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What If Trying an Intervention Makes Things Worse?

What If Trying an Intervention Makes Things Worse?

Even if you conduct the best intervention, your loved one may choose to refuse immediate treatment

When you take the time and effort to put together an intervention in hopes of convincing a loved one to go into drug rehab for his clonazepam addiction, you envision a positive outcome. You hope that your loved one will agree immediately to treatment. However, even if you conduct the best intervention, your loved one may choose to refuse immediate treatment. This is not a sign of failure. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) reported that in 2012, over 23 million people needed treatment for drug addiction, but only a 2.5 million of those people (about 11 percent) received treatment at a specialized facility. Lots of people didn’t get the help they needed. In some cases, an intervention is only one step in an addict’s journey toward sobriety. In the meantime, you and your loved one must move forward in your relationship as well as your individual lives.

The First Next Step—Enforcement of Consequences

During the course of your intervention, you should have outlined the consequences that you would enforce if your loved one chose not to go to treatment for his clonazepam addiction. This was probably stated something like, “If you continue using clonazepam, I will…” Because your loved one refused help, you must follow through with the consequences. This may mean filing for separation, refusing to pay for rent, asking your loved one to move out, or having children removed from the home. Whatever you promised, you must do—quickly. A swift response communicates the seriousness of the situation and your commitment to change the dynamics of your relationship. If you do not follow through, your loved one will not see a need to change. In all likelihood, you will find yourself in an unsafe and unmanageable situation until you change the relationship.

Refuse to Play the Bargaining Game

The prospect of going to treatment is scary. Your loved one is afraid of what will happen during treatment, what emotional demons he will face, and what changes he will have to make. To avoid treatment while still trying to placate you, your loved one will try to bait you into playing the bargaining game. He will try to convince you that he can quit abusing clonazepam without getting help. He will promise to change if you just give him another chance. He will offer to make some minor change (that he will fail to follow through on) as a token of his newfound commitment. Don’t get caught in this game. It’s a no-win situation. Bargaining is just another form of manipulation. Instead of trying to find a compromise (there is none), explain that the only behavior that you are willing to accept is going to treatment and being committed to complete it—immediately. Such a hardline stance may seem unloving, harsh or mean. However, it is one of the most loving actions you can take.

Establish and Maintain Boundaries with the Clonazepam Addict

One of the dynamics at play between and addict and other people is a lack of personal boundaries. According to a 2012 article from Psych Central, boundaries are simply limits and guidelines about what kind of treatment you will accept from another person. According to a 2011 article from Psychology Today, an addict often manipulates, ignores, or destroys the boundaries of others, creating an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes, they punish or bully you into complying with their wishes or helping them. To change this dynamic, you must decide what is best for you (not your loved one), what your own needs are, and when you will say no. Then you must communicate that metaphorical line in the sand. Your loved one will test those boundaries to see if you are serious. It is important to hold the line. According to a 2009 article from the Huffington Post, setting and defending your boundaries is the backbone of changing the dynamics of the relationship and taking care of yourself.

Begin to Take Care of Yourself

Caring for your loved one has likely been a central part of your life up to this point. You have probably let your own needs and interests fade into the background while you focused your time and attention on your loved one’s clonazepam addiction. Caring for a loved one is an admirable pursuit, but when it comes with the price of foregoing your own needs, it has become unhealthy. According to a 2009 article from Everyday Health, it is important to realize that what’s most important for you is to find help for yourself, not necessarily your loved one. You can find counselors and/or join support groups that focus on people affected by substance abuse. In that setting, you have the opportunity to learn how to set and establish boundaries, communicate your own needs and wants, and how to love a person without approving of their behavior. You will discover that you can pursue a fulfilling, healthy life regardless of someone else’s choices.

Getting Help for Clonazepam Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs (like clonazepam), we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. One of our admissions coordinators can talk with you confidentially, explaining the options for treatment and helping you to determine what is best for you. Your clonazepam addiction will destroy your relationships and possibly cost you your life. It’s just not worth the risk. Take that important first step and call us today.