Many families wonder at some point if they should pursue an alcoholic intervention in order to try to get some help for someone who is struggling in their life. Many individuals who struggle with alcoholism are too afraid to take the plunge and ask for help, so they continue to spiral further and further out of control due to their disease.
Friends and family members can only stand by helplessly and watch this spiral continue, unless they attempt to do something about it and intervene.
There are basically two ways this might happen: a formal intervention or an informal intervention.
The informal variety is pretty straightforward: you simply confront the alcoholic and encourage them to get help. There is no formal organization involved. You do not hire anyone from the outside to help you with this. You don’t get professional services involved. It could be completely spontaneous and unplanned. You simply try to talk some sense into the struggling alcoholic. This is an informal intervention.
A formal alcohol intervention is when you get organized and possibly hire outside help. I personally do not think it is worth hiring a professional interventionist, because I do not believe that their expertise can make much of a difference, at all. Besides that they are very expensive in most cases. But the bottom line is that I do not think they work. They are not a magic bullet.
This does not mean that you should never attempt an intervention. I just don’t think you should pay for professional help for one.
A better plan is to get a local drug rehab involved or an alcohol treatment center and get the person scheduled to go into rehab. This is a big action step and it has the potential to produce real results. An intervention without a goal of any kind is pretty worthless. Just arguing with an alcoholic that they need to change their life is not going to change a darn thing.
The key is action. So urge the person to take action. If you can have them all lined up to go into a treatment center, then this is a good plan. You do not need to hire a professional service to make this happen. Just make the calls and get them lined up and tell the rehab that it might fall through.
Trust me, drug rehabs are very used to people not showing up for rehab. This happens all the time, and some weeks in a treatment center over half of the scheduled clients will not show up. So it is not unheard of. If you make an appointment for the alcoholic in your life and they refuse to go, no harm done.
But it is worth setting it up anyway. You can try to organize a formal intervention yourself if you like, and get family and friends involved in encouraging the person to get help. This may or may not increase the chances that the person will go to rehab. You might also set a boundary at some point that involves consequences if the person does not get professional help.
You cannot force a person to change. You cannot force someone to go to rehab (in most states). Even if you could, the end result is not going to be good unless the person develops an attitude of willingness.
Most interventions fail. But they are not without value, because the alcoholic can see that people do care about them, even if they do not care about themselves. So it can still plant a seed of hope, and it might make a difference in the future for the alcoholic.