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The Climb

When is it Time for an Alcohol Abuse Intervention?

May 17, 2018 9:19:16 AM / by Ascension Recovery Services

Watching a loved one struggle with alcohol abuse can be hard.

Although you want to help and support them, it can be tough to figure out the best way to do so.

One of the most effective ways to care for your loved one is through an intervention, but planning one can be stressful.

Read to find out more about exactly what alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence is and how and when to plan a successful and productive intervention.



alcohol dependence

A person diagnosed with alcohol abuse is not yet physically dependent on alcohol; however, if alcohol abuse is left untreated, it can progress to alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse isn’t a reliance on alcohol but exhibits some of the same signs and can easily progress.

Alcohol abuse is the habitual use of alcohol that interferes with someone’s responsibilities and day-to-day activities. Someone who suffers from alcohol abuse will continue using alcohol despite its negative effects on their life.

Alcohol dependence is a chronic disease more commonly known as alcoholism. Alcohol dependence results in uncontrolled drinking and comes from a steady decline from alcohol abuse. If left untreated, it can affect the person who has been diagnosed and many of their friends and loved ones as well.  


There are many symptoms of alcohol abuse that manifest in various areas of a person’s life.



  • Antisocial behavior: not participating in activities with friends and family, acting standoffish in social events or around others and intentional anger toward others.
  • Impulsivity: acting on dangerous behaviors without thinking, participating in abnormal activities and events and ignoring advice from others.
  • Lack of restraint: showing the inability to not drink in excess, unable to refuse alcohol or refusal to listen to others.



Aside from behavioral symptoms, there are mood related symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety: being unable to relax while sober, visibly stressed when a social event doesn’t involve alcohol and the inability to participate in daily activities because of worry.
  • Loneliness: sudden disinterest in hanging out with friends and family and being uncomfortable when amongst even a small group of people.
  • General discontent: quick to anger over even small issues and sudden pessimism.

These symptoms vary depending on the person and his or her form of alcohol abuse.



One of the hardest things about alcohol abuse is identifying when there is a problem and when you should take action.

You can usually identify when it’s time to intervene if you or someone you know might be facing health, family, financial or legal issues due to your/their abuse of alcohol.

Health Issues

Even a single binge drinking event can result in serious health issues. Someone who is struggling may exhibit heath issues such as chronic digestive and stomach issues, constant fatigue, muscle cramping and weakness or chest pain.

Alcohol abuse can also increase your chance of developing seven different types of cancer such as mouth, throat, voice box (larynx), esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast.


Family and Financial Issues

These issues include neglect of family and responsibilities, children start struggling in and out of school due to co-dependence of the alcohol abuse, an increase in spending on alcohol and alcohol related activities and forgetfulness to pay bills resulting in late fees.

Legal Issues

Forty percent of violent crimes committed are under the influence of alcohol.

Between 2006 and 2016, more than 10,000 were killed in drunk driving accidents. Every year, 1.1 million Americans are arrested for drunk driving.

Sometimes, someone struggling with alcohol abuse is unable to see the negative impact that it is having on their loved ones and their life as a whole. Because of this, there might be a need for an intervention.

An intervention is a useful tool to help guide whomever is dealing with alcohol abuse into recovery.


addiction intervention

Here is our simple guide to planning an intervention.

  • Step One: The problem must be identified, and then a plan for an intervention can be established.
  • Step Two: Interviews with the family are collected, and then the intervention is rehearsed to prepare the family for what’s to come.
  • Step Three: Execute the loving intervention.
  • Step Four: The loved one will attend treatment.

An intervention is designed to hold a mirror to someone’s behavior to help identify that there is a problem. Here are some tips to have an effective and productive intervention:

  • Remember why you are there. When holding an intervention, the objective is to be helpful and supportive throughout its entirety.
  • Share concerns. Loved ones and close friends who are present need to share their concerns for whomever is struggling with the disease.
  • Education is key. Make sure everyone who is present is informed and understands the disease as best they can.
  • Avoid anger. They should never feel attacked. Limiting the time to about 60 to 90 minutes can help avoid hostility.
  • Come to a solution. An intervention is only productive if at the end a solution is reached.


Sometimes organizing an intervention can be a stressful and emotional task for loved ones and friends. We understand that. We want to let you know that it’s okay to ask for help.

Ascension can help design a plan and facilitate the intervention to alleviate the stress of organizing an intervention. This situation can be overwhelming, especially for those who are foreign to it.

Ascension is here to help through every step including intervention and recovery services.

To learn more about our addiction intervention services, download our guide below.


Ready to talk about setting up an intervention? Give us as call at: 304-241-4585

Topics: Addiction Recovery

Ascension Recovery Services

Written by Ascension Recovery Services

Ascension Recovery Services is a team of experts and specialists with years of experience working with individuals and organizations aiming to open behavioral health organizations.

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