Help Your Loved One Get Sober: Alcoholic Intervention – 5 Tips for Friends and Family
Hey guys! It’s Marcus here from talksober.com.
In this video, I’m going to share with you real life examples of how to help a loved one with alcoholism.
How can you get them help?
How can you get them to treatment?
What if the treatment options aren’t available?
How do you approach them without rattling them or making them angry and making them feel like you’re attacking them?
What is it you can do to help your loved one?
I want you to know that this comes from real-world, real-life examples that have happened to me over the last 48 hours.
You see Friday about 11 p.m. here in Florida, 8 p.m. in California, I got a text from my brother who has struggled with alcoholism and opiate addiction and all kinds of addictions for most of his adult life. I haven’t heard from him in months and you know I kind of assumed he’s kept it at bay or been managing or whatever. Then things start to escalate really really badly.
So I called him in the morning on Saturday and I find out that he’s not doing well at all.
“He’s struggling with his alcoholism.
He’s drinking around-the-clock.
He’s pretty much not in a good place. He’s depressed.
He’s struggling and he needs help and he needs help fast.”
So I decided, I’m gonna hop on the next plane to get him some help and everything like that. Before I do this, I actually say, “Hey can you get in a rehab? Can you do it? You need to go today. You need to go today. He tried to get into a rehab. He went there and because of the paperwork and everything like that he got finicky and he said, “You know what I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this. This seems shady. It doesn’t seem like what I want.”
What you’re gonna find out is, sometimes it’s difficult to get what you want and make everything perfect. And in this video, we’re gonna talk about how to do that!
So after that, he walks out on the rehab. He’s like I’m not going to go. I still want help but I’m not gonna go to that rehab. I had remembered from my recovery a place that I went for rehab. I realized that it was far away from family it’s gonna take, you know an hour and a half by plane which my family doesn’t fly so that’s good, or about eight hours by driving to get to this rehab. So I said, “Okay I’m gonna book a flight and I’m gonna fly out on the red-eye on Sunday night. I’m gonna arrive really late Sunday night or Monday morning in California. We’re gonna take care of this.”
So I get to my brother and I try my best to keep him at bay. I’m like okay you know you can have a little bit to coax you along so that you don’t feel like you’re struggling and I’m helping him along and I said we’re gonna get you in rehab. We’re gonna get this going. I booked a flight for both of us from Los Angeles or Santa Ana California Airport to Oakland so that we could get him to the rehab that was about two hours by car from Oakland and get that all sorted. What I did is, I booked these very close so I came in at about 12 o’clock a.m. on Sunday or on Monday morning and then we left at around 10 o’clock Sunday morning.
So from about 3 am, when we really started getting things hammered out to about 8 when we had to be at the airport, we were there. I was dealing with him, making sure he wasn’t drinking too much and making sure that he was still on board with going.
We had everything sorted out.
We made sure that there was a bed at the rehab and everything like that.
We orchestrated it to where it would work so that there were no outs.
You see for your alcoholic loved one you have to provide no outs.
You have to understand them as a human being.
You have to separate the alcoholic person that you have come to know and probably don’t like very much with the actual loved person that you know because here’s how you have to look at it.
A person that’s dealing with alcoholism is not dealing with a rational mind.
I like to equate it to what it would be like if someone was put in a torture camp or in a mind washing cult or something like that.
You see what happens is your brain is warped by alcohol.
Every little bit, and the more and more your loved one drinks or yourself drinks, the more your brain cannot see where it was. So up here you’re like hey here’s the loved one, here’s the person that I love who I know is a great person.
“My brother is a great person when he’s sober. But over time what happens is it drops down.”
The baseline drops down and drops down and drops down. Over time gradually this happens so that the person doesn’t realize that this happened and can’t see why it happened.
It’s like that high school person that you probably knew in high school.
They get a girlfriend and all of a sudden they start acting differently and doing different things and liking different things and gradually this stuff happens. They don’t look at it saying well you know this person caused this or this situation caused it or whatever. They just look at it as like I’m here, this is where I’m at. That’s what you got to deal with. You have to separate the alcoholic person the alcohol because the alcohol is causing someone to behave different ways. This is not the person that you know. The person you know is still in there but see here’s the problem. The problem is when you confront them, you’re dealing with all your baggage in the family.
