Successfully Saving Lives Since 1992

Call us Today!  800-556-8885

Doctor's Search

Drug Rehab Treatment

Top 5 Steps Reasons why Interventions Fail

A successful intervention can lead a person you love toward a drug rehab treatment program that can help them improve their lives and bring happiness and relief to those around him. However, many interventions fail because the families of those afflicted by drug addiction do not know how to lead a successful intervention. Certain factors must be in place and followed in order to get the addict to a drug rehab. Treatment may seem impossible if the addict isn’t willing to seek help. However, a formal intervention will work if done in the proper way.

After spending time interviewing several interventionists and intake counselors from various drug rehab treatment programs, I have come up with the top 5 reasons why an intervention would fail:

1. Failure to use a Professional: This may sound pitch for interventionists, but the plain fact is that most family members are not accustomed to confronting and addressing problems easily amongst themselves. They may carry guilt from the past, bring up unresolved and unrelated issues and the entire situation may turn into a screaming match which results in nothing but pain for everyone. Interventions can get so ugly that the exact opposite effect occurs, that the addict refuses help and swears off his family and jumps deeper into his own self-destruction.

Many drug rehab programs have staff trained to facilitate an intervention, or can refer you to one. These individuals guide the intervention towards the ultimate goal, which is to get your loved one to a drug rehab treatment center. They bring an unbiased opinion to what is bound to be an emotional and difficult situation for those involved and are able to see things far in advance and can lead the way towards success.

2. Wavering from the Determined Goal: Ultimately, you want your loved one to check into a drug rehab. Treatment is the only option if you are even considering an intervention, not meetings or to let him do it on his own. Do not lose focus on this once the intervention starts and make sure that all involved are willing to do what it takes to make this happen. Sometimes the addict will shift blame to other family members and try to take on the role of a victim. This can be a powerful tool of manipulation as there may be truth or guilt connected to it. Once this happens, family members start to negotiate with the addict or doubt themselves. This will have disastrous effects on the success of the intervention.

Regardless of what “dirty laundry” may come out on the table, the fact of the matter is that the addict is the one that needs help the most and although everyone may have problems in life, the addict is the one who the focus must be on. He may do or say terrible and hurtful things to get our of the intervention and back onto drugs and that must not happen.

3. A Family Divided: Involve all members of the family in the intervention planning, providing they are there to help. Ensure that everyone who will be attending is in agreement with the ultimate goal of getting the addict to a drug rehab treatment center. If one family isn’t on board, he may secretly tell the addict about the intervention in advance or may take sides with addict, thus weakening the argument for treatment and ensuring a failure. If the family members doing the intervention are bitter towards each other, the addict can turn the entire meeting into a circus of finger-pointing in order to escape the situation.

There must always be an ultimatum which is: Drug Rehab Treatment or nothing. This can be difficult for a mother who doesn’t want to “see her baby on the street” or a father who knows his son or daughter “can’t survive on their own”. If the addict knows that the parents will cut him off but the grandparents will ALWAYS take him in no matter what, the leverage is lost. If all family members have the same goal in mind and stick together, the better chance the intervention has of succeeding. After all, the idea is to HELP the addict, right? Enabling someone to continue their lifestyle of self-destruction is hardly help but a silent condoning of it.

4. Failure to have an Immediate Plan of Action.Prior to the intervention, make sure you have a plan of action that will actually get your loved one to a drug rehab where he can be treated for his addiction. Often the addict will agree to go to treatment “later” after he “takes care of a few things”. Offer to take care of those things for him so that it is one less thing to worry about. He may make excuses as to why he can’t go now; his job is too important or his school is almost done. In fact, he may convince you that his considerations are valid and it can seem like there really is no way her can go.

However, you must not let that happen. The odds are against him that he will actually make it to the drug rehab treatment center. Have a plane ticket, a ride, and an escort ready to get him there within 24 hours after the intervention takes place. You may be able to stretch this time to 48 hours at the VERY LATEST, but make sure the addict has close supervision the entire time. I spoke to several parents who were devastated after they allowed their child to put off treatment until some “important things” were taken care of, only to find their child had overdosed. Not one of these parents felt that it was worth it to wait to get the addict into treatment and all of them regretted not doing whatever they could to get their child into the drug rehab. Also, none of them foresaw the danger the addict was really in.

5. Inadequate Research of Drug Rehab Treatment. There are many types of drug rehab treatments out there and it is important to research which one will best help the addict in your life. Once you have made a decision, get in contact with the drug rehab treatment center and let them know about the intervention and you can often get some great advice. Have some of their literature on hand during the intervention, so the addict realizes that drug rehab is not prison, but simply a place to change your life.

Every drug rehab program has rules, and rightly so. Learn what they will allow and not allow. For instance, some programs do not allow cigarette smoking. If the addict smokes, this program would not be a good choice. If the intervention is on the right track, having this information immediately available will help speed the process along.

An intervention can seem overwhelming and frightening to the family of an addict and should not be underestimated. However, it can be successful if the reasons above are resolved and the corresponding steps above are followed. There is hope in getting your loved one into a type of a drug rehab treatment program that changes their lives for the better. For more information on interventions and a successful drug rehab center, visit

About the Author:
John Frank does research in the drug treatment field and has helped several individuals and families, including his own brother, find the right program and overcome addiction.