Alcoholism is an addiction that adversely affects the lives of the victim and their loved ones. In spite of the negative perception about alcohol, contemporary research shows that people should begin viewing alcoholism as a medical condition that requires the appropriate treatment to help the individual recover. Addicts tend to be in denial about the extent of their addiction, and it is upon their loved ones to reveal the problem by conducting an intervention. If you are looking to do an intervention, then you need to employ certain tactics to deescalate tension during a family intervention for an alcoholic. This is how to go about it.
It is quite difficult to do an intervention as an individual because the addict could easily shrug off your concerns. A group of people airing similar concerns, however, can prompt the addict to pay attention and heed to various suggestions. You could begin by assembling a team of about 4-6 people who have a good relationship with the addict. Consider people who may spark emotion and a sense of responsibility in the addict, including children and grandparents.
Ensure that your team has people who can control their emotions no matter the direction the intervention takes. Avoid selecting harsh people or anyone who may be in bad terms with the addict. You can seek assistance from a professional alcoholism interventionist who is adept at selecting a quality team and devising an effective plan. However, you ought to avoid including the professional at the actual intervention since the addict may not be comfortable in front of a stranger. However, if you have previously tried to hold a family intervention to no avail, then including the professional may not be an excellent idea. The professional’s opinion will demonstrate the medical seriousness of the matter.
Find an Ideal Location
It is imperative to choose a location that invokes a sense of comfort in the addicted person while at the same time instilling a sense of seriousness. Ideally, you want to choose a neutral location such as a private meeting room or an interventionist’s office. Avoid conducting an intervention in a loved one’s home since the environment may be overly familiar for such a meeting.
Extreme familiarity and comfort can reduce the addict’s attention to the matter and can also provide an opportunity to flee from the situation. Additionally, you should avoid public places such as restaurants as the addict will feel exposed to the world. A neutral location eliminates any chance of distraction from pets and young children who may derail the conversation.
When planning to hold an intervention, you ought to learn about alcoholism in regards to the causes, effects, and treatment options. Having this handy information will help you express yourself adequately and address any objections from the addicted person. Liaise with an alcoholism treatment professional to find out all the necessary information. All participants should also gather the necessary information and peruse through it thoroughly to understand what the addict is going through. This knowledge will help you avoid deteriorating the intervention session into a blame-game session.
Practice Your Speech
The participants of the intervention should plan how to go about the session. You should decide who should start the session and the ideal order the rest should follow. The first speaker should preferably be someone who is cherished by the addict to grab his/her attention. The participants should practice their speeches in front of each other to take note of overly harsh language and to reduce fluff from the content of their speeches. Practicing also confers confidence and helps everyone adhere to the script during the session.
Give Treatment Options
During a typical intervention, you should start by airing individual concerns and state the effects of alcoholism on the addict’s personal life, work, and relationships. You should also offer the available treatment options that the addict can solicit including the approximate period of recovery, and the location of the treatment center in the case of an inpatient program.
Further, it is advisable to make treatment arrangements before the intervention to be prepared for immediate commencement of treatment when the addict agrees to the offer at hand. However, do not pay for any admission or treatment services until you have received a commitment from the addict.
Alcohol interventions are emotional sessions where both parties express their heartfelt issues. In the face of flying tempers, the participants should strive to keep a level head. The addict can get defensive, angry, and embarrassed but the participants should offer reassuring words throughout the session. Ensure that your language does not appear accusatory or demeaning as this may reduce the chances of treatment acceptance by the addict. Approach the intervention with love instead of anger. Make it an eye-opening opportunity for the addict instead of a defense session.
This aspect reaffirms the need to practice severally for the intervention. Participants should practice their speeches with a professional interventionist to understand what to say and how to say it. This includes the use of reassuring body language that includes maintaining eye contact with the addict and avoiding drastic hand gestures.
Convey the Consequences
An intervention seeks to show an alcohol addict the negative effects of alcoholism and reveal the treatment options. The addict may refuse the offer or even try to convince the participants that they can manage the addiction on their own. You should all stand firm and present the consequences of rejecting treatment. The consequences should be enough impact to convince them to seek treatment.
Also, you should insist on getting an immediate commitment to treatment from the addict instead of giving them time to think about the offer. Giving the addict time to think will only make the addiction worse and give them an opportunity to escape.
Interventions often work, and addicts end up accepting offers to seek treatment. However, all participants are advised to exercise patience during the session because the addict could reject the offer if it appears like a mockery session. You need to conduct two or more interventions before the addict agrees to treatment. If the first session fails, then take it as an opportunity to regroup, identify your mistakes in the previous sessions, and devise a new method to approach the matter. Your efforts will eventually pay off, and your loved one will be well on their way to recovery.
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