Because of the powerful hold that alcohol can have over a person, intervention is sometimes required to get an alcoholic to seek treatment for his or her addiction. Alcoholism does not have the same social stigma that an addiction to drugs has in public awareness, so people often deny that they have a problem. Social drinking is quite acceptable throughout a broad segment of modern culture, so alcohol intervention is sometimes a matter of forcing a person to, first, face the fact of his or addiction, and then to face an intervention in the form of treatment for the disease of alcoholism.
Forcing an alcoholic to acknowledge his or her problem is known as an intervention. It can be conducted by family members, co-workers, or professionals trained in techniques designed to get the alcoholic to face the consequences of his or her drinking. It is not, as so dramatically portrayed by Hollywood, usually a matter of kidnapping the unsuspecting individual and forcing him into treatment, but it is usually a surprise to the alcoholic. It may take the form of an employer calling an employee into conference with a trained specialist, or confronting her with the loss of her job if treatment is not sought. It could take the form of letters written by family members, or any of a variety of other techniques designed to demonstrate to the individual the adverse affects of his behavior on those closest to him.
Intervention for alcohol addiction is the first step toward treatment. An alcohol intervention is not a matter of forcing someone into an alcohol treatment center and watching them get the DTs. It is unique to the individual, the circumstances, and the other people involved, who may be friends, immediate family, or co-workers concerned about the health of the individual. In all cases, it is designed to confront the person with his behavior, and to overcome the standard objections that “the problem” is not really a problem, or is all in the minds of everyone else but the alcoholic. A priest or minister, a close friend, a boss, or, most powerfully, a professional trained in dealing with alcohol addiction, might all serve as the interventionist whose job it is to sit down with the individual and break down the initial barriers to seeking treatment.
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A good alcohol intervention program can spell the difference, literally, between life and death for severely addicted people. Extended alcohol consumption has a gradual and negative effect on the human body. Liver and brain damage can become irreversible and eventually lead to memory loss, impaired function, liver failure, and death. Timely alcohol intervention, especially through a qualified alcohol treatment center, is an option to consider for yourself or a loved one struggling with alcohol dependency. It should be followed by timely and supervised, professionally-managed treatment for alcohol withdrawal and then a program designed to keep the alcoholic from falling back into the same patterns of self-destructive behavior that led to the intervention for alcohol in the first place.