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Alcohol Addiction Intervention Steps

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Sometimes, loved ones can convince drinkers to consider their actions and look at what their lives have become. Other times, only a direct, coordinated confrontation will open a drinker’s eyes to the truth.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, alcohol addiction interventions provide a means for creating a structured opportunity that enables your loved one to see the effects of drinking in his or her life. The steps involved with an alcohol addiction intervention take a range of factors into consideration before the actual intervention takes place.

Intervention Objectives

Over time, alcoholism can change a person into someone completely different from what he or she was. This happens gradually as alcohol’s effects cause actual physical damage to brain structures as well as brain function.

For these reasons, an alcohol addiction intervention requires a carefully planned approach in order to bring about a constructive outcome. Alcohol addiction interventions should attempt to accomplish three main objectives:

  • Lay out concrete examples of how the person’s destructive behaviors have affected his or her life and the lives of others
  • Provides a step-by-step treatment plan the alcoholic can follow with goals and guidelines included
  • Specifies consequences that will result in the event the alcoholic refuses to get needed treatment help

Intervention Steps

The following alcohol addiction intervention steps provide a guideline on how to effectively plan an intervention and create the best chances for a successful outcome:

1. Learn How Alcohol Addiction Works

Everyone who participates in an intervention should have a solid understanding of how alcohol addiction impairs a person’s thinking and behaviors. Alcohol addiction interventions can be highly charged events where emotions and words can quickly spin out of control. By ensuring everyone involved understands addiction’s effects, participants are less likely to get offended along the way.

2. Decide on Who Will Participate

The alcohol addiction intervention team should include anyone who holds a prominent place in the alcoholic’s life. Team members may be:

  • Friends
  • Immediate family members
  • Pastor or spiritual adviser
  • Employer
  • Co-workers

Since the overall objective is to help the alcoholic come to terms with drinking, a small team of no more than five to eight people should suffice.

3. Determine Consequences

In the event the alcoholic refuses to get needed treatment help, each team member must be prepared to enforce specific consequences. As the overall purpose of an alcohol addiction intervention works to make the alcoholic accountable for his or her actions, consequences play an essential role in the intervention process.

4. Write Out a Script

Writing out a script beforehand offers the best way of keeping an alcohol addiction intervention from spinning out of control. Script contents may include:

  • Specific examples of how the alcoholic’s behaviors have caused harm in each team member’s life
  • Expressions of how each member cares for and supports the health and well-being of the alcoholic
  • Consequences


Considering the stakes involved with conducting an alcohol addiction intervention, it’s always a good idea to consult with a drug treatment professional beforehand. It’s also possible to hire an intervention specialist to organize and run the intervention meeting.

Regardless of which route you take, be sure to have a drug treatment facility ready and willing to admit your loved one should he or she agree to get help.