Help a Loved One With an Alcohol Intervention - Rehab Guide

Help a Loved One With an Alcohol Intervention

Help a Loved One With an Alcohol Intervention


How to help a friend or family member with addiction

Watching someone, you love struggle with addiction is never easy. No matter how many times they’ve tried, they can’t seem to shake their addiction once and for all. Because of their battle, you’ve decided they are in desperate need of an alcohol intervention.

We’ve all seen the show ‘Intervention’ or ‘Addicted’ and watched the countless number of successful interventions they’ve pulled off. But, the real question is, how do you plan a successful intervention? What do you do if your loved one refuses treatment?

We’ve created a guide that will answer these questions and many others. This is to ensure that you plan a successful intervention and offer your loved one the help they desperately need.

What is an Intervention?

An intervention is a process that’s planned by family members and close friends. Planned with the help of an addiction counsellor and interventionist. The family and friends will designate a time and place for the intervention and plan out the things they want to say.

The intervention will focus on offering the addict a chance to get clean by entering a rehabilitation program to seek help. It’s best when planning an intervention that negativity is avoided such as placing blame on others for the addict’s condition or venting about things that the addict has done to you in the past.

Remember to focus on instilling hope and providing support for your loved one because they will need it as they begin their recovery journey.

Intervention Models

As stated above an intervention is a planned event, and depending on your interventionist, a specific model will be used for the intervention. Various models could be used, and it’s essential to educate yourself on each one.

The Johnson intervention model operates based on the theory that addicts can’t see how their behaviour and actions affect others as a result of their addiction. The addict needs to hit rock bottom to recovery, but with the Johnson model, an intervention is staged before they hit rock bottom because for some that could mean death.

In the systematic family model, the entire family, including the addict, will attend a workshop led by the interventionist. During this workshop, they will receive in-depth knowledge about the disease of addiction and its effect on the family unit.
Each person will also begin to understand the role they’ve played in enabling the addict and how it’s detrimental to their recovery process. The field model of intervention is much like the Johnson model except for a few factors.

The field model is specifically for addicts that the family believes could be violent or have been violent due to underlying health issues like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The interventionist receives special training to deal with this. It can assess the risk of violence during the intervention and observe whether the addict is at risk of a suicide attempt.

The last model is the invitational intervention. Instead of family and friends planning it without the addict, everything is planned with the addict present. The family and addict will also engage in a conversation where both sides can discuss how a person’s addiction has affected their family as a whole.

Steps to a Successful Intervention

With a better idea of the various models that could be used during the intervention process, it’s time to look at the steps that need to be taken to ensure the intervention is successful. While the overall intervention model remains the same, specific aspects might change depending on your families’ specific needs.

As well as the temperament and location of the addict that the intervention is being scheduled for.

Find Help

Before you schedule an intervention, the first thing you need to do is get help. This means contacting an alcohol counsellor or drinking intervention specialist to help walk you and your family through the process.

They will help you prepare for what is to come during the intervention.

Create the Intervention Team

Everyone that participates should come together to support the addict. It’s best to leave people off the intervention team that aren’t able to offer their full support or attempt to make the intervention about them and how they feel about the addict.

If someone else in the family is suffering from their addictions, it’s best that they be left off the intervention team to derail the entire intervention.

Make a Plan

When you’re making your plan, several things need to be decided. You’ll determine the best time and place for the intervention and who will be in attendance.

The plan will include what everyone plans to say and even the order that people will speak in.

Education Time

After all of this has been decided, the interventionist will then educate the family on what the addict is being offered. They will educate them about what this disease does to a family and how detrimental it can be.

They’ll detail the treatment process the addict will be entering and how it all works from detox to completing the program.

Impact Statements

Impact statements will be written by the family and friends detailing things they’ve wanted to say about how the addict has struggled with their addiction. These statements might even detail how the addiction has led to broken relationships and harmed them.

Impact statements put into words emotions that might not have been conveyed to the addict in the past, but nowhere in these statements should the addict be attacked. And an excellent way to show support is to end the statement letting the addict know how much you love and support them no matter what.

During the impact statements, you will also set your boundaries. This is when you let the addict know that you will no longer be enabling them and things like they aren’t welcome in your home if they don’t complete treatment.


The interventionist will walk you through a rehearsal because without rehearsing it’s easy for emotions to take over and the entire event turns into a finger-pointing fest. The more you rehearse, the better prepared you will be when the intervention comes.

During the rehearsal, the interventionist will also let you know that you need to temper your expectations. Tv makes it seem like everyone accepts help, and in reality, this isn’t the case.

You need to be prepared if your loved one doesn’t accept the help being offered.

Staying Strong

This is the last phase you’ll encounter when doing an intervention with an alcoholic is the follow-up. This is the phase where if the addict leaves treatment, you uphold your bottom line. You can’t go back on the boundaries you set when doing an intervention.

What to Do If They Refuse?

When you’ve created an alcohol intervention plan in your mind, you hope that everything goes smoothly and the addict accepts and follows through with treatment. But, things don’t always go this way when it comes to a drinking intervention.

Here are some more steps you need to take if they refuse treatment. When you stage an intervention, you mention your boundaries the first thing you need to do if they refuse treatment is keeping your bottom line.

If you uphold your consequences, they will understand that you’re serious about them getting treatment to help them. The next thing you’re going to want to do is to stop enabling the addict.

Don’t provide them with food or a place to stay when they’re homeless. Don’t give them money when they call you over and over begging for a couple of dollars. And don’t provide them with alcohol or any other substances.

Another thing you need to do when they refuse is to get help for yourself and your family. It can be challenging to break codependency. With outside help, you’ll be able to educate yourself on the signs of codependency. And slowly fix these things so that you can truly stop being an enabler.

Alcohol Intervention: Offering the Help They Need

An alcohol intervention for a family member can seem overwhelming to plan, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as everyone remembers that you’re doing it for the greater good of the addict and remember not to point fingers, it can be successful.

If you’re looking for a treatment program to help your loved one through recovery, contact the Rehab Guide. Not only can we help with alcohol addiction, but we can also provide the help and resources you need as a family to be a better support unit.

Immediate Alcohol Advice Call Now: 02072052845 or 0141 427 3491

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