I am often asked about interventions, and it’s something I am not a great fan of. The fact is, no one quits anything unless they genuinely want to. Cornering a person and explaining that they have to quit using alcohol or another substance is often a disaster.
While well meaning, the people involved in an intervention often have little experience of the substance in question, and may end up doing more harm than good. For example, in the case of spirits, quitting large quantities of alcohol very suddenly can induce seizures and even heart attack – not something which is generally considered a good thing. Additionally, there’s often a judgemental element to interventions. An ultimatum is made, and the person at the center of the issue is placed in a position that creates more stress, and in some instances pushes them further into their addiction.
A more productive approach is to deal with the person struggling with addiction in a one on one setting, where there’s less pressure. Ask them how they are doing. How’s their general health, and how’s their back?
“You know I’ve been getting some back pain…”
“You know that could be your liver, you have the occasional drink, right?”
Back pain is often how the liver expresses pain. There’s no nerve endings in the liver, saw when it’s inflamed we experience it as back pain, and people who put large amounts of any toxin in their body are going to experience some pain there.
“Do you get sweats at night?”
“Sure, I have for a while…”
Night sweats are a common way for the body to push toxins out. Particularly in alcohol use, you can expect night sweats to be present in people who overdo it.
“What about headaches?”
When we sweat at night, and put large quantities of alcohol into our body, there’s a good chance that we will be existing in a permanent state of semi dehydration. A good indicator of this is inexplicable headaches.
So, having established that the person could feel a whole lot better, then it’s probably a good time to introduce the idea of getting into a bit of alcohol moderation. Few people who are addicts want to go straight into total abstinence. In the case of alcohol (and some opiates) it can be a very bad idea. Introducing the idea of a gentle step down, and getting some help with that, starts to sound like a reasonable idea at this point.
At Vancouver Hypnotherapy Inc. we do this all the time. We introduce a gentle step down and bring the client to a point at which they’re able to make some better choices. We use a softly softly approach. It’s proved very successful for many of our addictions clients.
If you’re looking for help, or have a family member who is struggling, give us a call on 604 484 0346.