In addition to its numerous health risks, alcoholism is a dangerous psychological disease. Not only does alcoholism pose a heightened risk for heart attack, liver disease and cancer, but increased feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy - symptoms that often spur the disease in the first place. Without treatment, alcoholics will often experience a diminished quality of life, in the form of strained relationships, finances, and a general lack of enthusiasm. In order to alter an alcoholic’s destructive path, the individual must be committed to a change. Helping an alcoholic towards this commitment takes a great deal of courage, patience and tact.
1 – Contact an intervention specialist regarding how best to approach the individual in question. In areas where an AA branch is far from reach, you may employ the aid of a public social worker. Obtaining professional help is especially crucial in cases where individuals have discussed or attempted suicide, is in denial, or has a history dealing with mental illness. Even in instances that do not involve these characteristics, getting in touch with a professional addiction specialist can be a wonderful step forward.
2 – Plan an intervention alongside a professional interventionist, while taking care to include close friends and relatives. When it comes to interventions, studies show a heightened rate of success when compared to 1-on-1 encounters.
3 – Prepare and research various facts pertaining to the individual’s behaviors, and how they have affected those surrounding them. Some common examples may include missed family get-togethers, financial strain, or lost relationships.
4 – Gather your participants for a pre-intervention to discuss the process and goals of the upcoming meeting. Have each participant write out a letter to the alcoholic detailing their personal struggles in regard to the addiction. Discuss treatment plans and potential consequences to implement in case the individual refuses to accept the help being offered. Stress the importance of secrecy leading up to the actual intervention and designate a neutral and non-threatening area to hold it.
5 – Intervention day. Provide participants with the opportunity to express their feelings. Once the rounds have been made, offer your treatment plan. Ask your loved one for a decision and communicate the consequences that will take place if help is refused. Be calm, firm, and loving throughout. Regardless of the outcome, your life is on the fast track to independence, happiness, and freedom.