Alcohol Addiction Intervention

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 19th December 2023


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 1st December 2023

Are you worried about a friend or family member who has an addiction to alcohol? It can be such an unsettling and negative time when you know someone who is struggling with an addiction, but what can you do? One thing you can do if you’re really worried about someone is an intervention.

If you’re wondering what an addiction intervention is, or if you want to find out more about leading an intervention, read on to find out everything you need to know.


What Is An Alcohol Addiction Intervention?

An alcohol addiction intervention is an effective tool in helping to encourage a family member or friend into getting treatment for their addiction.

Denial is often a huge barrier to get past for those struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Many addicts may not even realise just how serious their drinking problem is. The affected person may find it difficult to comprehend that their actions are having such a negative impact on themselves and on others.

With this in mind, the person may need help with realising the harmful effects of their behaviours. This is where intervention can help.

When a group of people close to the alcoholic come together with this common purpose, it will usually end in a positive result. In a face to face setting, the group meet together with the alcoholic with the aim of getting them to accept that they have a problem with alcohol and provide them with opportunities to get some help.


Do Alcohol Addiction Interventions Work?

There is not a lot of data that covers the effectiveness of interventions. This may be because effectiveness is hard to define.

While interventions do make a person more likely to seek treatment for their addiction, they won’t affect the outcome of the rehab treatment itself. If an addict seeks treatment without being completely committed to their recovery, they may be less likely to make a proper recovery.

In general, an intervention is seen as a last-ditch effort for someone who has consistently refused any treatments or who have relapsed after recovering once before. Most people who have an intervention are quite deep in their addiction.

However, when an addict has a strong social support group and access to good treatment, they will be much more likely to get better. With this in mind, an intervention can serve as a great rallying point for friends and family members that are dedicated to helping their loved one get better.


What happens during an alcohol addiction intervention

An intervention is usually held in a group setting comprising of friends, family members, work colleagues, and sometimes professionals. The group will have around five or six people that are close to the addict. The group will most commonly contain parents, close friends, and siblings. You may also want to invite the addict’s doctor or some other clergyperson to show the person that it’s not just the family who knows about their problem.

It’s important to ensure that there aren’t too many people in the group to the point where it becomes too intimidating or unmanageable. However, make sure there are enough people in attendance to make an impact. A general rule of thumb is to select around five to eight people who are close to the addict.

During the intervention, the group will have a face to face meeting with the addict. Everyone will take turns to discuss the impact that the person’s addiction has had on them. Every person should end their talk with a plea for the person to get treatment.

An intervention is a chance to express any frustrations and feelings about the addicted. All taking place in a calm and supportive environment. The intervention will aim to get the addict into treatment but it will also be beneficial to the family members. It will give them the peace of mind they need knowing that they have tried everything they possibly can to get their loved one to accept the help they need.

The intervention also provides a forum where the family members can stop burying their heads in the sand and it will give them the chance to voice their true feelings about the addiction. It may also give them the best opportunity to stop being part of the problem.


Tips for a Successful alcohol addiction Intervention

Below is a list of tips on how to go through a successful alcohol addiction intervention:

  • Choose a time when everyone in the group is free and at a time when you know the addict will be free
  • Make sure to arrange childcare for the addict’s children if needed so they don’t have an excuse to leave partway through the intervention
  • Choose a place that is easily accessible for everyone who needs to attend
  • Get help from a professional interventionist who can determine the best order for people to talk
  • Hold rehearsals so that everyone at the intervention knows exactly what they need to say and when
  • Always stick to the script that you have rehearsed
  • Use open and warm body language throughout the duration of the intervention
  • Keep tempers under control and remain calm at all times
  • Don’t give up no matter how much the addict has their guard up
  • Have a treatment facility on standby that can accept the addict if the intervention goes to plan


After the alcohol addiction Intervention

In an ideal world, the addict will listen to what everyone says and they will realise that they need help. If the intervention is properly planned and is executed well, then there is no reason why this shouldn’t happen.

If you do the proper research and have lined up all of the possible treatment options, the addict may be able to start their detox programme and rehabilitation treatment within hours of the intervention ending. This is providing you have sorted out a rehab facility on standby that can accept the addict if all goes to plan.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 19th December 2023

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 1st December 2023

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.