I was dealing with my dad who was doing everything short of deliberately sabotaging every movement I made but luckily we were able to get past that. I was dealing with it because here is this person and this person wants to deal with the content. You owe me money. You did this. He did a bad thing. That guy did this. He’s out getting drunk and getting in bar fights and things like that. I can’t deal with this person and I’m like listen, you’re not dealing with the person you know, you’re dealing with the alcoholic version of that person.
You’re dealing with the person whose mind has been warped and cannot see clearly.
If you come at this person and you say, “hey listen fucker, you’ve been being an asshole!” They’re probably not going to respond. But if you come at them and you say, “Look. Here’s what’s going on. We need to get you some help.”
Now luckily in our case, my brother knows he needs help. He just doesn’t know how to get it.
Most alcoholics know that they need help, they just don’t know it’s out there.
The reason they keep drinking is because they don’t know a better solution to deal with their problems.
On top of that, they’re dealing with withdrawal of alcohol which feels like shit which means all you know is another drink is going to help you. So you got to be very careful with these things and you got to really listen.
What I would advise you to do if you’re dealing with an alcoholic loved one is:
Number 1, understand that THEY ARE NOT THEIR ADDICTION.
They are not this person doing these things.
They are the person you love tainted by alcohol, tainted by being an alcoholic, tainted by the mental illness and insanity that alcohol creates.
So you’re not dealing with someone with a full rational thought process here.
You’re dealing with someone tainted to remember.
Sometimes people can be hostile or angry towards you when you call them out on their drinking because think about this, here is this alcoholic who’s been drinking for years and it solves all their problems. It causes all their problems.
They know they’re life is fucked.
They know things are going bad.
They just don’t have a better solution.
When you come at them and you threaten to take away the only solution they have, think about what that’s like! That’d be like going to a guy in the desert who has a bottle of water and taking it away from him and saying, “I’m taking away what you think is your only life blood.”
Now that guy might not know that you’re driving him to a lake full of water that he could drink just like the alcoholic. He doesn’t know that there’s another solution. There’s another way out.
What you got to do is you got to be gentle.
You got to educate yourself on alcoholism, how it works.
You got to understand your loved one and you got to look at them at the heart and say, who is this person, how do I help them, how do I speak to them on a level that’s going to make sense without condemning them, without telling them they’re an asshole, without getting in fights about the details of who lent this money and who got this money and who did this and who did that because
YOU’RE NOT DEALING WITH THE PERSON, YOU’RE DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM!
There’s something you got to look at which is content versus the way that the mind works. The way that the alcoholic mind works is it’s sidetracked only by looking for alcohol. Now the content is what the alcoholic is going to use to get you to give in to whatever they want which is probably get another drink or let them live or money or whatever it is you’re dealing with. Now the content could be anything. The content does not matter.
I was talking to my dad. My brother and my dad worked together and it’s absolutely toxic relationship. It’s terrible. I probably could not stay sober if I had that type of relationship. My dad wants to get in all the content. We got to fix this business thing. We go to deal with the money. You got to pay me back on this. How many fucking cigarettes did you have? Why do you gotta go get drinks? Why do you got to do this? What the fuck is wrong with you?
This is all the content in the content in the content in the content. Doesn’t fucking matter.
What matters is getting your loved one to accept some kind of help and getting them to someone who knows how to get them that help.
So what you got to do is you got to look at this objectively.
You got to listen to them. You got to be understanding.
You got to make sure when you’re talking to them, if they have to drink maybe keep it at bay.
Like I told my brother. He was pretty much plastered when I got there and I said look, we’re gonna calm you down in and if you need some drinks, I said I’m an alcoholic too, and you know I’d rather not be around it but if you need to have a couple of beers or you know one little one or whatever every hour so that you could maintain. I understand what that’s like and we’ll do it. And we went. We got those and luckily because I listened and understood him, he didn’t even drink his whole six-pack. Half of it he poured down the sink and the other half he said tastes like piss and he didn’t know why he was even drinking it. So we were talking to him and I was like man we need to get you help here’s what you’re gonna do.
One of the other things that you need to do is you need to get your ducks in a row. The minute that your loved one says they’re ready to accept help, you can’t go to the fucking phone book and look for a rehab because you don’t know if there’s beds available. So before, do your homework. Make sure you find a place for them to go. Make sure you find somewhere for him to get help or buy some time. If you’re in a crunch, you got to buy some time.
