Intervention is Fair

Intervention is Fair

Move away from thinking that the intervention will be a one off emotional event, and consider intervention to be the entire process laid out in this course. Setting boundaries and expectations allows the family to work together in a supportive way. The experience is fair only when there is complete transparency among the entire network. Addiction thrives on secrecy. The family, including the AP, will unite as a team and begin this journey under an agreed upon contract. 

  • Interventions draw clear lines in the sand.
  • The family network is completely transparent.
  • The family acts as board of directors guided by a fair consensus. 
  • The intervention follows a four level process of escalation that ends in a mutual contract to seek treatment. 

Intervention is Clear

It’s up to the person of concern if they choose to continue using drugs and alcohol. They must understand that they hold the freedom of that choice. Their decision to use will be met with clearly defined consequences. We hope that these defined consequences will help them understand the severity of their addiction and how it is affecting the people around them and will push them into treatment

Intervention has witnesses

Prior to intervention, each family member may have attempted to draw boundaries on their own. This can be very difficult, especially against a fully developed addiction. The family must make decisions and draw consequences as a whole. Having one person with a contrasting set of boundaries will leave an opening for the addiction to attack. Coming together on one unified front leaves no room for the AP to manipulate the situation. If one person has to set specific boundaries, it is fair that they get to express that to the entire group, so everyone understands.

Intervention is fair

Intervention is fair when both sides are given an opportunity to tell what they need and what they want. A fair path forward is defined when both sides understand each other. The addicted person is free to make their own decision, while the family is justified in setting clear boundaries. 

Intervention stops secrets 

Prior to intervention, no one person has the entire story and each person is responding to the story that the AP has told them or what they see. Addiction thrives on secrecy and division among the family. While parents talk behind closed doors, siblings and friends keep secrets. Close friends typically know more than others when it comes to the person of concern’s habits. Think how unfair this is to family members, you’re all responding to the situation with partial information fed to you by the AP with the intent of keeping their addiction going. Intervention puts the whole truth onto the table so that addiction cannot play its secrets against the family. 

Intervention has consensus

The choice of the AP needs to be acceptable to both sides. It’s common to see the person of concern choosing a path of the least resistance, which comes across as unfair and ineffective to the family. The family will express what they need from the person of concern, the process they expect the AP to follow, and the accountability that the family needs to reestablish trust. Intervention is fair when everyone can reach a consensus. 

Intervention establishes a board of directors

Prior to intervention, each member of the family is left to figure out what to do on their own. Intervention is a group effort. It establishes a process for everyone to form a plan as one unit. The results of consequences of voiding this ‘family contract’ are clearly explained when boundaries are presented. It is critical that the group comes to a consensus on every decision. Going rogue will leave room for the addiction to divide and conquer this process.

Intervention Follows a Four Level Process

Interventions that follow a process almost always result in an agreement to seek treatment. We consider interventions to have 4 levels, escalating in intensity. We always want to remain at the least confrontation level. Sometimes we escalate up a level and then return to the lower level once the situation has become contained. The most assertive style of intervention is used as a last resort or in emergency situations.


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.

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