Addiction brings the entire family down, so the focus of an intervention is not solely the addict. The family needs to heal, and each member of the family can make the decision to no longer be tormented by the disease.
An alcoholic's behavior has been likened to a whirlwind. He or she brings chaos into the family, work place, and into every other situation or relationship. They are unpredictable, except in their capacity to disappoint. They leave emotional, and often physical, wreckage in their wake. Everyone around the alcoholic struggles to comprehend this chaos.
The external chaos is simply a reflection of the chaos inside an alcoholic's brain.
Addiction breaks down every area of brain processing. It is a biological dysfunction in which the alcoholic's ability to think is tragically compromised. Even the alcoholic often struggles to comprehend the chaos. They likely will recognize the chaos they bring, but are powerless to explain it or permanently change it.
So why don't they choose to stop? Why do they choose to continue down a path of destruction? The answer is uncomfortable and disturbing, but undeniably true: they have lost the ability to choose freely. They are at the mercy of a primal brain drive that is saying the drug is the most important thing in life. This experience is often just as maddening and frightening to the alcoholic as it to the family and friends of the alcoholic.
This explanation is not an excuse. It is simply an explanation of what is happening. It underscores the absolute necessity of treatment where the freedom to choose can be restored.