If interventions were that easy, then people with addictions would be willing to sit through them or even ask to have their friends and family stage one. However, in real life, interventions do not always go as planned, and there could be unexpected outcomes.
Rather, someone with an addiction may not want addiction treatment because they simply have not come to terms that they have a problem. They might not see how their behavior is affecting those around them.
During the intervention, the objective is to attempt to get the addict to admit they have a problem and to motivate them to seek treatment. Yet, even with the best-laid plans, things can and do go wrong. Being drawn into a room with your family and friends and told you have a problem is not what an addict wants to hear.
Rather, they could respond negatively, such as:
- The addict may become argumentative and even angry.
- The addict could decide to leave the room or even the home.
- The addict could refuse treatment and tell everyone they don’t have a problem.
- The addict could take offense and start to verbally attack others.
Keep in mind, the addict could be under the influence, so their responses to an intervention will be different than if they were sober. In addition, one or more of the addict’s family or friends could get fed up and not remain focused. These things, along with how the addict reacts to an intervention, could cause it to break down quickly.
Even though your loved one refused treatment after an initial intervention, it does not mean it was unsuccessful. At the very least, you put your loved one on notice that you are aware of his or her problem. This allows you to take certain actions that could end up helping convince them to seek treatment.
- Do not enable them. You want to take care to not become an enabler, as this can further justify an addict’s behavior.
- Do not give them money. Supporting their addiction by giving them money will not get them to stop. Even if they say the money is for something else, do not do it.
- Do not try to bargain with them. It is not uncommon to attempt to bargain and come to a compromise with an addiction, such as “If you love me, you will …” The addict needs to admit they have a problem and want to start recovery for themselves, not anyone else.
- Do hold the line. You can still be loving and supportive without giving in to the demands of an addict.
- Do let them hit rock bottom. Getting an addict to admit they have a problem may require letting them hit rock bottom.
- Do hold another intervention. Stage a second intervention after determining what went wrong. You may want to call in a professional this time to help.
For further advice on how to hold an intervention, or if your loved one is ready to start drug and alcohol rehab treatment, please feel free to contact BlueCrest Recovery Center at (973) 453-5384 today!