8 Common Mistakes Families Make During An Intervention May 31st, 2017 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News 8 Common Mistakes Families Make During An Intervention

8 Common Mistakes Families Make During An Intervention

mistakes families make during an intervention

Interventions are one of the best ways to encourage your loved one to get the help they need for their alcohol or substance use disorder. In most cases, the end goal is to encourage your loved one to attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

Although interventions can be a great way to get your loved one to open up about their addiction, it can have negative consequences if done incorrectly— such as your loved one storming out of the room and going into a downward spiral.

So, how do you avoid this from happening and ensure the intervention ends on a positive note? Here are eight common mistakes families make during an intervention and how to avoid them.

Waiting Until Your Loved One Has Hit Rock Bottom

You don’t need to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom before holding an intervention. Just like with any other disease, it’s best to address the situation as soon as possible—even if you aren’t really sure their situation is “bad enough.”

Look out for problem behaviors such as missing school or work, stealing money from you, or spending time with people who use. If you see these behaviors, it’s time for an intervention.

Not Having A Plan

Sometimes, people think they can pick any day and a time to host an intervention, get some people to show up, and that’s it.

This is something that should be avoided at all costs. Without the proper planning, it’s almost guaranteed that the intervention won’t end the way you want it to.

You’ll want to have a treatment plan prepared before going into the intervention so that the next step is clear. This involves calling the treatment facility and talking to doctors to make sure the transition to treatment is as smooth as possible.

Skipping A Rehearsal

Whether you’re enlisting the help of a professional interventionist or doing it on your own, having a rehearsal is critical to the intervention’s success. During this time, everyone involved will sit down and discuss details about the intervention including:

  • Who will speak and what will be said.
  • The treatment plan moving forward.
  • The best day and time to hold the intervention.
  • How your loved one will get to the intervention.

Forgoing A Professional Interventionist

Many people don’t realize that professional interventionists exist, or they’re worried about the costs associated with hiring one. However, enlisting the help of a professional can ensure the intervention goes according to plan. A trained interventionist can help you navigate tough (and unexpected) situations as they arise.

The cost of an interventionist ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on their location, travel expenses, and service provided. While this is higher than many people want to spend, it could mean the difference between an unsuccessful intervention and one that ends with your loved one going to treatment. Plus, many interventionists include ongoing support in their fees.

Letting Your Emotions Get In The Way

Addiction is not only difficult for your loved one, but it takes a toll on his or her loved ones as well. You may feel hurt, betrayed, or even angry at your loved one for their addiction and/or actions.

It’s easy to let these emotions get the most of you during an intervention, but do your best to avoid this. Yelling, finger-pointing, or getting overly emotional can make your loved one feel attacked, which may mean they close themselves off to the entire conversation. You may want to consider writing an intervention letter to read out loud to your loved one, so you can carefully plan out what you want to say and how you want to say it

Allowing Them To Negotiate

Remember the treatment plan you created prior to the intervention? Now is the time to stick to it.

Sometimes, the individual will realize that they need help, but they don’t want to follow the plan you’ve provided. Instead, they’ll try to negotiate with you by saying, “instead of going to treatment, I’ll move out of my significant other’s place and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.”

While this may feel like a “win” to you, it’s not the treatment plan you developed. And what if they don’t follow through? Who will hold them accountable? Plus, detoxing from drugs or alcohol at home can be dangerous, and it’s best that they’re under medical supervision.

Waiting Too Long To Follow Through

After the intervention, it’s critical that your loved one goes to treatment as soon as possible. If you wait too long, they may lose their motivation and fall back into a state of denial about their addiction. This is why it’s so important to plan ahead and have everything ready to go.

Giving Them Money

Your loved one has accepted treatment, and now they’re off to a treatment center away from home. While it may feel natural to send them off with some money for their travels, it may not be the best time to do so.

Their emotions are still raw, and they may still be tempted to use. A lot can happen between the time they leave you and get to their destination. Give them only enough money to get to their final destination. Once they arrive, they’ll be met by a representative from the treatment facility.

We’re Here To Help

If you’re trying to help your loved one overcome their addiction, you don’t have to do it alone. At The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, we’re here to help you in any way we can, whether that means helping you prepare for an intervention or setting up a treatment plan for your loved one. Contact us today, and let us help your loved one start their journey to recovery.


Intervention: Help A Loved One Overcome Addiction. (2014, September 26). Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/intervention/ART-20047451

VanVonderen, J. (2008, November 27). Crisis Intervention and Mistakes Families Make. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.nacr.org/wordpress/404

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.