What to do if Your Intervention Fails

After discovering that a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, you and your family members may have decided that an intervention would be the best way to help. Interventions require time, planning and the guidance of a professional addictions counselor. Even with the investment of time and expertise, it’s possible for an intervention to fail. This occurrence can leave you feeling hopeless and at your wit’s end about how to get a family member or friend the help that’s needed.But all hope is not lost. Despite the fact that the intervention didn’t lead to your loved one entering rehabilitation, you’ve planted a seed. Your continued efforts will build upon what you’ve started and can help make a positive difference in the life of someone who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol.

How to Continue Your Quest for Help

    • Learn More about Addiction. The National Library of Medicine states that prolonged addiction changes the brain’s structure, as well as how it functions. These changes can cause a person who’s normally a logical thinker to be beyond reason. It can help you tremendously to understand how someone is being affected by substance abuse and can ease frustration toward the person who’s refusing help.
    • Continue Talking Openly. Matter-of-fact, nonjudgmental conversations do not need to stop just because an intervention has failed, relays HelpGuide.org. If your family member isn’t ready for help, he or she may have an excuse for everything you say. Stick to the facts and don’t engage in an argument. It’s important to continue speaking to your loved one in a calm, firm manner to offer support and help.
    • Obtain Support for Yourself. It’s as important to take care of yourself as it is to show concern for the individual who’s abusing alcohol or drugs. Seek counseling with someone who has experience dealing with family members of people that are suffering from addiction. Attend a support group to share stories and experiences, and gain support and wisdom. Do not sacrifice self-care in the process of helping the individual you care about.
    • Maintain Boundaries Explained During Intervention. During the intervention, you expressed how you were affected by the person’s substance abuse and what your response or actions would be if they chose to continue abusing alcohol or drugs. Maintain the boundaries you’ve set, allowing your family member to experience the consequences to his actions.
  • Avoid Blame, Shame and Begging. Wait until the individual is sober to talk about drug or alcohol abuse, instructs the University of Rochester Medical Center. Likewise, no matter how desperate you’re feeling, do not allow your emotions to get the best of you during a conversation. Blaming, shaming and begging are ineffective tactics that can leave you feeling defeated while pushing your family member into defensive mode.

There’s No Need to Go it Alone

Before and during an intervention, you were able to benefit from the support of other like-minded individuals who shared your concerns. Together you sought help for a family member, friend or coworker dealing with substance abuse. After the intervention is over and the person abusing drugs or alcohol continued to do so, you likely felt alone. But you don’t need to continue alone as you try to obtain help for someone you care about.In addition to attending a support group or counseling, you can also gain further information and assistance from a professional at a substance abuse treatment center. Addictions counselors are available to answer questions and offer support as you work toward getting help for someone you care about. Don’t give up; your efforts can change someone’s life and help them become sober.
Sourceshttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring07/articles/spring07pg14-17.html http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2255

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