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According to a national survey, 21.5 million adults in the United States suffer from a substance abuse disorder.

Seeing a statistic is one thing. Watching it happen in person is another. Watching a loved one suffer from a substance abuse disorder can be heart-wrenching.

And although many people choose to intervene, not every intervention is successful. In fact, a mismanaged intervention can drive an addict further into substance abuse.

Having a list of intervention tips is a great start, but it isn’t enough. To understand how to host a successful intervention, it’s important to understand why so many go wrong.

Here are the biggest reasons why an alcohol and drug intervention may fail.

The Intervention Is Held for the Wrong Reason

At the core of the issue lies a rather complicated issue: Intent.

Of course, the intention of an addiction intervention is to hopefully convince your loved one that they need professional assistance dealing with their substance abuse issues.

Yet too many people misunderstand the reasoning behind holding an intervention.

Instead, what should be an opportunity to express feelings of love and concern becomes an emotionally-charged airing of grievances that often results in more guilt than good.

Don’t misunderstand, an intervention should be a relieving experience for all involved. But that emotional release shouldn’t come at the expense of the addict.

Interventions fail when people neglect to consider their choice of words. Say what needs to be said, but do so in a constructive, helpful manner. Without being properly prepared and having a written communication to the addict, it is very common for an intervention to go off the rails. Family and friends can get drawn into banter and arguments due to the nature of the sensitive situation.

To get your loved one back, focus less on blame and more on love.

There’s No Plan of Action in Place

A well-planned intervention follows three stages:

  • The planning stage
  • The execution stage
  • The post-intervention stage.

While each step is significant in its own right, the final stage is often the most important.

Without a plan for what will occur following the intervention, the intervention becomes less a means of change and more an uncomfortable gathering.

Always go into an intervention with an exit strategy. Ideally, this should be assisting the addict in heading to a local treatment facility. You may even choose to bring in a substance abuse interventionist.

Don’t get so caught up in the problem that you forget to offer a solution.

A Lack of Dedication

No matter how steeped in addiction a person is, it’s impossible to see them as anything other than someone you love. While holding onto that love can help influence the outcome of the intervention, it’s important that parties don’t let love get in the way of change.

Too many interventions fail due to a lack of dedication.

The addict often experiences heightened levels of emotion, too. They may beg and plead, promising lofty changes beginning today.

Though it may be tempting to take them at their word, chances are they’re only trying to get out of the situation.

Commit to change and make sure all other parties are equally invested. One weak link has the potential to break the whole chain.

Don’t Make These Alcohol And Drug Intervention Mistakes

Those looking to host an alcohol and drug intervention for a loved one would do well to avoid these three mistakes.

Always lead with love, have an actionable plan, and make sure everyone wants the same change.

If you’re looking for help with your intervention, send us a message today. It may save your loved one’s life.


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