what to do if an intervention failsLoving someone who is struggling with addiction can be complicated. You want what is best for them, but you don’t want to condone their bad behaviors. You may try everything in your power to convince them to go to rehab only to be met with refusal.

Many families of addicts attempt to stage an intervention with the goal of convincing their loved ones to go to rehab. But what happens if an intervention fails? What do you do next?

A failed intervention may be your worst nightmare, but it doesn’t mean your loved one is bound to a lifetime of addiction.

What to Do if an Intervention Fails

Although your intervention didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It’s important to keep your head held high and not to give up. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to make your loved one’s addiction less comfortable while also taking care of yourself.

Set and Enforce Healthy Boundaries

When your loved one refuses to get help, you probably set forth some boundaries of your own. Perhaps you told your loved one he or she cannot come into your home while under the influence or that you will no longer pay their phone bill. Be sure to enforce the boundaries you have already set while also setting new ones, as needed.

By enforcing boundaries, your loved one will begin to see just how serious you are about them getting treatment. Your loved one will realize he or she can no longer walk all over you or abuse your relationship.

Boundaries help protect you, as well. They protect you from getting emotionally, mentally, or financially hurt. By clearly defining what is and what is not acceptable, you show your loved one that you will no longer tolerate their behavior.

Don’t Enable

Enabling behaviors are those that directly or indirectly support or fuel another person’s addiction. Examples of enabling an addict include:

  • Loaning them money
  • Bailing them out of jail
  • Lying or making up excuses for their behavior
  • Tolerating problematic behavior
  • Taking responsibility for things they are capable of being responsible for

When you enable, you sacrifice your well-being for that of your addicted loved one. Enabling only allows your loved one to continue their addiction without consequence. But, when you stop enabling, your loved one will have to face the consequences of his or her actions head-first.

Many people who struggle with addiction end up accepting help and going to rehab when the consequences of their addiction become too severe. Although it can feel painful to allow your addicted loved one to endure negative outcomes, it can be an important step in convincing them to go to rehab.

Continue Offering Support to Help Them Go to Rehab

Yelling, nagging, or begging won’t get you very fair–especially if you’ve already had a failed intervention. However, it is important that you continue to remind your loved one that you are available to help them when they are ready to get sober.

Make sure your loved one knows that you are willing to help them find a rehab center, prepare for rehab, pack, and even participate in their recovery program. Your continued support will pay off in the long run.

Take Care of Yourself

One of the most important things to do after an intervention fails is to practice self-care. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a loved one’s addiction that you could end up struggling with sleepless nights, anxiety and worry, and feelings of depression or defeat. This can really drag you down and affect your well-being, so it’s vital to take care of yourself.

The saying, “you can’t take care of someone else if you can’t take care of yourself” is very true. Your well-being has to come first.

Ways you can practice self-care and get support for yourself include:

  • Treating yourself to activities you enjoy
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Following a regular sleep schedule
  • Attending a support group like Al-Anon
  • Going to counseling

Consider Involuntary Commitment

If your addicted loved one is at risk of harming themselves or others or is incapable of caring for themselves, you may consider forcing them to rehab through the courts using the involuntary commitment laws in your state. This process usually involves a court petition, a mandatory psychiatric hold or evaluation, and court-ordered rehab (if the petition is granted by the judge).

Involuntary commitment is usually the last resort for families who have tried everything, including an intervention, to get their loved ones to get professional help. If your intervention fails, this is something you and your family may consider.

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One Today

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we take pride in our dedication to working with families and loved ones to get them the support they need. Whether you need intervention support or your loved one is already agreeing to get help, our team can help. Please call now to speak with one of our dedicated addiction specialists.

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