Take him to a hospital, detox or take her to a hospital detox or whatever, buy yourself some time, get a bed at a rehab and then plant it and orchestrate it.
What I did is I went through and I said to my brother, I said look, and I said to my dad – I’m like, look this is what we’re going to do. There’s no ifs ands or buts. This is what we’re gonna do. I’m getting on a plane. I’m getting a car to your house. Can I pick you up at the airport? No. We don’t need family drama I’m gonna be at the hotel. You’re gonna bring my brother to the hotel. He did that. We got him to the hotel. I said tomorrow what we’re gonna do is we’re getting on a plane at 10. I said your wife’s gonna come at 8. She’s gonna say goodbye to you and she’s gonna drive us to the airport. No one else can come. This is what we’re going to do. Then he has trouble flying as many alcoholics do and we got on there and I was like okay, you’re gonna chill. We’re gonna do this. If you need a drink on the plane, I’ll get you a drink on the plane. I didn’t let him have his debit cards or anything like that. I was like I’ll hold it for you. I’m not taking it. I just want to hold it for you so it’s safe. Everything like that. You know I was very gentle.
I went through and I was like, okay we’re gonna get on the plane we’re gonna chill. We got on the plane. We laughed. We had fun. We had a good time and I brought out the person that I know is in there that is my brother, the good guy. I’m like, let’s bring him out. Let’s talk to him, not the addiction. That’s because everyone wants to talk about the addiction and the fucked-up things that people do under addiction. Where do you hide your beer? How could you do that to me and you’re an asshole and you owe me that! Everyone wants to get in the content and the content keeps you stuck, it keeps you sick. I’ll tell you right now if the content is still there when my brother gets out of rehab, he’s not gonna stay sober. If the content is still what matters, it’s not going to be able to maintain because you’re dealing with the content. You’re not able to look at it objectively and rationally and say, this is not the person we’re dealing with. The content doesn’t matter because the person isn’t here. You could get in any argument you want. You could talk about whatever you want but you’re not talking to the person, you’re talking to someone whose brain has been tainted by alcohol. So we need to remove the alcohol and we need to deal with the issue at hand because many times as it is with brother, it’s a life or death situation. I mean you keep drinking, bad shits gonna happen. It’s not good. It’s not pretty. You need to get your loved one to someone who knows what they’re doing and you got to do it in a cool way that’s gonna chill them out.
One, separate them. Separate them from it.
When the content goes my dad was there with his new wife, my brother was there and we got family trauma. When you got like four brothers and we all have issues you know you got issues and the dad’s got issues and would come from Grandma with issues and come from all this stuff and there’s a lot of content. They’re sitting there at the table and they’re talking about the content and I said, you know what, what about this? Let’s talk about how we’re gonna get you help. Let’s talk about what life’s gonna be like when you’re done and when you’re sober and what it’s gonna what we’re gonna do. I gave them sighs like this. Let’s come on out here to Florida for Thanksgiving and let’s hang out. Let’s have a sober Thanksgiving right after you get out of the rehab. Let’s go through this, and it’s very very important that you make them know and let them know that you’re there. That you’re doing this out of love and not like a dickhead, “I’m doing this because I love you, you fucking bastard!” Not like that! Come on now. That’s not how you talk to people. You wouldn’t even talk to like some random guy at freaking Starbucks like that so talk to him like you love them if you actually do.
Listen, take the content and keep controlling the conversation the way you want because the problem is, people don’t know how to control these conversations because they themselves are wrapped up in the content.
It’s like this, sick people have sick people. My dad’s a sick people. He had sick People. My grandma was a sick people. They got sick people. People in these issues usually have dysfunctional families and you got to look at yourself and ask yourself what part am I playing in this. Is there something that I’m doing that is allowing this? You can call it enabling. You can call it whatever you want but what are you doing? Is there something you can do to help because oftentimes you are not doing the right thing whether it’s just focusing on the content and getting in cycles and loops about the bullshit that could be, would be needs to be money bullshit or are you going in there and saying, my loved ones gonna die if they keep drinking?
I know who my loved one was before they started drinking and I’m gonna focus on that person.
I’m gonna love that person because all the other shit does not matter.
It doesn’t matter if you guys work together.
It doesn’t matter if you live together.
It doesn’t matter how much money they stole.
It doesn’t matter that stuff is all context.
