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Alcoholism Intervention and Drug Addiction
Intervention Info, Tips and Advice

What is an Alcoholism Intervention or Drug Addiction Intervention? Firstly, there is no difference between doing an intervention for a drug addict or alcoholic.

The principles of an intervention remain the same, irrespective of the substance involved - so think substance abuse intervention in general - rather than specifics related to a particular substance.

Coming back to a drug/alcohol intervention ... the key points to remember is that an Intervention is a planned, orchestrated and organised confrontation.

You (the family) confront the alcoholic or drug addict about their problem and highlight the damage they're causing to themselves and the family - and are firm that unless they get Alcohol Treatment, there will be consequences as to their future relationship with you.

I know that sounds harsh - but the drug or alcoholism intervention is about holding that person accountable - and basically saying 'enough is enough.'

Because up until that point its likely that the addict has had to bear no real consequences for their using since you would've simply covered up or 'cleaned up' their mess - and whatever pleas or threats you've made have carried little weight because you haven't followed through.

This is basically the point where you start adopting the tough love approach because all else has failed.

It's critical to know that it's not something you can do off the cuff. It requires careful thought, planning and organisation because you only get one shot at it. It won't work a 2nd time because the power lies in the surprise and strength of the initial confrontation.

It's also a good idea to get an Interventions Counselor or specialist involved to make sure you do it right. Having said that though - the treatment center we used prepped us and gave us the knowledge we needed - but recommended we do it ourselves.

The ultimate goal to an intervention is creating consequences for the addict for their continued drinking or using - and if they don't agree to get help for example, they will lose something of significant value that you have decided beforehand.

With my mother I said I wouldn't see her again until she went into treatment and got the help she needed. That was a pretty serious consequence, but I was sick and tired of the many previous failed promises so I meant it. The usual couple of days in hospital for a basic detox just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

If you're looking for more extensive information, Chapter 5 of Help Me! I'm in Love With an Addict or Alcoholic, deals with this topic extensively - so feel free to check it out.

So I'm not going to repeat what I've written in the book, but I just want to re-emphasize how powerful doing an Intervention properly is. So make sure you put in the necessary preparation to ensure you get results.

My sister and I, performed an intervention on my Mother, which led to her agreeing to the treatment we insisted she get (not initially - it took her a couple of days before she agreed, but that's pretty normal). She's been sober since ... going on 8 years now. So I can definitely say first hand, this is something that works.

There is a school of thought that feels an intervention will just cause further damage to already volatile relationships because the alcoholic or addict will feel ambushed and that everyone is against him or her - and that even if the person even agrees to treatment they won't really be committed to the process.

Yes, you run that risk, but it's likely that if you're ready to do a drug or alcoholism intervention - the relationship is pretty fractured already because usually this is a last resort step when almost everything else has failed and you've reached the end of your tether.

Or of course you have to do it because continued drinking or using is putting the addict's health at serious risk ...

Bottom line - get a professional opinion first before deciding on the way to go. Rehab/Treatment Centers can help with this. It's worked for our family, but it might not be appropriate for everyone.

I also suggest you read about the topic of Codependency and how being codependent can actually hinder the addict or alcoholic in your life getting the help they need.

The effects of addiction or Alcoholism on a Marriage can also be devestating so understanding that and getting clearer on what you should do is also a good idea.

An intervention is designed to confront a severe alcoholic or drug addict to convince them of the value of their life if they gain sobriety, and that entering an Alcohol and Drug addiction Treatment program is their greatest chance for success.

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