Alcohol intervention is the term used to describe when families and or friends come together to try and persuade someone they care about that they are drinking too much. Often when they are very confrontational they have the opposite effect and just push the person into drinking more. So we’re not big fans of alcohol interventions. We believe people drinking too much need support not criticism.
Does the person know they have a drinking problem?
It’s really important to know what stage the person is at. Do they have even a little awareness they have an alcohol problem or are they totally unaware they are drinking too much?
A very useful tool is the Wheel of Change (shown below) which shows the various stages people go through when trying to make any type of change whether big or small.
The wheel of change can really help
Psychology research suggests supporting the person according to where they are in the wheel of change is more helpful.
So if somebody is not on the wheel of change, they have not yet realised they are drinking too much. Confronting them in an alcohol intervention to “make them see the truth” is unlikely to help. It could even make matters worse.
Instead provide simple factual information as to why reducing drinking may be helpful. It should be relevant to the person.
For example, if the person drinking too much is sad or is anxious, information showing the links between drinking and anxiety may be useful. You can find useful facts on this here or South Lady’s story here may be helpful.
Alcohol interventions can cause more problems
While many treatment services recommend alcohol interventions to “break down the person’s resistance” we are not fans of an approach which is often based around active confrontation and frequently creates resistance.
But onto an alcohol intervention which we definitely like.
A funny Irish alcohol intervention
Foil, Arms and Hog are Irish comedy geniuses. They do sketches and weekly videos poking fun at Irish life and culture.
One of their videos now has over 3 million views. It’s about an alcohol intervention. But an alcohol intervention with a difference. This intervention is for an Irish boy who does not drink.
It’s really funny, mainly because it shows just how much alcohol is a part of our lives and you can actually see this type of thing happening in real life.
Some of the comments on the video bear this out
“I’m a Irish teetotaller. Spookily accurate believe it or not. I’m a disgrace.”
“defo think this is what my mates are like with me when I don’t drink on nights out hahahahaha or my family with me at the wedding not drinking haha”
“You’re pregnant, my friends said when I stopped drinking
Many of our writers say the same thing, their family and friends don’t like it when they don’t drink.
Sinead writes about “You’re pregnant, my friends said when I stopped drinking”
MSBG writes about “how living in Ireland made her drink more to be accepted by Irish Friends”
Irvine says “ he can’t live in Ireland as he drinks too much.”
Siolta writes ” on her fears of being seen as no craic ” if she does n’t drink
Beanyneamy writes ” on drinking away the Irish stereotype ”
So this video really nails our approach to drinking. The social pressure to always drink.
Make the change
If you’d like to change our attitudes to alcohol, sign our petition here to support the alcohol public health bill. Big Alcohol have pulled out all the stops to kill this bill and our Government is listening to them and putting big alcohol profit before public health.
Make sure to watch the video here, you’ll get a good laugh. And go see Foil Arms and Hog, it will be a great night out.