You can use this list to help you plan how to help someone you care about to get treatment for alcohol use disorder. A health professional who has special training in conducting interventions (intervention specialist) with people who have alcohol use disorder can help you set up your plan.
The plan should include:
- When you will talk with the person. Don't try when the person is drunk. Usually, the best times to talk with the person are right after a drinking episode or first thing in the morning before the person has had a drink.
- Where you will talk. Decide the location and how you will get the person there.
- How long you will talk. Decide how long you will talk with the person. If you talk longer than 60 minutes, you and the person might get frustrated. This can make the meeting less helpful.
- Who will talk with the person. Possibilities might include relatives, coworkers, and friends.
- Whether you will have a health professional there with you. If you plan a formal intervention, it's more likely to succeed if an intervention specialist is there.
- What will be said. You might want to write down what you will say so you can practice several times.
- You will want to tell the person how their drinking has affected you. Be specific about the person's behavior. For example, you can say: "When you [specific behavior], I feel [feeling]."
- You will also want to tell the person that you aren't willing to continue the relationship unless they get treatment. Tell the person what you are going to do. For example, "I will … " or "I will no longer … ."
- Where you will take the person for treatment. Talk with the treatment center and make the arrangements ahead of time.
List other concerns or questions you have.
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Peter Monti PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health