Signs a Friend Needs an Intervention
Signs of alcohol addiction and alcoholism can be easily missed, and someone can struggle with alcoholism for years without anyone noticing.
This is because alcohol addiction doesn’t look just one way. It can present differently in different people, with some even using alcohol to self-medicate and live the normal life you see. If you are worried about a friend’s alcoholism, there are some signs of addiction you can look for.
These signs include:
- Frequent binge drinking
- High alcohol tolerance
- They are secretive about the amount of alcohol they have
- Getting blackout drunk
- Fast before drinking to feel more of an effect
- Alcohol is hidden around their home and work
- Mood swings
- Bouts of aggression
- Risk-taking behaviour
- Mental health issues
Some of these signs can be easily ignored or missed, which can put your friend at risk if they need specialist help and are left without support or treatment. Staging an intervention for a friend can be the first step to helping them recover from addiction, so it is important to know how to. Alcohol addiction is a very difficult thing to live with, and it is often said that the first step to alcohol addiction recovery is admitting that you have a problem. This can also be the hardest step, which is why knowing how to stage an intervention for a friend is so important and beneficial.
Addiction can come on slowly without a person even noticing, and it is easy to feel powerless in this situation, particularly if your friend is in denial about their alcohol abuse. Find out how to stage an intervention for a friend below.
What Happens During an Addiction Intervention?
But what exactly is an addiction intervention? A drug or alcohol addiction intervention is a formal conversation involving your friend and all their loved ones. An intervention for addicts involves your friend being invited over to meet their loved ones and an intervention specialist.
An intervention specialist is a therapist who is available through an alcohol rehab centre. They are there to lead the meeting and to ensure that it remains an honest conversation and doesn’t dissolve into an argument. It is very important that your friend attending the intervention for their alcoholism doesn’t feel attacked. That can cause them to become closed off about the idea of seeking treatment for their alcohol addiction.
The best way to stage an intervention is by allowing your friends to know that they are loved and supported. That the people in their lives want them to be happy and healthy but to do that, they need to deal with their alcoholism. It is often an uncomfortable conversation to have, but that doesn’t change the fact that it could save your friend’s life.
Ideally, after the addiction intervention is finished, your friend will then be willing to seek treatment in an alcohol addiction rehab centre. If this happens straight away or takes a bit more time really depends on your friend and how open they are to your help. Find out more about what happens during an intervention here.
How to Conduct an Intervention for a Friend
Now that you know what an intervention is and how exactly it can help your friend, it is time to learn how to stage an intervention for a friend. While it may seem like a simple process, there is actually much more to it than meets the eye. What you need to do can be broken down into the below simple steps:
Preparation for the Intervention
Don’t hold a drug or alcohol intervention in the spur of the moment. Make sure to do the following:
- Take time to plan the intervention
- Invite people who will be supportive and helpful
- Do your research and try to find a good local intervention specialist
- Ask for help when you need it
- Share information you find on alcoholism
- Rehearse what you are going to say to your friend
- Encourage others to rehearse what they are going to say
- Prepare yourself for your friend’s potential reactions
- Try to prepare to avoid conflict
Approach Intervention with Empathy
Remember that while you may become frustrated, your friend isn’t lashing out because they want to. It is likely that they will experience strong emotions, such as feeling scared or upset. Try to learn some calming and centring techniques that work for you before you bring up this sensitive topic.
It is also important to remind those you have invited to the intervention for a friend that kindness and understanding are key to a successful intervention.
Offer Solutions and Support
Remember, there are more treatments available for alcohol addiction than just rehab. Prepare alternative solutions that your friend can pick from, allowing you to keep some sense of power.
Try to find a local support group, as they will have resources and help available for you and your friend, such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that are available all across the country. Running an intervention for alcohol addiction is intimidating, but you just need to remember that you are doing it to help a friend, and that you are not alone in this.
Seek Professional Intervention Help
Getting professional help for your friend’s alcohol addiction intervention can help you more than you know. You can access help from a therapist or a support worker often found at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
What matters is that you allow someone with the knowledge and experience to help you introduce your friend to the idea of getting treatment for their addiction.
They will be able to talk them through all the different treatment options and the medical options they have available to them. They will also be better able to tell them about the risks and the rewards found in addiction treatment.
Most importantly, they will be able to outline exactly what the danger of prolonged alcoholism is without sounding like they are just trying to scare them. They have a lot of experience doing this, and it really is for the best that they are able to take the lead.
Knowing how to stage an intervention for a friend is already a huge step in the right direction. The best way to reduce poor outcomes is to allow the intervention to be run by a professional who knows what they are doing.
Although it may not feel like it right now, everything will be okay. Addiction recovery is a journey. It can not be done overnight, and rushing a person into treatment does not typically achieve successful results. Addiction recovery is a long-term lifestyle change that requires commitment on your friend’s part. You can be there to support them and help them in any way you can, but at the end of the day, the work is for them to do.