What If They Fight The Intervention?

How to React if Your Loved One is Resistant to Intervention

If you have a family member or close friend struggling with alcohol dependency or a drug addiction, you have felt its debilitating impact on his life and your relationship. You can see its destructive effects. Maybe you're thinking of staging an intervention.

What is an Intervention?

In an intervention, family members and close friends gather with a specialist in addiction intervention to confront the individual about their addiction. An intervention can be the catalyst to start the addict on their road to recovery. But sometimes, the addict resists intervention, despite the testimony of loved ones who insist on change. Here's hope if someone you love refuses to take steps to change when confronted with the damage of their addiction.

Often, addicts are in denial about the seriousness of their addiction and its impact on their life. They may think the problem lies with their family, workplace, or friends. With an intervention, you can show him specific examples of how his actions have harmed himself and others and it will no longer be tolerated.

Come Prepared

Come prepared with a plan for treatment for the addict. If he needs a medical detox or inpatient treatment have it already set up and ready for him to enter. Show him how his life can change for the better with treatment.

Remember Love and Support

Your loved one needs your encouragement and support, but not enablement. You can show empathy for difficult things she has gone through, but don't commiserate with her. If she complains that treatment is too difficult or your requests are unreasonable, sympathy will only reinforce treatment is too hard and will weaken her resolve to follow through.

Ready For Change

Your loved one may not be ready for a change, but you must emphasize the necessity of treatment. Be prepared with consequences in the event the addict refuses treatment. Let them know you will no longer bail them out of jail if arrested on a DUI, or you will notify the authorities if you find drugs in your home, or you will no longer allow the addict to live at home if they do not seek treatment.

Follow Through

Be prepared to follow through with the consequences you set and not back down. Do not weaken your resolve when they insist they will change or will work on their sobriety later. When you threatened action in the past it didn't work, but the addict will try to call your bluff again until you show you are serious and take the action your promised you would. Sometimes an intervention doesn't have the outcome you wished for and the addiction decides to live with the consequences instead of giving up his addiction. Eventually, most people will be able to see their addiction is causing too much damage in their life, so they may be ready at another time. If there has been a crisis like an arrest or health scare, staging a second intervention can underscore the seriousness of the situation and the addict will be ready to take the steps necessary for recovery.