Addressing a loved one’s drug addiction is challenging enough without throwing a failed intervention in the mix. When a loved one is unwilling or unable to come to terms with their substance use issues, family members often feel discouraged, overwhelmed and hopeless. But just because an intervention fails doesn’t mean your loved ones won’t eventually seek treatment.

Instead, failed interventions simply mean you need more patience, determination and hope. An addicted family member may know they are loved — but in the throes of their disorder, they can’t seek the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Knowing what to do when an intervention fails can offer some peace of mind despite the severity of the situation.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Maintain Boundaries Set During the Intervention

Despite the failed intervention, chances are you set boundaries to encourage your loved one to seek treatment. Whatever boundaries you put forth during that meeting still stand despite the outcome. One of the ways to stop the situation from spinning any further out of control for the entire family is to enforce the boundaries that protect the well-being of the larger family unit.

Drug abuse doesn’t just impact the person using drugs; it also impacts everyone around them. It’s imperative that you protect your own mental well-being and that of others in the family by reinforcing boundaries.

Prepare Yourself for a Poor Reaction

Once you set and enforce boundaries, your addicted family member may have a very negative reaction, and you and your loved ones may be the target of it. Interventions fail when families are ill-prepared for a bad outcome and the impact that may follow. Any future interventions to address drug or alcohol issues are incumbent on your ability to hold to your bottom line.

Get ready for a negative reaction and resolve among the entire family not to react, no matter how angry, stressed or sad your loved one may be.

Get Help on Your Own

Depending on the role you’ve played in your loved one’s drug abuse, this is the best time to get your own therapy. Even if the intervention failed, it’s imperative to work through some of the challenges of this issue as a family. Perhaps you’ve been traumatized by decisions your loved one made at the height of their addiction; alternatively, you may have issues with codependence or enabling. Whatever challenge you face, you’ve been negatively affected by your loved one’s alcohol and drug abuse in some way. Therefore, you must work on it despite your loved one’s unwillingness to do the same.

Substance abuse rarely impacts just the person struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. True recovery is only possible if the entire family unit gets help in breaking toxic patterns developed during active use. While drug use treatment is the first goal on the recovery journey, healing for the entire family is the ultimate ideal to attain. Getting therapy for the trauma you’ve endured due to exposure to your loved one’s drug and alcohol addiction is a step in the right direction for the entire family.

Learn More About Addiction

The more you know about drug abuse, the better prepared you’ll be about the realities of recovery and drug rehab. Interventions fail when families don’t understand drug and alcohol abuse. As such, addiction education can also help you plan a successful intervention. Take time to learn about a loved one’s addiction from a professional interventionist. Seek knowledge on your own from other professional resources so you better understand your loved one’s addiction and their need to receive treatment. Find out information about your loved one’s health insurance capabilities to determine what’s possible in terms of treatment.

This is also a good opportunity to learn more about the treatment options available for substance use disorder. Educating yourself on addiction helps you understand any treatment plan recommended for your loved one and can set you up to be a more viable support for your addicted loved one. Moreover, intervention education provides you with some of the tools to avoid another failed intervention in the future.

Be Patient in Case of a Failed Intervention

Above all else, patience is the most important tool you can employ when your loved one refuses treatment. You may be on your first intervention, second intervention or many interventions into this process. You may have to exemplify a significant amount of patience when watching a loved one needing treatment and struggling in the throes of drug addiction.

The best thing you can do, barring another intervention, is just wait until your loved one is ready and willing to accept treatment. Be ready in the event you’re needed immediately to help get them into treatment, and avoid enabling behaviors that may render any intervention you might do useless. Substance use recovery is not a straight path; sometimes, the road to treatment is lined with many false starts. This doesn’t mean that intervention as an approach doesn’t work. Rather, it means that the complexities of this issue warrant added patience and hope.

Choose an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program to Fit Your Needs

Choosing the best treatment center for your family member or friend is imperative. The right treatment center can make all the difference in the addiction recovery process. The more program offerings a treatment center has, the more robust its approach is likely to be. Addicted loved ones may not appreciate your efforts to help them while they’re actively using, but chances are they will once they begin their recovery journey. Working with a certified interventionist is just the first step in this process.

Camelback Recovery combines its approach to substance abuse treatment with mental health treatment to address any co-occurring disorders that may feed addiction. We help our patients regain their love of life while engaging them in a lifelong recovery process built to withstand potential pitfalls. Contact us today at 602-466-9880 to learn more about our intervention services in Arizona.


Camelback Recovery’s therapy center provides treatment to residents across the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix area which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Glendale. Click the button below to read more testimonials from our happy and sober alumni.

Camelback recovery is amazing. The environment is great and welcoming. I highly recommend this place to anybody who is looking to better their life.

Joseph C

It was a really good experience! I made some stable friendships, had a lot of fun, and got to reside in an absolutely beautiful house.

Allie H