Interventions, Do They Work?

Interventions; do they work or do they just cause more unrest in a family that already has their share of misery. Interventions are when family and close friends confront the alcoholic in a group setting, in an effort to force the alcoholic to acknowledge that they have a drinking problem.  Each person takes turns talking about how the alcoholic has affected their life, in a loving and non confrontational way. It is best to have a qualified Alcohol and Drug Counselor present to preside over the intervention to insure that the intervention has the best possible result.

The end result of an intervention should be that the alcoholic goes to an alcoholic rehabilitation center. It would be good to speak with a few rehabs ahead of time to find out what each facility offers. Ultimately the alcoholic has to talk to a staff member himself, but it is good for the family and friends to have an idea of what their loved one will be facing at a rehab.

Some interventions are a surprise to the alcoholic. It has been found however, that the surprised alcoholic often feels ambushed, and often will walk out of the intervention before it has even started. A new method of telling the alcoholic about the meeting ahead of time eliminates the surprise and is proving to work better. Most alcoholics will have a negative attitude either way, but they may feel that they have been treated with respect if they know about the intervention ahead of time. There is no way to know which method works best. It is difficult for both parties.

Many people feel that an alcoholic will seek help when they are ready, and that an intervention is a waste of time. However, it is also possible that the alcoholic is really tired of the disease and even though they wouldn’t admit it, inside they are glad that the choice was taken out of their hands. Of course, alcoholics are very stubborn and very scared and some won’t give into the help that is offered.  The family and friends will know that they tried, and maybe a seed has been planted in the alcoholic for a future time. If the intervention doesn’t work (or even if it does) there are programs out there such as Al-Anon that can help the family to learn to cope and live a better life themselves.

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