Alcohol Interventions


With alcohol intervention, alcoholics or alcohol abusers are talked to by family members and friends concerning their drinking behavior and how their abusive, chronic, and irresponsible drinking has affected virtually everyone associated with him or her.

Alcohol interventions should be carefully planned and developed by qualified chemical dependency intervention counselors who are experienced with such procedures.

The most fundamental purpose of alcohol interventions is to get the problem drinker to seek qualified alcohol treatment.

Alcohol Interventions: A Comprehensive Synopsis

Scientific investigation reveals that one way of coping with alcoholism is to conduct an intervention. What, however, is an alcohol intervention?


In essence an intervention can be perceived as a step in the alcohol rehabilitation process in which the alcohol abuser or alcoholic is talked to concerning his or her drinking behavior and how his or her excessive, irresponsible, and hazardous drinking has affected family members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors.

Stated differently, an alcohol intervention is a meeting involving the problem drinker, family members, friends, possibly an employer, along with a healthcare professional or addiction intervention consultant.

In this meeting, the family members and friends, under the administration and leadership of the healthcare specialist or substance abuse intervention expert, state their concern about person's abusive and unhealthy drinking behavior and strongly "encourage" the problem drinker to get professional alcohol treatment.

More often than not in an intervention, family members and friends tell the problem drinker in their own words how they are concerned about the drinker and how his or her excessive and unhealthy drinking has created anxiety, aggravation, alarm, and other difficulties in their lives.

The objective of alcohol interventions centers on the problem drinker listening to what has been said and then accepting the fact that he or she needs professional alcohol rehab.

It is significant to emphasize the fact that alcohol interventions are usually resorted to when all other approaches have been exhausted in an effort to help an individual overcome a serious drinking problem.

Alcohol Interventions Can Fail

Substance abuse scientific research demonstrates that quite a few alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction rehab centers have stopped doing alcohol interventions because they often fail.

Stated in a different way, when alcohol interventions are unproductive, a fact that has to be deliberated, the family can actually be torn apart even further due to the resentful and disruptive feelings about the failed intervention.

It must be emphasized that this is not an insignificant state of affairs for a family that is already on the brink of devastation because of the abusive and hazardous drinking behavior of a family member.

The probability for failure regarding alcohol interventions only points to the importance of employing an addiction intervention specialist who has an established track record of success.

Why Do Alcohol Interventions Fail?

What are the major reasons that alcohol interventions fail? First, the intervention may fail if the problem drinker does not follow the treatment protocol both during and after formal rehab or counseling.

Second, since his or her reasoning and thinking abilities and emotional stability may be lessened from long-term alcohol abuse, the problem drinker may simply leave the intervention session, meaning that the well-intentioned family members will have to grapple with the failed intervention in addition to the rest of their problems.

The third explanation that alcohol interventions may prove to be unsuccessful is the fact that the problem drinker may not be ready for professional assistance at this time.

Stated differently, some therapists believe that alcohol interventions may lack a demonstrated long-standing track record due to the fact that numerous individuals who are addicted to alcohol or who abuse alcohol are not able to get rehabilitation until they get to the position in their lives when they themselves make this decision.

To make the point more forcefully, according to this view, individuals who are addicted to alcohol or who are alcohol abusers can't be helped until they seek therapy on their own.

Strangely, even if the intervention helps put people who are alcohol dependent or alcohol abusers in a more receptive frame of mind and actually helps them decide that they need rehab, the mere fact that the intervention took place may lead to resentment, distrust, and ill feelings in the future.

And fourth, alcohol interventions can fail when a family either chooses to undertake an intervention without the direction and support of an intervention expert or if the intervention specialist is ineffectual.

When Do Alcohol Interventions Succeed?

Medical and alcoholism research have shown that the best possible time for alcohol intervention is following a major event, such as an arrest for a DUI, when a problem drinker has been caught stealing something of value, or when the alcohol abuser or alcoholic is caught lying about something of consequence.

In these situations, the problem drinker is more likely to be remorseful or to experience guilt. Even though this may seem apparent, it is necessary to point out the fact that the problem drinker needs to be sober at the time of the intervention.

It is interesting to note, however, that according to alcohol addiction scientific evidence, men are more likely to remain in alcohol treatment if they are there due to "suggestions" or threats from their employers.

This finding seems to indicate that intervention that consists of participation by employers can be helpful in some situations.

Indeed, according to one study, employees who were chronic alcohol abusers displayed substantial improvement in their drinking behavior and in their job performance during the months immediately following an intervention that was undertaken to confront their problem drinking that was negatively affecting their work performance.

To put it briefly, it can be stated that some alcohol addiction interventions have been effective in motivating problem drinkers to accept rehab for their drinking problems.

And if done with careful planning and under the leadership of an addiction intervention professional, the chances of success are greatly increased.

What is a Brief Alcohol Intervention?

A surprising number of people who manifest drinking problems get alcohol rehab from healthcare professionals that consists of five or fewer office visits.

This form of alcohol treatment is called "brief alcohol intervention" and often includes "tell it like it is" information about ways in which the problem drinker can either drink less abusively and in moderation or refrain from drinking in total.

During a brief alcohol intervention therapeutic session, a therapist also provides the alcohol abuser with basic information about alcohol-related community agencies, resources, and programs.

More than a few research studies have emphasized the point that brief alcohol interventions not only reduce the amount of alcohol that the problem drinker consumes, but they also substantially diminish the alcohol abuser's use of health care services and decrease the alcohol-related predicaments that are experienced by individuals who manifest drinking problems.

Due to the fact that brief alcohol interventions were primarily established to help problem drinkers who exhibit less serious alcohol-related issues, people who are alcohol dependent, alternatively, are encouraged by counselors to seek more conventional, longer-term, more wide-ranging alcohol treatment methodologies.

Conclusion: Alcohol Interventions

An intervention is a kind of confrontation in which a group of concerned people, such as family members and friends along with a mental health professional or a substance abuse intervention specialist, have a meeting with an individual who is an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser.

In this meeting, the family members and friends, under the leadership and management of the intervention specialist, state their concern about the person's abusive and damaging drinking behavior and strongly "encourage" the problem drinker to get competent alcohol treatment.


Whereas alcohol interventions should be commenced as a "last resort" and have been known to boomerang and lead to bitterness, suspicion, and ill feelings, if done with careful planning and under the direction of an addiction intervention expert, the chances for successful alcohol interventions are greatly enhanced.

Don't forget the fact that the main reason for an alcohol intervention is to get professional alcohol treatment for the problem drinker so that he or she can stop drinking and start to live a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle.