After a Carefully Orchestrated Intervention:

Exploring the Next Steps

A well-organized intervention typically leads to the addicted person agreeing to seek help. However, it’s important to acknowledge that, in some cases, the person may refuse assistance for various reasons. 

This potential outcome should be discussed beforehand, ensuring that the family collectively understands the alternative course of action, often referred to as “plan B.”

When a Drug or Alcohol Intervention Falls Short

If, due to any circumstances, the intervention does not succeed, and the individual continues to reject the idea of seeking help, it’s important to recognize that statistically, the problem is likely to deteriorate rather than improve over time. So, what steps should the family take at this point?

The family is aware of the individual’s addiction and has presented the evidence. Therefore, any message the family says at this point carries significant weight. When the affected family member refuses treatment, they are expressing a desire to continue substance use and retain control over their own life.

Intervention Plan B: Two Possible Approaches for the Family

Scenario #1: Maintaining the Status Quo with Disappointment:

In this scenario, the family acts disappointed and carries on as usual. However, this approach may inadvertently signal to the addicted family member that persisting with drug use is acceptable. It can also lead to increased resistance to future interventions, as the individual now feels they have the upper hand.

Scenario #2: Setting Firm Boundaries:

Alternatively, the family can respond by making it clear. Through both words and actions, they understand the addict’s choice but will no longer provide financial or emotional support unless the addict decides to seek help. This approach leaves the addict responsible for their life, even though they cannot manage it effectively. Over time, the addict may realize that treatment is the best course of action and reach out for help.

Both approaches carry risks, and the family should carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each before the intervention. One undeniable fact remains: as long as the individual continues to use drugs, they are jeopardizing the most precious thing they possess—their own life.

The Key Factor in Intervention

Ultimately, the critical factor is that the person must make the personal decision to seek help, driven by their own reasons. The most rigidly enforced approaches tend to falter because the individual has not willingly committed to recovery. Typically, the person starts to combat their addiction when they face enough external pressure. This pivotal point is often referred to as “hitting rock bottom.”

However, it’s important to note that various versions of hitting rock bottom can exist. Some may be more severe than others, but each one has the potential to motivate an individual to quit drugs. The outcome depends on the circumstances that unfold at that moment.

Intervention is a critical point where the person may either receive an intervention and decide on treatment or navigate the situation and return to drug use. In the final analysis, the family often spots the incident and uses it to achieve treatment or misses and waits.

Couple crying, needing help for an intervention.

If You Require Assistance

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need guidance in locating an addiction treatment facility or seek support for addiction-related issues. Our services are both free and confidential. We specialize in aiding families in identifying the most suitable private rehabilitation centers.

Marc J. Bernard

Marc J. Bernard

Substance Use Disorder & Recovery Professional,
Referral & Consultation Counsellor

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1 888-488-8434
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