What is Alcohol Addiction and Does Alcohol Intervention Help?
Having been a substance abuse counselor for many years I wanted to communicate my experience and observations on dealing with alcoholics during an alcohol intervention and in a treatment setting.
Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a problem that affects people of all walks of life, and there are many reasons and causes as to why someone becomes addicted to alcohol. Without intervention or treatment, alcohol addiction usually becomes progressively worse. Alcoholism creates drug-seeking behavior because of physical and psychological dependence. The behavior causes the person to continue consuming alcohol despite the consequences.
Additionally, alcohol addiction can show itself in various ways, and the severity of addiction depends on how often someone drinks and how much they are consuming. Some alcoholics drink all day heavily while others binge drink and then stay sober for a while. Despite how alcohol addiction looks, if a person heavily relies on drinking and/or cannot stay sober for any period of time, they have an addiction.
An alcohol intervention is one of the most common interventions performed because of how stubborn and uncooperative alcoholics become. Hiring a professional interventionist increases success and is beneficial to the family as well as the alcoholic. Alcohol intervention does help, and here are some reasons why.
The Person May Have Underlying Medical Issues and a History of Violence
In my observation not everyone who uses alcohol and becomes an alcoholic has a history of violence or suffers from severe medical conditions, however, according to the National Institute of Health, lengthy alcoholism leads to significant changes in behavior and degrading physical and mental health. These are problems that close family and friends may not be capable of managing. Moreover, it is the drastic changes in the physical and psychological health that demands early intervention. Alcoholism becomes progressively worse, and without treatment, the mind and body are severely damaged.
Long-term alcohol use affects the brain, liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. There is an increased risk of cancer, liver disease, heart disease, and other complications that increase the chance of death. Psychologically, alcohol abuse does lead to psychosis and violent behavior like any other drug. Taking steps for early intervention ensures the person is confronted when they are relatively sober and presents them with an immediate solution to accept help.
The Alcoholic Has Already Been Through Treatment and Relapsed.
The rehabilitation process involves significant change, and these changes are meant to ensure sobriety; however, some people do relapse, but it is not the end. Most people recover and get back on track again, yet there are circumstances where the second round of addiction is worse than the first. The first time around, the alcoholic may have asked for help, or a member of the family confronted them and offered help. However, after the relapse, their drinking patterns have become progressively worse, and they are in complete denial.
A professional alcohol intervention is necessary at this point because more people are involved in the intervention process. An alcohol intervention requires more planning and must be organized to be effective. Having an intervention specialist present at the intervention ensures its success. Lengthier alcohol addiction treatment helps with medical stabilization; it is also safer and better for relapse prevention, offers more peer support and aftercare programming.
Family Relationships are Healed, and The Intervention Team Knows What to Say
Alcohol intervention benefits the alcoholic significantly, but it also helps the family begin their healing. Addictions are tough on everyone who lives within the family dynamic—some family members feel angry and betrayed, while others are sad and disappointed. There are usually old unresolved arguments, problems with enabling and codependency, and distrust among family members. Professional interventionists have the training and qualifications to resolve many of these issues and help families start counseling.
Additionally, when the intervention takes place, everything is scripted in a way that avoids family confrontation. The intervention is not meant to blame the alcoholic or condemn them, but rather express love and support. Interventions are rehearsed and planned, and each team member has a script or letter they read exactly as it is written. The purpose is to have enough emotional impact and to persuade the drug-addicted family member to get help.
About Newman Intervention Services
In 2016, the author founded Newman Intervention Services to help families in crisis manage their addicted loved ones’ arrivals to drug rehabilitation. He currently travels all over the United States and internationally to end the conflict, trauma and loss that accompanies addiction to drugs or alcohol. Before founding Newman Intervention Services, Newman spent 15 years working in addiction recovery and prevention, educating more than 135,000 people on the life-threatening danger of drug or alcohol use.