What Happens if an Intervention Goes Badly?

Many family members reach a point when they decide that the only way to reach their loved one is through an intervention. If you have reached that point, you might be concerned that the plan will backfire on you and that the addict will discover your plan before you can hold the intervention. That does happen, but it doesn’t mean that the intervention is over. It just means that you have to take a slightly different tack.

Are You Planning an Intervention?

If you’re planning an intervention, it’s important to plan carefully. You need to set up a time and a place where your loved one will feel comfortable and be ready to listen to you.

Reasons to Hire an Interventionist

In order to help you formulate this plan and ensure the success of an intervention, it’s best to hire a professional interventionist. Studies have found that a skilled interventionist can get an addict or alcoholic to agree to treatment in 90 percent of cases. Most treatment centers can direct you to a skilled interventionist with experience in the type of addiction your loved one has. Keep the following in mind when you are planning your intervention.

  • Some addicts can respond unpredictably to an unexpected intervention. An interventionist is trained to handle all types of responses, including violent ones.
  • A professional interventionist referred by a treatment center can take your loved one directly to the treatment center and have them admitted immediately.
  • The interventionist will meet with you ahead of time to put together a plan for practical issues like taking care of your loved one’s belongings, children, pets and home.
  • An interventionist has good insights into the mixed and difficult emotions that everyone in the family is experiencing. They are there to help you get through a difficult time.

The Role of Consequences

The interventionist will help you determine the consequences to the addict if they refuse to get treatment. This list of consequences is the most important part of an intervention plan. The consequences can include:

  • Not giving the addict any money.
  • Not allowing your loved one in your home, especially if they have stolen from you or damaged your property.
  • Not allowing the addict to live with you until they complete treatment.
  • Not driving the addict to visit friends who are addicts, their dealer, the liquor store and so on.
  • Forbidding your loved one from attending family events if they are high or drunk.

When an Intervention Goes Wrong or Doesn’t Work

Despite the best efforts of you and the interventionist, things can backfire. A professional interventionist can help you devise a backup plan to get your loved one into treatment.

What Happens if an Addict Finds Out About the Intervention Process Before the Intervention?

If your loved one discovers that you’re planning an intervention, they may be angry and resentful. At the same time, this presents an opportunity to make certain things clear to your loved one. First, tell them that you chose to hold an intervention because of your love and concern for them. Second, tell them that you have a treatment center lined up if they choose to go. Third, spell out to them what the consequences are if they refuse to get treatment. Make it clear that you are planning to follow through with the consequences on the list.

What if Your Loved One Refuses to Go?

In this case, the response is the same as above. You will have to spell out the consequences and follow through on them. This is a difficult outcome. You will have to decide if you want to stage another intervention.

What if Your Loved One Says They’re Going and Then They Don’t?

This can happen. They may swear that they’re going in order to get you off their back, then walk out the door and go right back to using their substance. You can avoid this by stating that they must leave immediately, with the interventionist.

Are You Looking for an Interventionist?

Most people are in treatment for their addiction because someone else persisted in getting them there. A skilled, experienced interventionist can increase the chances that your loved one will get the help they need. For an immediate referral to an interventionist, call our counselors anytime at 772-266-5320.

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