It’s all bullshit and you need to get over it if you want your loved one to get the help that they need. You got to look at this and you got to say, you know what I love this person and I care about them and I’m going to orchestrate it. I’m gonna make it happen. Get the financial ducks in a row if you’re going to rehab route. Get the ducks in the road to get them Sober. Take them there. Show them that it’s going to be okay. Help them fill out the paperwork and be there every step of the way if you can because that is the key to making this work. Now sometimes people use interventionists. Sometimes people use whatever and you got to do what you got to do and you got to get over yourself.
You have to get over yourself if you’re going to help your loved one.
Lots of people cannot do this that’s why people do not get sober.
That’s why the people who need this the most don’t get sober because the family can’t get the fuck over themselves.
Now I got to ask you, alcohol as they say is usually a family problem. I don’t know if it’s a gene. I don’t know if what the technical alcohol stuff is. I’ve studied it but I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. Again that’s the content. Let’s deal with the real issue here. The real issue here is this person needs help. They need help. Detox is very dangerous. Lots of things are dangerous. They need help. They need help from professionals. They need help from someone that knows what it’s like because chances are maybe you’re an alcoholic yourself or maybe you deal with drug issues.
Lots of people in my family my dad included I mean he’s an addict of sorts not to one thing. He’s been addicted to gambling. He’s been addicted to xanax for four years and you know call it what you want, I just take a xanax every day. It’s like okay well maybe that’s cool. I don’t know but it seems to be a problem and you can’t get over yourself and help your son and you need to do that. You got to look at this objectively. You got to look at it rationally. Get the content out of the way because the content is what kills people. The content is what makes people stay sick and everyone wants to focus on the content. You did this and I did this and we’re gonna do that whatever. But you got to look at it and say the content doesn’t matter, what matters is the person I love and their life.
So I hope this video has helped you.
What I’m gonna do at talksober.com/lovedone is I’m gonna put some resources for you!
I’m gonna give you some tips and tell you what I did. Obviously I’m not the be-all end-all.
This is the first time I’ve actually helped someone other than myself which other people helped me as well but you know this could have gone really really bad. Very bad.
This could have ended extremely bad like the worst case scenario could have happened here. Who knows? Maybe it still might but the fact of the matter is I got him in treatment.
I got him where he’s safe and I got him in good spirits knowing that you know what you know. The night before I said something straight up to him and I kind of made him mad cause I cooked. I could have talked about that. I could have kept bringing that up and be like, when you called me that name you little shit. Who cares? Does your ego matter in the grand scheme of things? Do you want to be right or do you want this person to get help? Do you want to be right and you want to have your little fake pedestal or do you want to get this person sober and potentially save their life.
You got to ask yourself these things and you got to look at it and if you can’t do it get someone else you can and listen to them. The only reason this worked is because I told my family this is what’s happening and it’s okay.
He’s going to treatment. This is what we’re doing because I know you’re gonna come in. You’re gonna do your drama. You’re gonna do the tears. You’re gonna do whatever and every little tiny step could be, “Oh man I’m gonna miss these people. Oh shit what about that contract that we gotta fix? What about this?” And that message shit up so you gotta be one track.
If you are on board with this and you want to get your loved ones some help, again, talksober.com/lovedone
We’re gonna have some resources and if you want to get them some help and your family’s not on board, if your family is crazy and batshit down the road as mine is, what you got to do is you’ve got to do this on your own. You’ve got to decide to do it. Get the outside help. Set everything up and if they ask, tell them so you’re bringing him here. When you go get him, you put him in the car you don’t talk right because if you talk, content content content is solutions solutions are what you’re going to do.
So stop talking about what people did and when I was eight and when I was five and this guy and whatever. Stop that shit. Go there and look at it and say I care about this person and we’re gonna focus on who the person is and what we’re going to do.
What are we going to do? We’re gonna get this plane and we’re gonna get on it. We’re gonna go drive to this place and we’re gonna check you in.We’re gonna do this. We’re gonna every step needs to be Orchestrated.
You need to know what is going on and you need to talk to them like a human being instead of talking to them like some ass. Probably like I’m talking to you now but at any rate make this stuff you need to hear.
So what we’re gonna do is that Talksober.com/lovedone
We’re gonna talk to you about how it’s going to work in my next series of videos.
Over the next days I’m gonna try to do videos where all my brother’s in rehab so he can watch him when he comes out. We’re gonna talk about what to do after because once you get them into rehab, that’s the beginning.
