Alcohol Intervention : Staging an Intervention

An intervention is a practical step to providing help for a loved one experiencing substance use disorder. Therefore, picking the proper alcohol intervention is a crucial decision.

alcohol intervention

Alcohol Intervention : Staging an Intervention

An intervention is a practical step to providing help for a loved one experiencing substance use disorder. Therefore, picking the proper alcohol intervention is a crucial decision.

Table of Contents

The Impact of Interventions

For most individuals, it may be challenging to start an alcohol abuse intervention due to what all the experience entails. The major challenge that an individual faces during an alcohol intervention is acknowledging their state and the signs of alcoholism. For this reason, there are specific techniques to follow in staging an intervention.

After an intervention, the individual should aim to seek help for alcohol addiction. Keep reading to learn more about how to stage an intervention and the appropriate steps to handle alcohol addiction. 

What is an Intervention? 

Staging an alcohol intervention requires careful planning, involving a structured attempt by friends and family. It also involves consultation with a licensed doctor, alcohol counselor, or intervention professional. During an alcohol abuse intervention, both parties typically have a well-structured discussion to reach a mutual decision.

Most standard interventions provide instances of damaging behaviors that may negatively affect the loved one due to alcohol. This structured program also involves a treatment plan, attainable goals, and helpful guidelines for the loved one. The focus of an intervention is to ensure that the loved one or family member gets convinced and acknowledges the need for treatment.

What to Do During an Intervention for Alcohol Abuse

During an alcohol abuse intervention, there are several helpful steps regarding how to stage the intervention and the processes to take: 


It is best to start by creating a workable plan for intervention that involves the individual suffering from substance abuse and those closest to them. Ensure that a mental health professional is available for the proper organization of the program.2

Preparing Orders for Intervention

When planning the intervention, it is essential to prepare a set order of the activities. The family and loved ones need to spend a significant amount of time researching the condition of the person they are holding the intervention for. From there, decide the best method of approach. 

Gathering Team

Setting up a team helps in ensuring the success of the alcohol intervention. Each member is responsible for deciding the suitable location and the date for the event. Note that this team should include a licensed mental health professional or interventionist. 

When to Stage an Intervention?

Family members or friends should consider staging an alcohol abuse intervention when there are visible signs of abuse. An intervention helps prevent risks of developing chronic conditions due to alcohol use. Here are some signs of alcoholism that may indicate the need for intervention: 

Secretive Behavior

When loved ones start to act mysteriously by hiding several details about themselves, it may signify alcohol use. Note that this sign needs to accompany other symptoms of alcohol use, including health conditions, compulsive behavior, or lack of restraint. 


Consumption of alcohol interferes with cognitive functions of the body and results in narrowed perception leading to aggression. Research shows that a high intake of alcohol plays a crucial role in impulse control. Most individuals who have natural tendencies to get angry experience aggressiveness after alcohol intake.

Deterioration of Physical Appearance

A high intake of alcohol makes the body lose fluid and experience dehydration. When individuals experience dehydration, it may result in dry skin wrinkles, making the body appear grey and dull. Water loss due to alcohol makes individuals lose vitamins and significant nutrients, which ultimately affects physical appearance. 

Health Issues

One of the significant signs of alcoholism is developing chronic conditions like liver disease, digestive problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, and rectum.4 It is imperative to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis of the condition for immediate medical care. 

Advantages of Using a Professional Interventionist

During an alcohol intervention, you should consult a professional interventionist. The purpose of the individual is to provide guidance and direction, including the facilitation of intervention and aftercare. Here are some of the advantages of employing the services of a professional interventionist:

  • Help in evaluating life choices
  • Provide support for the entire family
  • Stops conflict
  • Keep the intervention well-structured
  • Stop enabling  

Disadvantages of Doing Intervention by Yourself

Performing an alcohol intervention as a family without the help of a mental health professional or interventionist is unadvisable. Most family members lack the perspective to understand the nature of their loved ones’ challenges. Here are some other significant disadvantages of doing an alcohol abuse intervention in absence of licensed professionals:

  • Stress
  • Unclear of mental illness / violent behavior
  • Lack of clarity on the next steps of intervention
  • Relapse

Family and friends need to avoid staging an intervention without medical help, primarily due to relapse.

Where to Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

When symptoms of alcohol addiction occur, consult a trusted doctor or mental health professional. These health experts will determine the most suitable treatment approach. Possible methods of treatment may include the use of medications, therapy sessions, or both. 

Alcohol Intervention Methods

There are pre-structured methods for holding interventions. Each of the techniques entails unique features. Here are the methods to note and how to stage an intervention through them: 

The Johnson Model

This treatment approach involves participants of an individual’s peer network. These individuals may threaten to seek measures if the loved one avoids medication. Most mental health professionals regard the Johnson model as the most common type of intervention approach.5

The ARISE Model

With this model, the interventionist approaches the situation and addresses it calmly. During the program, members of the team avoid negative or accusatory statements to avoid hurting the individual. 

The Love First Model

This model aims to provide help for the individual and the family. The model helps both parties heal during the period of recovery. ARISE follows the mind-body-spirit technique where the mental professional addresses each individual’s emotional needs. 

Family Approach

This alcohol intervention technique involves family members with the primary aim of improving their mental health. With the family approach, the interventionist works to help both parents and the family solve the mental condition. 

Confrontational Approaches

The confrontational approach is the direct opposite of the Love First mode. It involves an aggressive compulsion of the loved one to acknowledge their weaknesses and failures. 

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