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Can A Family Intervention Help An Alcoholic Get Sober

Updated on August 12, 2013

The Family Intervention

Many people ask the question, "can a family intervention help an alcoholic get sober?" I have watched many shows on TV regarding Intervention and what the families go through in order to set up an intervention for the one they care and love so dearly.

The alcoholic can not see what they are not only doing to them self, but the innocent family members and friends as well. Sometimes they even think they have no problem whatsoever and can stop drinking alcohol anytime they want. These are the true alcoholics living in the world of denial. I can relate to this because I thought I didn't have a problem drinking alcohol either until I stopped drinking and looked back at my past years and then knew I did in fact have a huge drinking problem.

My words were the same as other alcoholics. I can stop drinking tomorrow if I want to, but that is the key word right there. "IF I WANT TO." The problem with that is they don't want to stop drinking alcohol and are very happy with the life they have at that moment. No help needed, I can do it on my own.

Not the case for some many alcoholics out in the world. they need help and guidance to get them sober, but so many are not even interested in even trying to get clean and sober. They feel as if the entire family is against them and pissed off at them for their actions and addiction.

The families cry inside for the alcoholic to wake up and ask for the help they need. When one single parent or the entire family is so upset and at wits end of what to do to help their loved one get sober they may all get together and have a family intervention in hopes that if everyone in the family is in the same place together the alcoholic will see just how much love and support the family has for them.

Getting the Family Together

Some family and friends may know that their loved one is addicted to alcohol, but then there maybe many people that don't know he/she has a drinking problem at all. In order to make this family intervention work everyone should get together in advance and start writing down why they feel it is so important for the alcoholic to get the proper help and care to get he/she sober and back to good health.

The families will always have in the back of their minds the true question as to whether or not the alcoholic (their loved one) will except this gift from them and carry it through even after leaving the Rehab. Center. The alcoholic might say they were set up for this family intervention and that may start them off on the wrong foot as far as excepting and being willing to get the help they need to get clean and sober.

In the family intervention try to explain why it so important that the alcoholic seek help immediately. They will not want to hear anything you say about it or may think they might go, but they need just one more drunk and the taste of that poison that is slowly killing them one more time. They may try to make all kinds of bargains or deals to have a little more time to drink their alcohol and get in their last buzz.

The alcoholic will either fight back at the family after they have expressed their feelings and love for he/she or the alcoholic may take a few moments and think of what was just told to he/she and except the gift that has been offered to them. That is the way it should go, but it doesn't happen in every intervention unfortunately.

Once the family has written down what they are going to say to the alcoholic and in what order people will speak, then is the time to figure out just how you will get your loved one to that place that hopefully will change his/her life forever.

The family must be firm in what they are going to say and not back down to the alcoholic no matter what he/she may say back to you. No choices but to go to Rehab. and nothing else. Either the alcoholic wants help getting sober or they don't. Time will tell when the family intervention begins.

There can be NO deals made with the alcoholic at all, such as granting their request to have a week or so more before they enter a Rehab. Center. That one week, if granted to them my just end their life and the reason I say that is they will want to get the best drunk ever and really over drink more than ever knowing they will be in a Rehab. Center for 60 -90 days without a drop to drink. You need to stick to you guns and plan and don't ever give in to the alcoholic under no circumstances. Plus, tell him/her you will not enable them whatsoever, if this is what has been happening in your family and you will not be a part of his/her life unless they are willing to get the help they need to get clean and sober. Tell them they will be on their own from here on out unless they are willing to change their life and get help to get sober.

© 2012 Mark Bruno


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    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      @ Ruth, I appreciate your kind words to me and the Vote Up too. I realize there is so much involved to get the intervention done the correct with everything in place and the Treatment center ready to accept their new patient. Yes it is so sad to see so many people killing them self slow but sure BUT they problem is "they can't see it until it is sometimes too late." I will continue to write about my past addiction and my own ideas and thoughts that might help someone else and now the huge problem is our teenagers. That really saddens me to hear of so many young people getting addicted at such a early age. What is their future going to be I always ask myself? I hope they see the light before their addiction grabs and doesn't let go.

      Thanks Ruth

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      teaches12345, Thanks for your comment. I basically hid my addiction from many family members. Or should I say I thought I did hide it well, but I think they saw right through me.

      I am so glad I don't need to hide anymore, Thank God. I am free man and so happy to boot!!!

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Theresa , Thank you for reading and commenting and giving some good points and insight on this. Much appreciated although I do realize professionals should be involved and everything has to be set up in advance.

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Voted up. Thanks for your insightful hub. It's been said that AA and NA are not for the needy, although the alcoholic/addict needs them desperately. It is for the greedy...the ones who want it.

      The intervention can go either way, depending on the state of readiness of the person. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that sometimes it's better to wait until the person goes on a "binge" and then present the program of recovery, and let it go at that, although not to neglect the family.

      So, even back then, the families were encouraged to participate in the recovery of the alcoholic.

      At the time the book was written there were not many, if any at all, treatment facilities. And hospitals mostly wouldn't take them. Anyway, all a family can do is the best they can and hope. It's a heart-breaking experience to watch a loved one kill him/herself.

      I agree 100% with Theresa about getting detoxed and getting treatment along with a follow-up after-care program. You did a good job of presenting this and I'm sure someone in here may find some good tips for their own families.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Wow, this really brings out the importance of being truthful with the alcoholic addiction. I imagine it is tough on the whole family. It is hard to bring any intervention up with a famiy member, let alone when they have a serious addiction. Well written and voted up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Intervention must be well planned, all arrangements for rehab made in advance so if agreed upon, the person can leave for rehab from the intervention. I would like to make a comment about rehab. I would guess that the majority of addicts will say that they can handle getting clean on their own. This can be a perilous choice, and even if the effort is successful, without the carefully guided program that addresses each individual's journey to addiction, and havinga carefully guided plan to conquer addiction, almost ALL addicts will relapse or choose new addictions over time. Keep this in mind: If your poor choices in life led you to addiction-especially if they kept you in addiction for many years, why would you put the most important thing you may ever do in the same hands? It's like the old saying, the defendant who acts as his own attorney has an idiot for a client. Recovery is an ongoing process and most

      successfully done with the help of experts.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Ruchira . Thanks you and you are so right. We all have the brains to know what is right or wrong. Some of the families just hit a road block for some alcoholic because they (the alcoholic) just doesn't want to change anything in their life to get better. Thanks for the Vote Up and Useful!!

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      I like your hub TCL...Family sure plays an important role but ultimately, the need to change gotta come from the person within.

      We are responsible individuals with brains and gotta make use of it and take charge of our life.

      voted up as useful...INDEED!

    • Neal Seifert profile image

      Neal Seifert 

      6 years ago from PA

      They need to get rid of the S's of the disease, Self-pity, Self-righteousness, self-justification and Self-Bullshit!!

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Crazy Mags , Thank you for your comment. I know many people that are faced with an intervention get pretty upset as they are so surprised to see the family facing them as they enter the room. I can imagine that most of them would be highly mad, but then again there are a few that finally see the light after they hear what the family and friends say to them. I wished every intervention would work but I don't see it happening sad to say.

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 

      6 years ago

      Interventions are difficult and I would imagine (although I do not know) that they have a high failure rate, particularly if people don't plan it well enough. I do know someone that had a family intervention performed on him and the family used a chemical dependency counselor as the interventionist. It worked. He is in treatment. Hopefully he will stay clean. Thanks for your site.


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