Misconceptions about Interventions for Alcohol Users

Interventions have often been documented and portrayed on television and in movies. In real life, staging an intervention for an alcoholic can be very different from what these interactions on screen may have led you to expect. Before calling your own intervention, know the truth regarding these common misconceptions.

Misconception: Volatile Emotions Are Involved

Interventions do involve conflict, but there are ways you can help keep an intervention as quiet and relaxed as possible, such as the following:

  • Stay factual in your message.
  • State and repeat your concern for your loved one’s wellbeing.
  • Avoid calling anyone names, even “alcoholic.”

If you focus on the conflict between the harmful actions of addiction and the helpful opportunities of sobriety, the conflict between people can be deemphasized.

Misconception: Only the Worst Cases Need Interventions

Interventions have been portrayed as a desperate last resort. The truth is that interventions, like treatment, can be effective at any stage of alcohol addiction. In fact, the sooner you can divert your loved one from alcohol use to treatment, the less difficult the treatment process will be.

Misconception: Interventions Won’t Work until after “Rock Bottom”

The myth of “hitting rock bottom” is that alcoholics won’t see the need for treatment until their lives have become a complete disaster. This dramatic idea might help a movie script, but it isn’t going to help your loved one’s recovery. If drinking is causing pain to the alcoholic and the alcoholic’s loved ones, things are already bad enough.

Misconception: You Need a Court Order to Hold an Intervention

Sometimes a judge will send someone to a treatment program in the course of settling a criminal case. However, that method of persuasion is not called an intervention; it is a sentence. In staging an intervention, you have no extra legal authority to support your message. Your goal is to win over the judgment of the alcoholic.

Misconception: There Are No Threats in Interventions

You are bringing a message of support in an intervention, but you can also bring choices. You may be able to see that your loved one is on a path to more loss and pain. You can encourage treatment by promising specific consequences for continuing to refuse treatment. These could include the following:

  • An end to money lending
  • Marital separation
  • Employment termination

These threats make the inevitable consequences of alcoholism easier for your loved one to see.

Intervention Planning Help

There is no need to face the unknown of alcohol intervention alone. Experienced professionals can guide you through the process from planning to execution. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more. We are available to help 24 hours a day.

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