Alcohol Intervention


In an alcohol intervention, individuals who are alcohol dependent or alcohol abusers are confronted by family members and friends on the subject of their drinking behavior and how their abusive and damaging drinking has affected virtually everyone around him or her.

Alcohol interventions should be conscientiously planned and implemented by substance abuse intervention experts who are experienced in such procedures.

The primary purpose of an alcohol intervention is to get the alcoholic or alcohol abuser to seek professional alcohol rehab therapy.

Alcohol Intervention: A Basic Outline

Scientific inquiry demonstrates that one way of dealing with alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse is to conduct an intervention. Having said this, it is appropriate to ask the following question: precisely what is an alcohol intervention?

In actual fact, an alcohol intervention can be viewed as a step in the alcohol treatment process in which the alcohol abuser or alcoholic is confronted about his or her drinking behavior and how his or her abusive, careless, and unhealthy drinking has negatively affected family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.


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

In this meeting, the family members and friends, under the guidance and supervision of the intervention expert articulate their concern about the problem drinker's hazardous and excessive drinking and strongly "encourage" the alcoholic or alcohol abuser to get competent rehab.

Normally in an alcohol intervention, family members and friends tell the alcoholic or alcohol abuser in their own words how they are concerned about the problem drinker and how his or her irresponsible and dangerous drinking has created frustration, stress, fear, and other problems in their lives.

The objective of an alcohol intervention centers on the problem drinker listening to what has been said in the meeting and then accepting the fact that he or she needs professional alcohol treatment as soon as possible.

It is imperative to state that alcohol interventions are routinely resorted to when all other avenues have been exhausted in an effort to help a person overcome and recover from a serious drinking problem.

Alcohol Interventions Can Fail

Substance abuse scientific examination reveals the fact that more than a few alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers have stopped doing alcohol interventions because they frequently fail.

Stated in another way, when alcohol interventions are ineffective, a fact that has to be pondered, the family can actually be torn apart even further due to the disruptive and volatile feelings pertaining to the failed intervention.

It must be emphasized that this is not an insignificant circumstance for a family that is already on the edge of destruction due to the drinking problems of a family member.

The chance for failure about alcohol interventions reinforces the importance of employing an addiction intervention specialist who has a confirmed track record of success.

Why Do Alcohol Interventions Fail?

What are the underlying reasons that alcohol interventions fail? First, the intervention may fail if the problem drinker doesn't follow the treatment protocol both during and after formal rehabilitation.

Second, because his or her reasoning and rational abilities and emotional stability may be diminished because of chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism, the alcoholic or alcohol abuser may simply leave the intervention session.

What this typically means is that the well-intentioned family members will have to cope with the failed intervention in addition to the rest of their alcohol-related obstacles and difficulties.

The third underlying reason 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 more precisely, some therapists claim that more than a few alcohol interventions lack a verified and enduring track record due to the fact that several problem drinkers are unable to get treatment until they get to the point in their lives when they themselves can make this decision.

In a word, according to this view, people who are addicted to alcohol or who abuse alcohol can't be helped until they seek counseling on their own.

Ironically, despite the fact that the intervention can help put problem drinkers in a more receptive frame of mind and actually help them decide that they need professional assistance, the mere fact that the intervention took place may result in anger, resentment, and mistrust 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 addiction intervention specialist or if the intervention expert lacks experience or ability.

When Do Alcohol Interventions Succeed?

Scientific inquiry has established the fact that the best possible time for an alcohol intervention is following a significant event, such as an arrest for a DUI, when an problem drinker has been caught stealing something of value, or when the alcoholic or alcohol abuser is caught lying about something of consequence.

In these situations, the alcohol abuser or alcoholic is more likely to be remorseful or to experience guilt--thus making him or her more receptive to getting professional help. Though this may seem self-evident, it is also important for the problem drinker to be alcohol-free at the time of the intervention.

It is interesting to emphasize the fact, nevertheless, that according to alcohol addiction scientific examination, men are more likely to remain in alcohol rehab if they are there due to "suggestions" or threats from their employers.

This finding seems to illustrate the point that alcohol intervention that includes participation by employers can be successful in some situations.

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

In short, it can be affirmed that some alcohol interventions have been proven to be effectual and have helped motivate problem drinkers accept treatment for their alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

And if done with meticulous planning and with the management and supervision of an addiction intervention expert, the chances of success are greatly enhanced.

What is a Brief Alcohol Intervention?

Numerous individuals who engage in abusive and irresponsible drinking receive alcohol therapy from healthcare practitioners that consists of five or fewer office visits.

This type of alcohol treatment is called "brief alcohol intervention" and commonly includes matter-of-fact advice on ways in which the problem drinker can either drink responsibly and in moderation or refrain from drinking altogether. During a brief intervention session, therapists also give alcohol abusers basic information about alcohol-related community resources, agencies, and programs.

A number of research studies have shown that brief alcohol interventions not only lessen the amount of alcohol that the alcohol abuser consumes, but they also diminish the alcohol abuser's use of health care services and decrease the alcohol-related difficulties that are experienced by people who exhibit drinking problems.

Since brief alcohol interventions were essentially developed to help alcohol abusers who manifest less serious alcohol-related problems, alcoholics, conversely, are encouraged to seek more traditional, longer-term, and more intensive types of alcoholism treatment.

Alcohol Intervention: Conclusion

An alcohol intervention is a kind of confrontation in which a group of concerned individuals, such as family members and friends along with a substance abuse intervention expert, have a meeting with an alcoholic or alcohol abuser.


In these meetings, the family members and friends, under the leadership and guidance of the intervention specialist, express their concern over the problem drinker's excessive and hazardous drinking and strongly "encourage" the alcoholic or alcohol abuser to get professional treatment.

While alcohol interventions should be considered as a "last resort" and have been known to boomerang and result in mistrust, anxiety, and resentment, if done with thorough planning and with the supervision of an addiction intervention expert, the chances of an effective alcohol intervention are notably augmented.