When Interventions Fail: What do you do?

When you hold interventions for a loved one who is addicted to alcohol and drugs, you are of the belief that they will be convinced to go to rehab to the get the necessary help they need. However, even the most carefully planned interventions sometimes fail.

In a lot of cases, no matter the lengths you go to for your loved one it is still possible they will refuse to get help. Addiction can have such a strong grip on a person that no amount of words will convince them to accept treatment.

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You Set Up an intervention and It Failed

For all your good intentions and purposes, the interventions will still prove futile as the person you are trying to help will refuse help to aid their recovery.

 Addiction and recovery from a bad habit is a hell of a journey. When all your efforts to help a loved one fail you should not lose all hope.

Like any good thing worth pursuing, persistence and grit on your part are an important part of the decision you have taken to help that friend or family member. No matter how carefully planned, there are several ways to move on from a failed intervention.

Reasons for Interventions?

The purpose of interventions is to help an addicted loved one begin on their journey of healing by:

1. Envisioning a life of recovery for themselves.

2. Recognizing and accepting they are struggling with a life-altering disorder.

3. Accepting immediate treatment.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports when patients are enrolled in drug rehab, they stop not only using drugs and alcohol but also limit their criminal and violent tendencies, improving their lives at home, their work, and relationships.

The journey of addiction recovery like every journey begins differently. Your addicted loved one may agree to treatment and it may take more effort on your part to ensure they stick to it till the end for their benefit. 

There is, therefore, a greater good in continuing to love and encourage the addicted family member or friend to get the treatment they need.

Time for Tough Love

Judgemental Outlook from Participants:

It’s very difficult to hold onto your feelings when talking about your addicted loved one when you’ve been hurt and affected by your loved one’s substance abuse and addiction.

 When your interventions are led with emotion and the wrong body language, it appears judgmental to the victim and they may not even start treatment and even if they do, they are most likely not to see the treatment through.

Violence and Aggression:

We commonly know these traits of addicts as they are depressed and need their constant supply of whatever drug it is that makes them happy. We can liken this to taking away a child’s favorite bar of candy. 

The kid will throw a tantrum and whine. In this case, it is violent and could lead to a lot of destruction and further deteriorate your relationship with the victim. Addicts usually exhibit this behavior because of the feeling of being threatened and judged and this to them is a way of being defensive.

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Getting the Support You Need to Try Again

Now to the crux of the matter, what can be done when they refuse to be helped? Refusal to accept the interventions and the help of drug rehab is not necessarily the end of your ability to help them enter treatment.

There are several steps you can take to help your addicted family member or friend. They include:

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1. Continued Inter Family Support System:

When a family comes together as a unit to plan an intervention, they are often drawn together hoping the addict will agree to treatment. When this fails, they all return to their normal lives with the shared sense of purpose to help the addict. It’s important to establish regular meeting times, even if they are infrequent, to continue to support the cause of helping your addicted loved one get treatment.

2. No Compromise or Bargain:

Victims of alcohol and drug addiction are of the false belief that they are in control of their actions and can stop whenever they want. They have their judgment clouded by the mantra “a little bit of whatever it is holding them back won’t hurt too much”. 

In reality, they are not in control and need serious help to stop, and that is where you come in. Do not accept or conform to the promises of victims that they will quit on their own.

 You are a better judge of the situation they have found themselves in. We should not present addicts with many choices to choose from. Don’t accept lies such as “this is the last time I’m taking this or that”, from addicts.

3. Promise Consequences and Stick to Them:

The main goal of an intervention is to get the addicted loved one to accept treatment. Withholding some benefits or removing any enabling behaviors or structures for their habits can help change their minds about not accepting treatment. 

This is a way of giving them the power of choice to desist from it rather than begging and presenting them with a lot of options. For example, a high school kid involved in drug abuse could be deprived of the regular stipend or support he spends on drugs. 

Any luxury that helps provide an enabling ecosystem that helps their addiction to thrive should be gradually taken away. This must be done flexibly as any wrong or harsh move could derail any hope of ever helping the victim get treatment.

4. Educated Second Intervention:

A failed intervention is a learning opportunity; now that you have seen the power of addiction you will be better prepared to face the disease the second time. The more prepared you are for contingencies the more likely it is that you can navigate through the second intervention successfully. 

When you follow through with the promise of consequences for their actions, it gets clearer to your addicted loved one that choosing to continue in their habit is not the safest and most effective thing to do.

5. Seek Help from Us, A Better Today, Recovery Services (ABTRS) to Be Connected With a Treatment Center 

Professionals at ABTRS will connect you with a treatment center that provides patient-focused care that is compressive and effective. At ABTRS we can connect you with a facility that can provide the necessary assistance to help your loved one stay focused on the road to recovery.

We pride ourselves in helping treatment centers save lives and promote healthy families. Having helped over 4000 courageous people who have reached out to us about their addiction. 

Our core belief is that treatment centers should provide patient-focused care that is comprehensive and effective. They can help you in the following ways:

1. Treatment plans tailored to each individual and their needs as everyone’s journey to addiction recovery is different.

2. Provide resources and rehab to help your addicted loved ones,

3. Address any potential obstacles as they arise before, during, and after the intervention.

The specialists here at ABTRS know that addiction is a family problem and not just an individual condition. We are here to connect you with a treatment center, offer suggestions, and answer questions about getting through this difficult time.

If you or someone you love has a drug or alcohol problem, call us for answers today.





Our writers are experienced in everything related to addiction, mental health, rehab and recovery.

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