How to Hold an Intervention for a Functional Alcoholic

Functional alcoholics suffer from alcoholism but are still able to function normally in society. They have the ability to hold a job, socialize and maintain intimate relationships. These types of alcoholics may be the most difficult to confront, because they generally don’t know or won’t admit they have a problem. Denial is one of the toughest issues they face when confronted with their drinking problem.

What Defines a High Functioning Alcoholic?

There are many signs that will indicate that someone is a high functioning alcoholic. Some of the signs of a high functioning alcoholic include the following:

  • They can’t have just one drink at any setting
  • They can’t leave drinks unfinished
  • They occasionally will have blackouts and won’t be able to remember what happened
  • They don’t act like they normally would while they are drinking
  • They continually talk about and plan the next drinking event
  • They set limits for themselves but never stick to these limits

These individuals are likely to deny having a problem. They will say things like, “I don’t have any alcohol-related health issues” or, “It doesn’t affect anything else in my life.” Knowing the signs of functional alcoholism will help reveal the role alcohol has in this individual’s life.

Who Should Be at an Intervention for a Functional Alcoholic and What Should Be Said

Deciding who to include in an intervention is ultimately up to you, but counselors can help you make this decision. Individuals involved should be close to the functional alcoholic and should be trusted and respected. All people involved should be on the same page and clear with the direction of the meeting. A professional interventionist can help define the goals of the intervention and make sure all participants know what to say and do.

Knowing what to say is essential for a successful intervention. The functional alcoholic should feel loved and not attacked or accused. A confrontational intervention will result in greater denial and resistance to treatment. Participants should clearly state the signs of alcoholism and how this affects the user’s loved ones. The functioning alcoholic should know that everyone supports his or her recovery and will no longer help maintain negative habits.

How to Prepare for an Intervention for a Functional Alcoholic

Never confront a functional alcoholic in the moment or out of heightened emotion. Complete the following before approaching the user:

  • Set a time and place for the intervention
  • Research high functioning alcoholics
  • Call a rehab center and let them know that you may be bringing someone in
  • Have a counselor ready and able to come to the intervention
  • Talk to everyone in the group so that everyone is agreeable to the topics in the intervention

Preparation leaves the functional alcoholic with few or no excuses for continued use. The goal of any intervention is to get the user into rehab as soon as the intervention is over.

Do You Need Help with an Intervention for a Functional Alcoholic?

If you want to hold an intervention and help a loved one but don’t know where to start, give us a call. Our trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide information and advice. Call our toll-free and confidential helpline to discuss addiction and recovery options. We can even determine what treatment insurance will cover. Don’t fight addiction alone, call us today.

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