What is an Alcohol Addiction Intervention?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2018
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An alcohol addiction intervention is the gathering of friends, family, employers, and often a licensed counselor in an attempt to confront a practicing alcoholic. They often take place at the person’s place of employment or home, and each participant is given the chance to discuss the damage the person’s drinking problem has had on his or her life. Many times, the alcoholic doesn’t know that the intervention will be taking place. Other times he or she is aware that loved ones have been meeting with a counselor to discuss the problem, so he or she is better prepared when the actual intervention takes place.

Although an alcohol addiction intervention can be done by friends and family only, it is strongly advised that all actions be guided and planned by a counselor or therapist. This will ensure things are handled in the correct way so the intervention will have the intended effect on the alcoholic. While many interventions are somewhat confrontational, there are ways to confront the person which can help avoid conflict and promote a more willing attitude.


The alcohol addiction intervention is generally saved for a crisis situation in which the person has caused severe damage to his or her life and the lives of loved ones. In some cases the intervention will be a life-saving tactic if the person’s actions have become reckless or dangerous to his or herself or to others. The main goal of any alcohol addiction intervention is to get the person into a treatment center in order to undergo therapy so that the addiction can be made manageable.

Whether or not having an alcohol addiction intervention is successful has a lot to do with the person’s state of mind and his or her willingness to undergo treatment. If the intervention becomes very confrontational or the person becomes defensive, he or she may agree to enter treatment but may not take things as seriously as necessary in order for it to work. In most cases, the alcoholic has to admit to having a problem and be ready emotionally and mentally to make the changes needed for healing.

Alcoholism is not curable even with treatment, but it can be made manageable if patients learn coping techniques. The point of treatment is to uncover the underlying reasons the person has turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and to give him or her better and more healthy ways to face issues and stress without the use of alcohol. These treatments can be very successful in those who are ready to change, but those who are resistant to such suggestions often begin drinking again shortly after leaving the program.



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