Recover345’s Weblog

November 30, 2008

Doing an Intervention: Get Someone to Face the Truth

If you want to conduct an alcoholic intervention to help someone face their true situation, loss of quality of life and open a door to a new level of living, be aware that the person will probably be defensive, in denial, angry or any mix of the above. There is no one way to do it,and though in past interventions were done informally by friends and famlly, now there are people who wlll facilitate one formally if one wishes that.

I think it’s more effective to first try one without a professional and then a professional can always be involved if necessary in future. What is best is to have several close friends and family members (4-10 people). These should be people who care about the person and who don’t get into tons of knock down fights and arguments OR are actively drinking themselves.  If someone is very close to the drinker but always gets into tough confrontations, they can attend but should be on the quiet side to avoid it turning into a huge conflict. I find it’s more powerful if that person just sticks to the letter they wrote.

Each participant should write a one page letter and will go around the room and read it. This can be very emotional and often when we write we get into the love and concern we have for someone without the anger and judgments so this makes it a very good tool. When several are read, everyone is moved and hopefully the alcoholic himself.

Also please have a facility for rehab treatment lined up so that if the alcoholic is ready that can be an easy shift while his resolution is still strong to change. To delay things can bring up endless excuses unfortunately. Since you can’t just walk in to a rehab treatment center, it needs to be set up with them , with of course a discussion that the person may not be ready at the time.

Remember that love should be the primary focus as this is the most powerful force on earth. Firmness is needed too of course but without tons of criticism and negative judgements. It’s best for the person himself to reflect on the consequences of his actions and seeing that his life isn’t turning out the way he wishes, the alcohol doesn’t kill his pain and he’s lost many situations he wish he hadn’t. Expect him to make every objection in the book so be ready to meet these and emphasize why going to a rehab program is so important.

If somehow there is no ability to get the person to go, it can be helpful to get them to agree to go to AA locally and be able to tell them ways you won’t enable the person anymore (ie no more bail or jail or other ways of picking up the pieces). In many cases, the drinker in his heart of hearts is ready and knows that rehab will give him the sobriety is needs though fears.


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