Time For Intervention


There have been times in my life when I thought “It couldn’t get any worse than this”.

Guess what. It got worse.

The progression in the wrong direction may be an indicator that something needs to be done.

How easy it is to ignore this steady decline because you’re so invested in the process day after day.

There comes a time when the only real answer is ‘Intervention’.

Here are some things you should know about an intervention.

Intervention isn’t for everyone

When your alcoholics family and friends have come to the end of their rope and nothing seems to get through it may just be time for an intervention.

Some people who have nothing to live for or there’s nobody who has influence over them are not good candidates for intervention.

If your alcoholic is violent or quick tempered they may not be a good candidate.

Most alcoholics do care about family and friends.

It’s just they care about their next drink more.

The point of an intervention is to help your alcoholic realize the impact of alcohol on the lives of those around him and to establish some consequences for continued use.

Obviously the goal of the intervention is rehabilitation and establishing a followup support system.

One time opportunity

The primary reason I recommend you to have a professional work with you on the intervention is there’s only ONE first time.

The intervention isn’t likely to be successful a second time.

Planning and preparation are key elements of a successful intervention.

Who needs to be part of it and who has to be excluded are essential ingredients.

The family and friends with influence put together a family letter to be shared at the intervention.

This is a powerful event.

If done well, it’s a great start to recovery.

An intervention is not about scapegoating your alcoholic.

It’s not a time to shame them.

It’s a time to show how the benefits of drinking are outweighed by the high cost.

The intervention is the explanation of the cost imposed should the answer be no to recovery.

Rehab centers are not equal

There are all kinds of treatment programs around the country.

Some are very successful others aren’t. Some of the key elements I look for in a treatment center are:

  • Master Level Assessment
  • Competent Counselors
  • Begin day one on Support Systems
  • Works with Relapse
  • Don’t Give Up on Clients

These elements suggest they understand what it takes to get in recovery and keep it going.

Investment in recovery

There’s a significant cost to intervention.

I consider it an investment in recovery.

When you consider how much your alcoholic spends on alcohol consumption the investment is paid back rather quickly.

I don’t want you to take a lot of time with this but if you calculated what your alcoholic has consumed in the last two or three years, including the things broken, legal expenses etc, it might amaze you how much you’ve invested in the illness.

Maybe it’s time to invest in recovery.

Intervention before influence is gone/h2>

There comes a point where friends with influence have dropped the relationship.

Family no longer carry much clout with your alcoholic.

At this point, your alcoholic will ‘hit bottom’ but only when the losses and pain become no longer worth the journey to the next buzz.

Follow up

Possibly the most important element to a successful intervention in my opinion is the follow up.

Because relapse is a part of alcoholism, professionals know it’ll happen unless much effort is put in place to sustain recovery.

Your alcoholic needs to have a strong support system following treatment.

So, a successful intervention generates a commitment to enter a rehab program known for their abilities.

During and following treatment the support system is established and nurtured.

This is one thing I know, the success of your alcoholic’s support system is the direct measure of success of the intervention.

What are your thoughts about intervention. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 10 Other People Thought...

  1. Robin

    I don’t believe “we” are gonna see him wanting to go to rehab in my lifetime miracles can and do happen so I wont say never. I would love for him to make me a liar here.That would ice the cake. If I lean to hard on wanting him to quit he shuts down and our lives become a fight I can never win. I don’t care what that makes me. I live it and where we are now is working its not perfect. So until things change for whatever reason here we are and tomorrow isn’t here yet. I get kuddos when I can get him to eat, let alone stop drinking/smoking. intertvention at this time …I pass. robin

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Intervention isn’t for everyone. It’s an option…A tool in the toolbox. Remember the whole idea about intervention is to make it worth more to recover than the cost to stay in the bottle. Unless there’s a way to bring up the cost, it wouldn’t be successful. We’re here to support you not decide for you. Thanks for your comment, Robin.

  2. Tammy

    I had an intervintion 3 years ago and we are still fighting this disease, I’m sure it’s been 15 years. The intervention did make him realize he had a problem which he denied before. It has taken it’s toll on his health very dramatically. He made in through the rehab with his anger and did not relate to the treatment well. He totally refused any follow through support system. Neurapathy has set in, he hasn’t worked in 4 years. I asked him to leave 2 months ago though he returned a week ago with no where else to go. He stays in the other room and is trying but still no AA meetings or support though he now knows where they are, hasn’t made it to one. I have freed myself of “his” choices. He is trying to be busy around the house and sober again for now. In August we will married 34 years. He knows I’m at my end.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      One of the key components of a successful intervention is selecting what happens during treatment and the follow up support system. The key here is the support system. If he’s going to stay AA or an alternative like Celebrate Recovery needs to be part of the agreement.

      I’ve found if done correctly, most interventions are successful.

      I’m glad your husband is sober today…After all it IS one day at a time.

  3. kat

    My husband drank because he was a bad person his attitude came from anger from his father because he wouldn’t do things with him as a child and he was a school teacher, rod had to find out that people are just people and he is not to blame himself for their problems or neglect , he has to find himself and this is where i come in to help him not bark at them or harp him but to gently help , but i know some don;t want loves one to tell them this is where the wonderful AA MEETINGS COME IN , HELPS THEM FROM STRANGERS TO SEE THEIR NOT ALONE,

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      There are many excuses for an alcoholic to drink, whether childhood or current issues, it can be a celebration ever so meager. To the alcoholic it’s reason to drink.

      12 Step groups really to help people who want the help.

      • KAT

        yes , Rod read the book 12 steps, i cannot imagine how some get by with out reading it, after, he was done with it he went to store and library to find more books on it and then a friend recovered from alcy gave him his alcy bible,God has helped us in all we are going threw it is getting better, i can now breath, where before i was waiting for him to crash again, i believe in my heart Rod has given it up

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        I have known but a hand full of people who are successful in recovery who DIDN’T use the 12 Steps. I’m not suggesting it’s the best but it’s certainly ahead of whatever is in second place.

  4. Donna

    Another phone conversatin about bankruptcy, last night. Earlier in the day he helped me with some numbers for the bankruptcy. Was patient, kind. By 9 PM, he was drunk and abusive and could not hear what I said an thought I said something entirely different and went bonkers, gave me one of his holy lectures, or tried to, I hung up on him. He has to control everything. Hanging up is the only control I have. I got to sleep at around 7:30 am this morning and awoke at 9 am. I could not go back to sleep. I have been so exhausted all day, I am emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted. I would like to lay down and fall asleep and never wake up.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Your conversations will always deteriorate when you add alcohol. In fact, they become pointless. I hope you can take advantage of his sober moments to take care of what’s important.

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