How to Do an Intervention for an Alcoholic

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Watching your loved one suffering from alcohol addiction and risking their life is difficult. Moreover, it’s not even easy to talk them into rehab for a myriad of reasons. Guilt and denial are some of them, and those two prevent a person from getting adequate help in most cases. That’s why a well-executed intervention requires more than a simple talk. In this guide, we are sharing tips on how to properly do an intervention for an alcoholic, as well as what to avoid doing. Keep in mind that professional help is also available to you. As one of the rehabs in Florida with a history of successful recoveries, Bright Futures Treatment Center is a place where your loved one should start off their recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for professional advice and information on rehab programs. 

What is an intervention?

An intervention for an alcoholic is a scenario where a group of close family members and friends try to reason with an alcoholic and try to convince them to get help. While it seems simple in theory, a successful intervention can be a bit more time-consuming.

worried woman supported by her family member
When doing an intervention for an alcoholic, make sure to give them enough time and space to open up.

There are several common reasons for that:

  • The deeply rooted feeling of guilt and shame is why it’s hard for alcohol addicts to admit they have a problem.
  • An individual suffering from alcoholism feels there’s no going back to normal life.
  • Since paranoia is often associated with severe alcoholism, an individual may feel that all people gathered are against them.
  • Sometimes no matter what others say, an alcohol addict reads intervention as public shaming.
  • Co-occurring psychiatric disorders can make the entire thing a lot more difficult.

For all these reasons, it’s extremely important to approach intervention with compassion and patience. An intervention may end up a lot easier than expected, or seem like a mission impossible, in other cases. If your loved one who suffers from heavy alcohol addiction isn’t easy to convince into rehab, you’ll need strong support from other close people.

How to do an intervention the right way

The first rule of a proper intervention for an alcoholic is: Ensure it happens in a non-judgemental surrounding. Certainly, the alcohol addiction of others dear to you influences your life. However, the first stage is to show compassion, yet reason with an alcoholic without including your personal feelings. Why? Because the whole point of an intervention is to let the alcoholic know that you want the best for them. It’s their addiction and their suffering that needs attention and immediate action.

It’s important to explain to an alcoholic what they get from a rehab treatment

Many alcoholics initially see going to rehab as abandonment or another cycle of suffering. Therefore, it’s necessary to clearly state the positive impact of rehab. Also, it’s good to remind an alcoholic that their life isn’t over, despite how everything seems at the moment. If a person struggling with alcohol addiction lost a job, broke up a relationship, or went through any other significant personal loss, it will mean a lot to them that someone believes they can get their life back.

Explain that rehab facility doesn’t mean they’re abandoned for good. Furthermore, suggest several alcohol rehab facilities. By doing so, their fear will likely go away. Another thing to mention is medical help received at a rehab center that will ease their withdrawals.

Keep in mind that alcoholics tend to say hurtful things when they feel helpless

One of the reasons why many avoid direct confrontation (an intervention) about someone’s alcoholism is the fear of being hated. Rest assured this is the least you should worry about. Alcoholics, especially heavy drinkers, have a tendency to insult others for no reason and see those trying to help them as enemies. The truth is, it all comes from a state of helplessness. Therefore, try to stay calm and collected and remember that hateful words directed at you don’t mean you’re a bad person. Interventions with heavy alcoholics are difficult mentally and emotionally for the exact reasons mentioned. Instead of reacting to them, see the whole scenario as a cry for help – which it is.

It’s important to encourage an alcoholic to open up about their struggles

There is a root cause behind every addiction, and alcoholism isn’t an exception. That’s why a safe and non-judgemental space is important so an alcoholic can open up about their problems. Trauma, PTSD, personal loss, and many other factors play an important role in one’s addiction. Instead of speaking about hardships, alcoholics rather numb their pain with alcohol, often to the point of blackout.

unrecognizable man drinking wine
Alcoholics resort to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Bear in mind it will take time for alcoholics to fully open up. Alcohol has been their coping mechanism for months (or years). Therefore, switching to an open conversation doesn’t come easy for them. So, before doing an intervention for an alcoholic, keep in mind there must be enough space for them to share their pain.

What not to do during an intervention

In order for an intervention to happen the right way, it’s important to note what to avoid:

  • Passive-aggressive comments and direct insults won’t help with intervention; they will just make it harder for an alcohol addict to open up and admit they don’t have another choice but to enter rehab.
  • Emotional blackmails won’t do you any service either. Forget sentences such as “If you cared about us, you would seek help ages ago!” and similar. Chances are, your loved one suffering from alcohol addiction already feels guilty and ashamed for the entire situation. So, let other people involved in the intervention know that emotional blackmail is a big no.
  • Yelling and screaming are the last any of you should be doing during an intervention. As much as it can be frustrating, giving to negative emotions will drive an alcoholic farther from accepting the help they need. Keep in mind that alcoholics are sensitive to stimuli and are already on an emotional rollercoaster.

