It can be difficult to ignore the symptoms and effects that pop up when someone you care about abuses alcohol. Every person in the family might be touched by that addiction, and yet everyone in the family might be wondering what in the world they should do in order to make the problem stop.
While holding an intervention might seem drastic at first, it may be the absolute best way to help your loved one recover. These are four signs that indicate that it’s time for your family to take action.
Sign 1: Alcohol Use Has Become Uncontrollable or Compulsive
People with an addiction to alcohol can no longer control when, how much, or how often they drink.
- Drink first thing in the morning
- Bring alcohol to unreasonable places such as work, family gatherings, in the car, or at church
- Find it impossible to stop drinking once they have started drinking
- Attempt to cut back on alcohol and fail to achieve any kind of reduction
These signs indicate that the alcohol use has moved to a point beyond the person’s control, and an intervention might be the best way to help your loved one accept help.
Sign 2: Alcohol-Related Health Problems Appear
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 40,000 people die each year of chronic liver disease, and alcohol abuse plays a huge role in many of these deaths. In addition, many other people lose their lives due to cancer problems caused by alcohol, and cardiovascular conditions exacerbated by the abuse of alcohol.1
People who drink heavily often begin to experience major health problems, or they might have abnormal test results when they visit their doctors for routine screenings. Any of these problems provide families with data that they can put to good use in an intervention and are strong indicators that the alcohol abuse issue has reached a dangerous level.
Sign 3: The Safety of Others Is At Risk
Those who drink are a harm to themselves, but they can also harm others. They might drive while intoxicated, for example, or they might get into physical altercations due to the influence of alcohol. Family conflicts can be fueled by alcohol, and arguments may result in injury to everyone involved.
Your loved one may have to face fines or jail sentences if alcohol misuse is not addressed. Drunk driving can result in the death of your loved one or the death of an innocent bystander — creating a situation that your loved one would have to live with the rest of his or her life.
Sign 4: Brief Conversations Haven’t Worked
Many families touched by alcohol addiction attempt to solve the problem by holding frequent, informal talks. They might discuss the behaviors they’ve seen and express the wish that their loved one would get help, and sometimes families even feel compelled to research treatment facilities before the talk, so they can outline how the treatment will progress. If families have held a number of these talks and the person still won’t enroll in treatment, it’s time to get serious and hold a planned intervention.
This might be just the sort of wake-up call your loved one needs in order to agree to get supportive help.
It isn’t easy to hold an alcohol intervention, and it’s not uncommon for families to be frightened about how the discussion might unfold. Hiring an interventionist might help. Intervention professionals can help families plan, and they can remain in the room during the talk and take action if something goes wrong. If you need the help of someone like this, please call us at 760-548-4032. Our admissions coordinators can connect you with a number of professionals who can help you.
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis. 6 Oct 2016.