ALCOHOL ABUSE INTERVENTION
Alcohol Abuse Intervention and the Family
Alcohol abuse affects the whole family, not just the person doing the drinking. When you do become aware of your loved one’s drinking problem, odds are it’s pretty severe. One of the reasons for this is that alcohol is legal so drinking on a regular basis doesn’t always throw up red flags.
It’s not uncommon that when people have a drinking problem that they need their families to hold interventions. Just like it took you a while to notice, it takes them a while too. Your loved one might not even know there is a problem. This is why interventions for alcohol abuse are one of the most common types of interventions that are held.
When is an intervention needed?
While alcohol is entangled within our everyday lives, there is a point where it starts to cross over into abuse. If you notice your loved one needing to drink more than he or she used to, missing a lot of work, skipping out on family gatherings – then the social drinking may have crossed over into a drinking problem.
If this is the case, then you might need to hold an intervention. It will help your loved one see that there is a problem with the way he or she is drinking, and it is affecting the whole family. Doing this can help your loved one understand that they need to get help. A lot of times they don’t notice that the line has been crossed until their loved ones find a constructive way to tell them.
Hearing how much their drinking is affecting their family and loved ones may be exactly what is needed to open their eyes.
How Alcoholism Affects the Family
When one member of the family is abusing alcohol, the whole family feels it. The one who has a drinking problem will tend to rely on the others for help. Maybe he or she has lost their job and needs a couch to crash on, or financial help to keep the house.
Sometimes the effects aren’t as obvious. They can rely on the family members in more subtle ways, maybe it’s picking up or bringing their kids to school more often, or $20 here or there.
Whatever the changes are, the family dynamic shifts to make up for it and a new equilibrium is established. This new balance will tend to put more pressure on the other family members since they are picking up the slack.
Sometimes, since the family adjusts, it’s hard for the loved one who has the problem to see the stress that is being placed on the rest of the family. All they see is that the family is functioning normally. We know that’s not the case and everyone is struggling, but your loved one might not notice – or doesn’t want to. This is where an intervention specialist can help you the most.
What Does an Intervention for Alcohol Look Like?
After you find an intervention specialist, he or she should meet with you and your family a few times before the actual intervention. They should explain to you the finer details of how it all should pan out.
In a general sense, you and the rest of the people involved will prepare something to say to your loved one. This will usually consist of explaining how his or her actions are affecting your life, and what ultimatums, is any, that you have. Maybe you’re the one that always has to take your loved one’s kids to school when they are sleeping off a bender, or it’s your couch that he or she is crashing on – you should be willing to stop all of that if your loved one doesn’t decide to go to treatment. But it’s important that if you say this, that you are honestly going to stick to it.
We know this might seem harsh, but it’s a very important step. Your loved one needs to know that life will begin to get harder if they don’t address his or her problem.
During the intervention you and your family need to make sure to speak from a place of love and concern, you don’t want your loved one to feel attacked. If things start to go off course, your intervention specialist should be able to guide you back to a healthy place.
Get Your Loved One Help
Holding an intervention is a hard thing for anyone to decide to do, so imagine how hard it is for your loved one to go to treatment. Know that if you choose to do this you can have a positive effect on your loved one’s life.
The whole point of an intervention is to get him or her to acknowledge the drinking problem and get treatment. However, not all interventions end with that outcome. It’s important that you understand that even if your loved one doesn’t get help that day, the intervention was not a failure.
Holding an intervention puts a bug in your loved one’s ear, even if he or she doesn’t get treatment right away. Sometimes it takes time for what you and your family have said to sink in but your words, even if it may seem like it, didn’t go in one ear and out the other.
This is another reason it’s important to stick to the consequences that you outline during the intervention. A little tough love can help to bring them around.
If you’re struggling to find an intervention specialist, we can help you do that. We know how important your loved one is and finding the right person to help your family can make a huge difference in your whole family’s comfort level.