Therapy can help you through your loved one’s alcohol addiction recovery

Trying to help a person with serious addiction problems is taxing, particularly if that person refuses to seek help. Don’t get discouraged if you feel sad, angry, and helpless all at once. It’s a normal occurrence considering you’re worried about your loved one’s life. However, it’s important to watch your health and mental well-being as well. Therefore, consider going to a licensed therapist once a week. It will help you cope with the new situation and navigate your life, particularly if you’re involved in funding your loved one’s recovery.

Addiction recovery can be a lifelong process. Even after years of sobriety, unfortunate events or personal loss can trigger old addictive habits. Relapse is likely to happen at any point in life, depending on the circumstances.

When to ask for professional help?

If all your efforts to convince your loved one into rehab end up without results, it’s time to contact inpatient rehab Boynton Beach center for help. Besides rehab programs, addiction specialists also do professionally executed interventions. Due to years of experience with a plethora of alcohol addiction cases, professionals will know how to handle the intervention for your loved one. You can either contact them for advice or ask them to come directly to your home. Do this only if all your other options are depleted.

sad man asking for advice on how to do an intervention for an alcoholic
Contact professionals if you help with an intervention for an alcoholic.

What to look for in an alcohol rehab center?

Take time to research before you choose alcohol and drug rehab in Boynton Beach for your loved one. Have the following list with you while searching:

  • Check if a heroin rehab Boynton Beach center that interests you offers an alcohol rehab program. Rehab centers that treat addiction to hard drugs equally succeed at treating severe alcoholism.
  • Inquire about residential stays in case you opt for inpatient rehab.
  • Read more about the medical staff and psychotherapists working at the center.
  • Pay attention to the location of a rehab facility.
  • Find out if the treatment center offers a post-rehab program (also known as Aftercare).

Outdoor activities, gym, art, and music therapy are some of the additional ways rehab centers support the recovery journey of their patients. By participating in group activities, alcoholics slowly regain confidence, and a sense of achievement, and learn how to handle stress and intense emotions in a more productive way.

a group of friends hiking in the woods
Group activities organized by rehab centers help recovering individuals adopt healthier coping skills.

Many alcoholics opt for outpatient rehab

Alcoholics find partial hospitalization/outpatient rehab less stressful and more convenient. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost as much as inpatient rehab. For many, this option comes as way more affordable. If you convince an alcoholic to look into IOP Boynton Beach centers have on offer, chances are they’ll accept it. In that case, a home of an individual addicted to alcohol must be completely transformed:

  • No alcoholic beverages at home.
  • A home must be clean and ventilated.
  • Hand a printed schedule involving chores and mild physical activity.
  • Parties at the home of a struggling alcoholic are forbidden.

The recovery process tends to last a bit longer compared to intensive inpatient treatment. However, the time spent living responsibly results in slowly transitioning from an alcohol-fueled lifestyle to long-term sobriety.

It’s possible to simultaneously treat alcoholism and co-existing mental disorders

Dual Diagnosis and behavioral therapies are typical for crack cocaine rehab Boynton Beach centers provide. Before you begin the admission process, ask whether the same treatments apply to alcohol rehab. Fortunately, numerous reputable treatment centers deploy a variety of treatments and activities in order to provide complete recovery.

three guys in a group therapy
Rehab centers organize group therapies in a supportive environment.

Contact your chosen rehab center for information about admission and payment options

List a few rehab centers with a decent reputation, that offer contemporary treatments and accommodation for their patients. Next, contact them regarding the admission process and payment. The cost of rehab treatment can be handled in several ways:

That’s why it’s important to contact any particular rehab center from your list and ask about insurance options. Don’t apply for Humana without asking “does Humana cover alcohol rehab” first. Rehab centers have their own list of insurance plans they accept.

Don’t wait for too long to ask “does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover drug rehab” and other essential questions. It’s better to find out first-hand whether to proceed with admission to the rehab center you chose.

Make sure your loved one fulfills the requirements for an insurance coverage

People wonder does insurance cover drug rehab, as well as alcohol rehab program. The answer is – yes, it does. However, the question is which treatments are covered by insurance plans. Furthermore, it’s important to note that every insurance plan has a set of criteria (age, pregnancy, having a family member who served in the military, etc.).

therapist writing down the notes
Write down all insurance plans your loved one is eligible for, then ask rehab centers if they accept them.

The first step is to learn about the requirements for, for example, Cigna are met before asking does Cigna cover drug rehab at a particular rehab center. Rest assured it’s possible to find an adequate insurance solution for your loved one. Insurance plans cover alcohol rehab and follow-up treatments as well. Once you find the right one, ask the staff at the rehab facility to help you with the paperwork.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help

Addiction takes time to overcome, however, it’s not impossible to achieve. Therefore, if you realize you need a team of professionals to help you, we stand at your disposal. Bright Future Treatment Center specializes in different kinds of addiction treatments. If you need advice on how to do an intervention for an alcoholic the right way, simply contact our team. 

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