved one will need to feel support throughout their entire recovery process. It is not easy to achieve sobriety, but it is possible. Admitting the problem is the first and hardest step of alcoholism treatment.
Timing and Location
Knowing when and where to act can play a big part in whether or not your intervention will deem successful. As far as timing goes, the sooner the better. Do not let your loved one lose another day to their alcoholism. Once the idea for the intervention is set, gather their friends and family within a few days. Mornings tend to work best. Alcoholics are usually impaired for most of the day and all night, so reach out to your loved one in the morning before they start to drown themselves in alcohol. The location can be a tricky tactic. You do not want to ambush the alcoholic, but at the same time you need to be assertative. Select a place where the alcoholic will be comfortable, but not distracted. If it is possible, hold the meeting in a professional place. But do not make it obvious when trying to get the alcoholic there. Avoid places where distracts and interruptions exist.
Get Your Intervention Started Today
Waiting will hurt your chances of saving your loved one’s life. Act now. Alcoholism will only help a person get to prison or get to their funeral. Planning an intervention can be scary, sad and frustrating all rolled into one. But keeping a level head and all of your focus on the overall goal of getting your loved one help, will pay off. A successful intervention is not about how many people come to express their concerns, it is about making sure the person close to you does not end up another death statistic because of alcohol. For more information, pick up the phone to call (817)-203-8325. Representatives will provide you with everything you need to start planning a successful intervention. Help open your loved one’s eyes to a happy life, not under the influence of alcohol.