The Finance Guy (Francis)
Francis was the finance guy, largely successful as a hedge fund manager. His lifestyle was full of excess; he earned a lot of money, and he spent a lot of money. He was a hard-charging guy who didn’t think twice about renting a jet for a weekend in Vegas. He had more than one fully staffed vacation home.
Francis also left a trail of destruction behind him wherever he went. Even his group of friends seemed shocked at some of the things he got away with. His life was like “The Hangover” in real life.
Like some other extremely wealthy people, Francis could not see his addiction. Money can allow for addictions to stretch on for years. A very wealthy person may never hit an external rock bottom. No matter how bad it gets, they have luxury all around them.
Francis started using in high school. In college, he was on the “Ivy League Cocktail” of Adderall and Klonopin, and this continued in his first job. The addiction worked well for him as a young trader at a bank. He had to work long hours and be “on” all the time. The Adderall helped him excel.
A Call From the Boss
Years later, things came to a head. Francis’s employer called me for help. The company knew that Francis had a problem. He’d managed it well enough for years, and while he was difficult to work with, he was able to (mostly) keep it together at work. Recently, things had changed. Francis had made a few careless errors and the firm was considering firing him. However, Francis had worked for the company for a long time, his firing would be very public, and when he was on he was really good at what he did. His boss wanted to give him a shot.
When doing an intervention, we often look for leverage that can be used to encourage people to attend treatment. Like parents withholding money or parents setting boundaries around childcare. In Francis’s case, we didn’t have to look far. If he didn’t go to treatment he was going to be fired and lose millions of dollars.
When we first spoke with Francis, he couldn’t see his addiction. Partly, I thought, because of the way his wealth insulated him. He thought he was getting away with his drug use, that though there were problems his money could usually get him out of any situation. Quickly, he began to crack. He realized that he was miserable, and that combined with the ultimatum from his employer made him amenable to treatment.
Francis has had tremendous success in his recovery, as if the intervention switched on a light in his soul. He went to treatment and years later has never had another drink. He still enjoys an unusually luxurious lifestyle, but he is also very committed to attending AA meetings and sponsoring other individuals. He’s become softer, more caring, and even more focused at work.
About Adam Banks
Adam Banks is a certified interventionist and the owner of Adam Banks Recovery. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Adam built a company acquired by United Health Care. His discipline and attention to detail comes from his former career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.
Today, Adam is dedicated to helping others achieve long-term sobriety. His work has guided executives, pilots, and physicians on paths to recovery. Adam brings families together through a loving and inclusive approach.
Adam has authored four books on addiction. His recent work, Navigating Recovery Ground School: 12 Lessons to Help Families Navigate Recovery, educates families on the entire intervention process. He also offers a free video course for families considering an intervention for a loved one.
Adam is available for alcohol and drug intervention services in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons as well as nationally and internationally.