About Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a “family” disease – those closest to the addicted individual progress downwards. Compulsive drinking affects the drinker, and it affect’s the drinker’s relationships: friendships, employment, childhood, parenthood, love affairs, marriages all suffer from the effects of alcoholism. Those special relationships in which a person is really close to an alcoholic are affected most, and people who care are the most caught up in the behavior of another person. They react to an alcoholic’s behavior. They see that the drinking is out of hand, and try to control it. They are ashamed of the public scenes, but in private they try to handle it. It isn’t long before they feel they are to blame and take on the hurt, the fears, and the guilt of an alcoholic.

Their Obsession –  These well-meaning people begin to count the number of drinks another person is having. They pour expensive liquor down the drains, search the house for hidden bottles, listen for the sound of opening cans. All their thinking is directed at what the alcoholic is doing or not doing and the hope the drinker will stop drinking. This is their obsession.

Their Anxiety – Watching other human beings slowly kill themselves with alcohol is painful. While alcoholics don’t seem to worry about the bills, the job, the children, or the condition of their health, the people around them begin to worry. They make the mistake of covering up. They fix everything, make excuses, tell little lies to mend damaged relationships, and they worry some more. This is their anxiety.

Their Anger – Sooner or later the alcoholics behavior makes other people angry. They realize that the alcoholic is not taking care of responsibilities, is telling lies, using them. They have begun to feel that the alcoholic doesn’t love them, and they want to strike back, punish, make the alcoholic pay for the hurt and frustration caused by uncontrolled drinking. This is their anger.

Their Denial – Those who are close to the alcoholic begin to pretend. They accept promises, they believe the problem has gone away each time there is a sober period. When good sense tells them there is something wrong with the alcoholic’s drinking and thinking, they still hide how they feel and what they know. This is their denial.

Their Guilt – Perhaps the most severe damage to those who have shared some part of life with an alcoholic comes in the form of the nagging belief that they are somehow at fault: they were not up to it all, not attractive enough, not clever enough to have solved this problem for the one they love. They think it was something they did or did not do. These are their feelings of guilt.

“Perhaps the most severe damage to those who have shared some part of life with an alcoholic comes in the form of the nagging belief that they are somehow at fault”

Treatment Centres

We at Successful Interventions are not attached to any specific treatment center. Because we do not receive any financial remuneration for referrals to treatment centers, we are able to referral your loved one to the treatment center best suited for his/her needs and the family situation.

Members of both the Association of Intervention Specialists and Network of Independent Interventionists, we at Successful Interventions are connected to other professionals and resources from all over the world. Be assured that we can handle any and all situations and have a wealth of experience to draw on.

Please contact us to explore the appropriate treatment center for your loved one. We can help.


We recommend the following books to anyone wanting a better understanding of addiction, behavioral problems, intervention and recovery.

Alcohol and Drugs:

I’ll Quit Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Alcoholism Treatment 
by Vernon Johnson; New York, NY:Harper and Row, 1973.
An explanation of the progressive disease of chemical dependency and ways to intervene, by the pioneer of the family intervention technique. Available from

Raising Drug-Free Kids in a Drug-Filled World
by William Mack Perkins and Nancy McMurtrie-Perkins; Center City, MN: Hazelden 1986. Available from

Nice Recovery
by Susan Juby; Viking Canada 2010. A humourous but informative exploration of alcoholism through stories of young people in recovery. Available from


Love First: A New Approach to Intervention for Alcolholism and Drug Addiction
by Jeff Jay and Debra Jay
James and Janice share the Jay’s philosophy and approach to intervention as outlined in Love First. Available from Author’s web site

Concerned Intervention
by John and Pat O’Neill; New Harbinger Publications, Inc 1993
An excellent guide to interventions which describes in detail how interventions are handled from beginning to end. This book answers most questions you may have about interventions and addictions. Available from

by Virginia Satir; Palo Alto, Ca: Behavior Books, 1972.
Ideas about family systems and how they function by the originator of many of today’s family therapy approaches. Available from

Passages Through Recovery: An Action Plan for Preventing Relapse 
by Terence Gorski; 1989 Hazelden
Puts many recovery principles in simple terms so they can be understood and provides an action plan for sobriety. Available from

Dare to Confront: How to Intervene When Someone You Care About Has an Alcohol or Drug Problem
by Bob Wright and Deborah Wright; 1990 Master Media Limited New York A good guide to how an intervention is structured; answers most questions about addiction. Available from

Eating Disorders:

Surviving an Eating Disorder
by Michele Siegel, Judith Brisman, and Margot Weinshel; 2009 Harper Paperbacks
One of the best books offering effective support and solutions for family, friends, and all others who are the “silent sufferers” of eating disorders. Available from


The Language of Letting Go -Mediation Series; Codependency No More; Beyond Codependency
by Melody Beattie; Available from

Sexual Addiction:

Untangling the Web – Sex, Porn and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age
by Robert Weiss and Jennifer Schneider; Available from

Facing Love Addiction – Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way Your Love
by Pia Mellody; Available from

Don’t Call it Love – Recovery From Sexual Addiction
by Patrick Carnes, Ph D.; Available from

Lust Anger Love – Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Road to Healthy Intimacy
by William Mack Perkins and Nancy McMurtrie-Perkins; Center City, MN: Hazelden 1986. Available from

Exploring the Spiritual side:

Overcoming Addictions: The Spiritual Solution
by Deepak Chopra; Harmony Books New York 1997. Available from

The Power of Now and other books and CDs by Eckhart Tolle will help later in recovery. The author simplifies leading religions and spiritual philosophies such as Zen, Buddhism and Christianity and points to a better way of life, free of ego and stress. Available from

Financial Resources

Successful Interventions is an approved medical service available through Medicard, a company providing financial assistance for medical services.

Note that Successful Interventions is not affiliated with Medicard. Please contact Medicard directly for more information.

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Addiction Glossary

ADDICTION – a state of dependence on a drug substance harmful to physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.

DEPENDENCY – can be characterized by “4 C’s”:

Control – episodic loss of control (may not occur with every usage) One loses the ability to control one’s use of the substance.

Compulsion – obsession that one has with their substance where they are constantly planning, using or recovering from last use. This vicious cycle can be referred to as chasing your tail, a repetitive pattern with predictable results. This is insanity.

Consequences – the person re-engages in use despite negative consequences with continued use. Areas can include health, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, vocational, legal and relationship, including the relationship they have with themselves.

Co-dependency – a term given to the condition where those in contact with the addicted person lose self by focusing on the behavior of the person engaged in self-destructive behavior. As a co-dependent you must remember – you did not cause it, you can not control it, you can not cure it.

DRUG – a substance, which by its chemical nature affects the structure or function of a living thing.

PROGRESSION – experimentation –> regular use –> abuse –> dependency.

TOLERANCE – reduced sensitivity to a substance resulting from the adaptation of the body by repeated exposure to that substance; higher doses of the drug become necessary in order to maintain the original intensity of the response.

WITHDRAWAL – a state characterized by the appearance of physical signs and symptoms when the chronic administration of a drug is abruptly stopped. The withdrawal symptoms of any drug are generally the opposite of the effects induced by the drug itself, and the severity of symptoms varies with the type of drug and the frequency of use, dosage, duration of use and other pharmacological factors.

In our love for others we often unintentionally provide a safety net that prevents the addict from facing the full consequences of their addiction.