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Staging an Intervention for Loved one who has Relapsed

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how to stage an intervention for a loved one who has relapsed
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Loving an addict isn’t easy. Loving someone in early recovery can be a roller coaster, too. Experts believe 40-60% of people who seek substance abuse treatment relapse at some point in their recovery.[1] While relapse does not mean failure, watching a loved one bounce back and forth between relapse and recovery can be painful and even aggravating for both you and your loved one. You may wonder why he or she can’t just stay sober, and your loved one may feel guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed that they’ve let you down. But what do you do when someone who has relapsed refuses to go back to treatment?

One option is staging an intervention. An intervention can help open your loved one’s eyes to the seriousness of their addiction. It can also demonstrate your and your family’s support behind your loved one’s recovery. Knowing how to stage an intervention for someone who has relapsed can help you effectively get your loved one back on the right path.

Step One: Reflect on Your Goals

It’s easy to get frustrated with someone who continues to make bad decisions or cause harm to themselves and others. However, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and that relapse is a part of the recovery journey for many people. Long-term recovery requires professional treatment and continued management of the condition.

Rather than letting yourself get angry or upset with your loved one, remember that he or she is sick and needs your support now more than ever. Remember that your goal is not to shame your loved one. It is to help them realize they are worth a life of sobriety and that you are there to help every step of the way.

Planning an Effective Addiction Intervention For Someone Who Has Relapsed

Whether your loved one is convinced they can get sober without treatment or they simply refuse to give sobriety another shot, an intervention is a great way to change your loved one’s perspective.

You should never go into an intervention blindly. Addiction interventions should be carefully planned and rehearsed.

Speak With a Professional Interventionist

An addiction intervention specialist can help guide you through the intervention process. They can give you tips for staging your intervention, mediate the intervention so everything goes smoothly, and help transport your loved one to a licensed drug rehab facility.

Get Your Group Together, Plan, and Rehearse

Invite close friends and family members who also support your addicted loved one to help you stage the intervention. All group members should write out an impact statement that expresses each person’s concerns. Take turns rehearsing your impact statements and giving each other feedback.

Once everything is ready to go, pick a time and place for the intervention. You should also contact a local rehab facility to make arrangements for admissions so everything is ready to go if the intervention is successful.

Educate Yourselves About Addiction and Recovery

Make sure everyone in the group takes time to educate themselves about the disease of addiction. The more educated you are, the more helpful you can be. Learn about what is involved in treatment and what is needed to stay sober. Be prepared to support your loved one in all stages of his or her recovery.

Tips for Staging an Intervention After a Relapse

When the time comes to stage your intervention, you may feel anxious or scared, but you’re doing the right thing. A few tips to keep in mind include:

  • Avoid placing blame on your addicted loved one
  • Don’t yell, scream, or name-call
  • Remain calm and rely on the intervention specialist to mediate and guide the intervention
  • Ask for an immediate decision–your loved one may ask for time to think about going to rehab, but this will only enable them to keep denying their problem. Instead, let your loved one know there may be consequences if he or she doesn’t go to rehab immediately
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Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

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Find Help for Your Loved One at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

We know that relapse is a serious concern among people in recovery and their loved ones. That’s why we implement evidence-based, individualized care that has given our facility a treatment completion rate that is near twice the national average. Our team at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment has the knowledge, experience, and passion necessary to guide you and your loved one through intervention, rehabilitation, and aftercare programs that really work. Whether you need intervention support for a loved one who has relapsed or you need support for yourself, please contact our dedicated admissions coordinators today.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
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Addiction treatment specialist

Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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