Whilst it is commonly all too apparent to the people around an alcoholic that they are on a path to destruction, it is even more common for the alcoholic to be in denial about whether they have a problem. Or in some cases, admit there is a problem, but not want to do anything about it. These are the situations in which an alcohol intervention can help.

An intervention can make recovery more manageable and begin sooner. It’s a way of demonstrating to addicts the true impact of their addictions at an earlier stage, and encouraging them to get help before the downward spiral continues. It’s usually managed by a counsellor or interventionist, and actively supported by family and friends.

Why use a trained interventionist?

An interventionist is specifically trained in dealing with these delicate situations, and can be extremely useful in planning and advising on the intervention as well as maintaining direction and control during interventions themselves. The involvement of an interventionist is particularly advisable if the addict has any history of violence, mental illness or suicidal tendencies.

An intervention requires careful planning. Emotions among those affected by the addiction are raw, the subject matter highly delicate.The addict will probably feel guilty, ashamed and perhaps angry, resentful and defensive. It would be all too easy, without structured forethought and control, for an intervention to become an aggressive confrontation.

The ultimate aim of interventions

The overarching aim of intervention is to help the addict recognise the scale of the problem and convince him or her to seek immediate help – ideally by booking into a rehabilitation clinic. The hope is that by involving as many of the addicts friends and family as possible, the addict will see just how widespread the devastating effects of the addiction and its resulting behaviours, how many people care and want to help, and of course that the help is immediately available.

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