I’ll tell you what, it’s really easy to stay sober in rehab because there ain’t no alcohol there.
There ain’t no drugs in the rehab. If you pick a good one and do your homework on it, don’t just send them to Bob’s freaking rehouse rehab for the crazy people or whatever unless it’s good. Do your research. Find a good one. If you got to be far away, make it far away. If you want to nearby for whatever reason, make it nearby. But again, remember if it’s nearby they can walk out easy and call their old friends and score their drugs and get their stuff. I dropped him off in the middle of what looks like nowhere because we took a wrong turn. It looked like no worry which is kind of good. I was like, good thing I took a wrong turn because he thinks he’s miles from civilization which is kind of cool but at any rate you got a look at that and you got to do it objectively and say, I love this person and I want him to get help.
After they’re feeling good saying I stayed sober thirty days, say yeah that’s good!
But again remember, you were where there was no alcohol in a controlled environment.
The rubber meets the road and we’re gonna get a plan and keep on with the plan. No content. No bullshit. All that stuff that kept them drunk and kept them intoxicated and kept them crazy, we gotta put that on the back burner. The only reason my recovery worked is one, because I was able to do that and go to rehab and also because my plan when I got out changed my life. I had sold my house. I changed my whole life. There’s a big Hawk on the ground out there. It’s like getting a frog or something. He’s looking at me.
I think you’ve left but you got to look at this and you got to ask yourself how much do I love this person and what am I willing to do to get them help?
If your answers not damn near anything then you need to reevaluate and you need to look at getting some outside help. Maybe an intervention guy. Maybe taking them to a rehab or a detox and buying yourself some time so you can get them help.
But again have your ducks in a row.
Talk to them like they’re a person.
Remember who they were because that person is still there.
They are still that person.
They’re just a little tainted and the core of who they are is still there.
You got to talk to that. You got to forget about the content. Forget about whatever bullshit just happened or forget about they scratched my car, they stole my liquor. I mean come on man, we’re dealing with life and death here. We’re dealing with someone that needs to get help and if you go over to talksober.com/loved1, we’re gonna have some tools for you and the videos. Over the next thirty days they’re gonna want to watch because I’m gonna be talking to people who are dealing with loved ones and I’m also gonna be talking to what to do after someone’s out of rehab.
Now this is gonna be good for the alcoholic who just gets out of rehab or the drug addict who just gets out of rehab and it’s also gonna be good for you to watch as well because if you watch these videos, if you subscribe to my channel here, you’re gonna start to understand how alcoholism works and you’re gonna start to understand what goes on in our mind.
A lot of people who are alcoholics, they listen to me and they read my stuff. They’re like, Marcus it’s like you just reached into my brain and you pulled my thoughts out. That’s because I’ve been where you’re at and I’ve been where your loved one is too. I understand what this stuff’s like so subscribe to my channel here.
I hope you like this long-winded video!
This is serious. This is something that people need help with. People die every single day from alcoholism and from drugs and all this stuff and I don’t want to see your loved one end up there!
So go over to talksober.com/loved1.
Check out the resources that we have for you.
Again, remember talk to them like a Person.
Forget about the content.
Forget about the stuff and focus on getting them help.
Focus on the things that they like and the things that they want to do and the person they want to be coming in and what it is.
So many times all this bickering, all this battering, all this stuff is your loved one crying out for help.
They want help.
They don’t know how to get it and you got it.
You got to help them get it.
You know, you got to do what you got to do.
You got to look at it and say I love this person and I want to get them help.
You can help them be ready by orchestrating things in their life to set up what you need to set up.
I hope you like this video. If you did put your comments below, tell me the struggles that you’re having with your loved one or if you’re an alcoholic watching this because you’re subscribed, tell me what you thought about the video. I also understand you and I understand that oftentimes alcohol has changed your mind and your brain and the way that you think And it focuses on the content. I mean think about it every time you’re drunk, every time you know someone who’s drunk. What are they doing? They’re talking about the content.
Thanks again for watching! I’m Marcus at talksober.com.
Go over to talksober.com/loved1.
We’re gonna have some resources for you so we can help you evaluate best rehabs, what to do, intervention stuff. We’re gonna have everything there for you so that you can get help!
Thanks again for watching.
Subscribe and I’ll see you in the next video.