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One of the most difficult things to watch is someone destroying their life with alcohol. Many alcoholics even appear to lead a completely "normal" life, but their seemingly high functioning lives are a farce while behind the scenes everything is falling apart. In lieu of enabling someone with alcoholism or being in denial about the problem, the best thing you could do for them and yourself is confront them and be prepared for this confrontation. Most individuals with alcoholism are master manipulators, and even though your intentions are pure and you have their absolute best interests at heart, they may attempt to evade confrontations and help at all costs. So be prepared by knowing exactly what to say and do.
You may have heard of the term "intervention", and confronting a friend or loved one about alcoholism when done so in a well planned out manner is essentially an alcohol intervention. You don't need to have a professional interventionist assisting with the confrontation or have one present while it is taking place. It can be helpful in some of the more difficult cases, but not entirely necessary. If you don't feel confident that you can have a productive confrontation with a friend or loved one about their alcoholism by yourself or with the help of other close friends and loved ones, then by all means contact a local professional interventionist who can help. A local drug and alcohol rehab program in your area can most put you in contact with someone who can provide counsel and guidance.
The first thing you will want to do is to make sure the location where you plan on talking with the friend or loved one is somewhere that is completely distraction free and one where everyone will be most comfortable. Such confrontations can often be awkward and uncomfortable for all parties involved. You'll want to make sure the location is somewhere that everyone involved in this can voice what they need to voice and not be deterred by anything or anyone that may disrupt or distract.
If you are planning on confronting a loved one or friend about their alcoholism, you may feel more empowered and comfortable having other concerned and interested parties involved to contribute to the dialogue and help convince them to get the lifesaving help they need. If you do decide to get help, make sure you choose participants who will keep the confrontation on a positive level and who are all about getting the individual away from the destructive drinking patterns. Just because someone is their "friend" for example, it doesn't mean they aren't perhaps contributing to their alcoholism in some shape or form. So, choose the participants wisely and who are on the same page as you.
Sometimes what you want to say to the alcoholic doesn't always come out the right way. Emotions can run deep, and it is very likely that anyone participating in such a confrontation has had their own lives negatively impacted by the person's alcoholism. But to let any type of anger and hostility that has perhaps built up reveal itself at such a crucial moment will undoubtedly sabotage all efforts. This approach typically backfires for the worse and pushes the alcoholic further away from the friends and loved ones they need most. So, to avoid this draft something that you can bring along that can help you voice your concerns in a positive and productive manner and keep you on your train of thought without being deterred by distractions.
It is very likely that said distractions will be from the alcoholic in the form of reasoning behind their alcoholism, denial, etc. To avoid this, you and anyone else participating will want to present to them the exact facts with actual examples of how their alcoholism has negatively impacted their lives and the lives of friends and loved ones. There is no way that their alcoholism has reached such a dire state without consequences, and even though this may be tough for you to say and even more difficult for them to hear, it is what they need so they can get help. For someone who is overly defensive about their drinking and alcoholism, it may be helpful to put more emphasis on how you feel about it and your concerns, as opposed to how you think they should be living their lives differently and essentially vilifying them.
The most crucial aspect of preparedness for such a confrontation and alcohol intervention is to have a plan in place for the person to get the lifesaving help they need. At this point in the game, you cannot rely on promises to stop drinking nor can you depend on the person's good intentions and will power that have most obviously failed them. This doesn't make them a bad person, but rehabilitation and immediate changes in lifestyle are essential. Without making preparations to get the individual into a rehab or program that can give him the tools and confidence to remain sober, all of your efforts will have been for nothing. It is important to work with a drug and alcohol rehab program that can provide the level of care and the most appropriate alcohol treatment for your friend or loved one. Ideally the individual will be able to leave immediately and take part in a program that can help them safely detox and provide a full continuum of treatment that will give them a real chance at sobriety.