One of the true but very saddening facts about interventions is that they often do not work. The truth is, ninety percent of all those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are actually not at all willing to seek out treatment, and in fact they are so stuck in their addiction problem and mindset that they in fact don’t even think that they have a problem. A lot of them don’t even see that abusing drugs and alcohol is something that they should not be doing, and some of them do indeed see it as bad, but they think that they have some kind of degree of control over it, as silly or as ridiculous as that might seem.
So, when it comes to intervening with such individuals, it can be quite tricky because they can be very difficult to work with, no matter how well planned the intervention is and no matter how great the interventionist is. In the end what it will really come down to is the individual addict himself or herself. Some people will not be helped. Some people refuse to get treatment. The truth of the matter is that a hefty percentage of people who abuse drugs and alcohol will simply continue to abuse those substances until they die from it and that is just the way it is going to be.
However the family members and loved ones of addicts can make a great deal of effort in saving a loved one who is addicted, and they can definitely make a difference in whether or not the individual dies from his or her substance abuse or not. A factor that people forget about a lot is that they absolutely can keep trying with an addict, and they absolutely can keep trying to get him or her to go to treatment to get help, and they absolutely can make more than one and in fact several attempts at convincing an individual to get off of drugs and alcohol once and for all by intervening with that individual over and over again if necessary.
Intervention: Take Two
One of the key problems is that many family members and loved ones of addicts tend to view an intervention that didn’t ultimately end with their loved one successfully entering an addiction treatment program as a failure of greater or lesser degree, but a failure nonetheless. What ends up happening is that, as far as the family members are concerned, their loved one’s continued and seemingly unstoppable drug abuse seems like a clear message that the intervention didn’t work and that they might as well give up because that person is just going to keep abusing drugs and alcohol no matter what the family does about it or attempts to do about it.
This is actually a pretty strong misconception though. The truth is, interventions and treatment both, quite like that of addiction itself, are not that simple by any means at all. Many substance abuse treatment professionals will tell you that there are varying degrees and stages of readiness on the part of the addict, or simplified down there are different stages or, “levels”, so to speak that an addicted person tends to go through in their overall evolution from being an addict in complete and utter denial of their problem to becoming an addict who is able to accept the idea that they can and will benefit from treatment, that they do have a problem, and that they have to get help for that problem if they hope to survive and not ultimately die from it.
Consider this. If your loved one simply was absolutely and in no way at all able to recognize that they had a serious addiction problem that really did require treatment for, or if your loved one was just not at all ready to face his or her tantamount fears that come with learning how to live their life without drugs and alcohol, then the time just wasn’t right for them. That’s all. It does not mean that the time will never be right for them, or that the family, the friends, and you should just up and give it up on them.
The more correct and the more optimistic way to look at all of this is to see it from the perspective that that first intervention actually succeeded in planting a seed and, even if they don’t know it yet, helped the addict in that process of change, moving them a step forward in their ability to get help in the long run.
Give it Another Shot
If you staged an intervention and it didn’t work and your family member of loved one was not willing to do to rehab, then just try again a few days or a week later. Many people, especially young adults, tend to need some time to work things out and puzzle over things in their minds. They really do need a few days to chew over all of the communication and the thoughts that were portrayed back and forth in their initial intervention.
So, have another meeting with the family, make another plan, assemble the team, and take another crack at it. The second intervention is almost always far easier and more comfortable than the first one is, and it is far more likely that your loved one will agree to go to treatment at the end of the second intervention if he or she said no at the end of the first. Remember, this is the life of a family member we are talking about here, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Certainly, it is worth another attempt to save that life.