Frequenty Asked Questions

Question:  Is addiction the result of lack of willpower?


Chemical dependency is a complex disease that affects a person physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Willpower is not an effective therapy for treatment of this disease any more than it would be for cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Addiction happens at a physical and psychological place that is beyond reach of the will.

Question:  Isn’t it true, you can’t help an alcoholic until he’s ready for help?


As a Clinical Interventionist, we have heard this question numerous times. We’ve even heard it from Physicians, recovering addicts, and counselors. It is the most unchallenged myth about addiction and the one that stops many loved ones from responding to the deadly and destructive disease of addiction. All the while, the family waits until the alcoholic is ready, and the disease runs through the family like a freight train.

This is simply not true. At Barefoot Chaplain, we take a look at the entire picture, and then we proceed by asking ourselves “If an alcoholic won’t accept help until they’re ready, what will it take to get them ready?” We know how to turn the problem into finding a solution. We are skilled in knowing how to search out an answer.

Alcoholics and addicts who get help themselves, do so not because they have all of the sudden seen the light. They get help because they feel the heat, something that shakes them up so rapidly, they’d rather accept help than continue drinking and drugging. We call this shake-up intervention. The shake up may cost the alcoholics life, or take years to arrive at, our way takes a week or two of planning.

Question:  We are afraid of intervening on our addicted loved one. It seems like an ambush.


Intervention is the most effective technique that loved ones of an alcoholic/addict can use to help a loved one suffering from chemical dependency. It is also the most ignored.

There are many misconceptions about intervention. Some think it is an emotional ambush or unkind attack. But, at Barefoot Chaplain, we are certified and highly skilled in using the most carefully planned model of intervention, Love First. This method demonstrates that intervention is a carefully planned process founded on love, dignity, and honesty. Many loved ones have heard about using a tough love plan, here we prioritize putting Love First.

Question:  If my loved one stops drinking hard liquor and drinks only beer, will he still suffer from alcoholism?


Switching from hard liquor to beer could be perceived as less harmful, or less problematic. There’s a catch, of course. Alcohol is alcohol, regardless of how it is delivered into the body. Here’s the formula for alcohol content: 1oz. of 86 proof liquor=12 oz. of beer= 4 oz. of wine.

Each delivers the same amount of alcohol, so switching from one to the other is nothing but a shell game.

Question:  My college aged daughter seems to drink way too often and she drinks until she is drunk. There is alcoholism in our family history. Did she learn to make drinking a habit at college, or did she learn from seeing adults in our family?


There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that alcoholism is an inherited disease. Again, it is an inherited disease, NOT a learned behavior.

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