In Clearbrook Treatment Centers Massachusetts, Intervention

An intervention can be just what a person needs to be motivated to seek help for their drug or alcohol problem. Addiction can take over not only the person’s life but the lives of their loved ones, as well, which is why interventions are usually led by close family and friends. While you can prepare as much as possible in advance, there’s no guarantee that the addict will be receptive to these efforts or that the intervention will work. For these difficult cases, here’s what to do when an intervention doesn’t work. 

What Is an Addiction Intervention?

A drug addiction intervention is a carefully planned “meeting” that’s normally set up by family and friends of the individual under the guidance of a certified addiction intervention specialist or doctor. It sometimes involves a member of the loved one’s faith, as well, or others who care about the individual and want to help them. 

During the intervention, these people gather to confront the addict about the consequences of their substance abuse, how their family and friends have been affected by the individual’s addiction, and to ask them to accept drug or alcohol addiction treatment. Interventions also include: 

  • Specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact on the individual with the addiction and their loved ones
  • A prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines
  • A clear outline of what each person will do if the addict refuses treatment 

The goal of an intervention for drug addiction or alcoholism is to show the individual the repercussions of their behavior and why they need to seek out professional care. This is meant to be an eye-opening experience that shows the addict they aren’t alone in their pursuit of sobriety, should they choose to go that direction. 

Why Do Interventions Fail?

People with addictions are often in denial about their substance abuse, and it may come down to a group of people expressing their concerns to help them understand the damage that’s been done. No matter how much planning you do, however, there’s no telling how the individual will react. They can be hit with the realization of their problem, or they can become extremely defensive and might even walk away if they don’t want to listen. 

In addition to the addict’s denial or disinterest, other reasons why interventions fail include: 

  • Lack of professional guidance
  • Lack of planning
  • Inviting people who aren’t close to the individual
  • Using accusatory language when addressing the individual’s substance use
  • Yelling, screaming, or fighting
  • Holding the intervention when the individual wasn’t sober 
  • Meeting in a place that has many distractions
  • Lacking examples of how the person’s addiction affected loved ones

When an Intervention Doesn’t Work

There are many instances when a drug intervention can fail. If this is the case for your loved one, don’t throw in the towel. Here’s what to do when an intervention doesn’t work:

  • Use this as a learning opportunity: Consider the things that could have contributed to the failed intervention and what you could have done differently. Were they sober when the intervention took place? Did you plan and conduct the intervention with the help of a professional? Were there people present at the intervention who shouldn’t have been there? Apply all of these changes next time. 
  • Be prepared to have another one: Sometimes, it takes multiple interventions to get the addict to agree to rehab. Don’t be surprised if you need to host multiple interventions for the message to stick.
  • Get professional help: Certified interventionists are trained and licensed to help people host these meetings for their loved ones. Not only can they provide advice and guidance in planning, but they also lead the meeting and offer education about drug and alcohol abuse to make sure everyone who’s involved understands the situation. If you didn’t do it the first time around, reach out to a professional for your second attempt. 
  • Shorten the invite list: Not everyone needs to be at the intervention. In fact, having too many people there can cause unnecessary drama that will only take away from the purpose of the intervention. Instead, make sure the list of those in attendance is cut down to the people who are closest to and most active in the individual’s life.

As we previously mentioned, there’s no guarantee that an intervention will work, but it’s always worth it to try. If you need help hosting an intervention, our drug rehab in Pennsylvania can help.

Preparing for Another Intervention

Even though the first intervention may have failed, you can learn from it and figure out why it may not have worked. You now know the approach that you should take, as well as how your loved one might react again in this kind of environment. This is another opportunity for a sense of realization and understanding that addiction treatment is needed. 

The most important takeaway is that you should never stop trying to help your loved one realize the reality of addiction. Once they can recognize that they need treatment, they can take the necessary steps to change their life for the better. 

Additionally, because addiction is a family disease that impacts all parties involved, our northeast addictions treatment center also offers support for families of addicts to help parents and spouses cope with the impact addiction has had on their lives. These sessions also offer important education on substance use disorders as well as guidance on how families can best support their loved ones in recovery.

Call Clearbrook Treatment Centers at 570-536-9621 today or send us your contact information to learn more about our customized addiction treatment in Pennsylvania.

Related Reading: 

How to Help a Friend With Addiction Recovery

How to Help an Alcoholic

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