Setting the Stage for Relapse - Post-intervention Resentment

A post-intervention resentment occurs when a person preparing to leave residential treatment attempts to dodge the next phase of rehabilitation, such as outpatient treatment or sober living, by claiming a resentment about the intervention that got them into treatment.

This can include accusations that the family plotted an unnecessary ambush, and further stating they would have gone to treatment, if only the family had talked to them prior about their drinking.


The addict’s goal is to turn the attention away from themselves and place it on the family. This is an attempt at guilt for having an intervention and an attempt to negate additional treatment. It’s similar to an attempt to get off on a technicality, despite the smoking gun and matching fingerprints.


Post-intervention resentment is nothing more than a manipulation manufactured by an addict to get out of staying in treatment longer than originally expected. If the treatment team recommends additional treatment there’s a reason for it. If you were in the hospital with an infectious disease, and the doctor said you have to stay for additional treatment, there would be no discussion about it. This situation is quite similar; addiction is acute, progressive and fatal if not treated.


By the time a family hires an interventionist there’s typically a long history of them trying to appeal to the addict or alcoholic on reasonable terms. The belief you can explain to an addict how their choices are killing them, while also destroying the family, is often unachievable. Addiction is a disease of the brain that shuts down a person’s executive decision making abilities.

Manipulation and guilt are an addicts’ hallmarks. When your addicted loved one accuses you of betraying their trust, don’t forget what the addiction has led them to do in the past. Many addicts lie, steal money, disrupt sleep/sanity, and ruin family vacations, events and holidays. Sadly, the list could go on regarding the toll addictions can take on our relationships. 

Please remember to follow the treatment team’s recommendations; don’t allow yourself to be manipulated and blamed for someone else’s actions.


Marc Kantor is an interventionist based in South Florida with over fifteen years of sobriety; he can be reached at 202-390-2273 or by e-mail at marc@southfloridaintervention.com.