It is important to understand that an intervention is a process to elicit change and not a one-off dramatic event.
Families are at or near wits end when they come to hire an interventionist, they often visualize a made for TV intervention, sitting around in a circle, and reading letters to their loved one. Few interventions look like this.
An intervention is best looked at like a project that you would complete at work. Consideration is given to the costs, the benefits, a team is built, meetings are scheduled, and tasks are completed. Intervention is taking the addiction out of the management role and installing family and friends in place to manage the addition. Addition is always chaotic; the process of intervention formalizes a recovery plan and puts an interventionist in the position of a project manager.
The entire process of intervention will take about 90 days. The first week is very busy as the family does pre-intervention planning. When a loved one checks into treatment, the family network continues to meet to offer loving support to the person in treatment, we show the addicted person that the family is also doing work to recover and support success. As treatment progresses, plans are made for after-care that support long-term recovery.
The First Step
The first step in the process of intervention is to educate loved ones and friends around the addicted person (AP). Family and friends need to understand addiction and the treatment options at a higher level to offer support and advice that will work. Intervention begins to change the interactions between the family and the AP. This work can begin immediately – Adam Banks Recovery provides a video course, Pre-intervention Handbook and book, Navigating Recovery.
The next step is to consider “the business deal”. Adam Banks Recovery will help the family identify treatment options and facilities. We factor the total costs of treatment and insurance coverage. There are many options for rehab, from low-costs to very high-cost centers. Identifying and learning about treatment centers gets the entire network behind a specific plan. This is one of the most important aspects of an intervention.
As the family is learning and planning for a placement in treatment, we will be discussing how to “get in front of” your loved one. There are 4 escalating levels to an intervention:
Level 1 – Prep Work
Adam Banks Recovery will learn about the history of the identified loved one and begin to identify treatment options. This process begins with the first call into Adam Banks Recovery. The family is given resources to get up to speed on addiction and an affordable treatment plan. This process is completed over Zoom and typically takes 2 or 3 meetings.
Consideration is given to any conversations that might be considered by the AP to be “behind their back”. To prevent an AP from feeling betrayal we often invite them to be a part of Level 1 work; it is an intervention that doesn’t feel like an intervention and has a very positive outcome.
As the family becomes educated on the plan for treatment, everyone in the network will become an interventionist. Often placement in treatment happens without a formal intervention.
Level 2 – Soft Confrontation
When an AP will not engage with the intervention, we use our plan to “get in front” of them. The first attempt to talk to the ILO happen over Zoom, inviting an ILO to a Zoom meeting is less confrontational than a meeting in person as the AP doesn’t feel boxed in “on their own property”.
Level 2 meetings are about the immediate plan for recovery and the meetings are moderated to avoid looking back at the painful past, focusing on the solution, not the problem. The task-at-hand is to get the AP to enter a recovery program.
There may be several level 2 meetings that include an expanded network; we will be looking for influential people, grandparents, old friends, former teachers, work colleagues.
Most interventions are successful at Level 2.
Level 3 – Hard Confrontation
A Level 3 intervention is confronting the AP with the intervention network. Level 3 is as an escalated option, and in most situations, we try to avoid a Level 3 meeting.
There are significant safety issues, such as dangerous drug use, drinking and driving, or a danger to others, a Level 3 intervention happens very quickly. The goal of a Level 3 meeting is an immediate admission into a treatment program to prevent imminent negative consequences.
Level 4 – Law Enforcement or EMS
In some cases, the ILO is too sick to engage logically in any treatment options. If they are at risk of overdose, or have significant mental health deficits, such as drug induced psychosis, admission to a hospital for detox and / or psychiatric stabilization may be the only option.
A Level 3 intervention is done to ensure a facility-to- facility transfer of the AP.
The levels above may be used at different times and can be cycled through quickly, it is always the goal to keep the process non-confrontational and positive.
Intervention Timeline Example
- Introductory call
- Current situation assessed by Adam Banks Recovery
- Safety of family and AP is considered
- Is this mental health and/or addiction?
Network reviews, “Pre-Intervention Guide” and video course
- First Zoom with support network
- Financial considerations of treatment options – budget created
- Addiction recovery, importance of 30, 60, 90 days
- Review in-network and out-of-network treatment options
- Goals of treatment for network
Insurance card submitted to ABR
Network reviews, “Navigating Recovery”, Preparing for Facility Placement, Understanding Addiction Before the Intervention
- Zoom education session with network, AP maybe invited
- Education on addiction and recovery options
- Identify secondary crisis
- Appropriate treatment facilities considered
- Plans for treatment placement, transportation, pets, employer, child care, financial
Call treatment centers for information
Network reviews: Choosing a Treatment Center: 10 Questions to Ask, The Other Crisis, All I Want is for Them to Stop Drinking
- Zoom education session with network, AP is invited
- Finalize treatment center selection
- Organize family support for secondary crisis
- Prepare for intervention, select time and location
- Prepare individuals statements for intervention
Write statement for intervention
How to Prepare for a Zoom Intervention
Day 5: Intervention
- Transport to facility
The Week Before Treatment: Life After the Intervention
- Follow up Zoom sessions as needed
- Regroup with network to create new plan as necessary (in person intervention)
- Prepare network for calls to leave by AP
Network reviews: Common Rehab Tall Tales and What to Expect when a Family Member Checks into Treatment
Week 3 & 4
AP in treatment, transition to network support
- Weekly Zoom sessions with network
- Creating a supportive environment for AP
- After care plans put in place (IOP / Sober Living)
Network Reviews: The Addict Family System and the Roles we Play and Returning Home for Treatment – Considerations for the Family
Family plan aftercare / reintegration
- Support for re-integration
- Aftercare plan put into action, therapy, sober living, 12 step meetings, IOP
- High intensity around reintegration, transition back home or to sober living
Network Reviews: Family Recovery Agreement and Emotional Detachment Supports Health Recovery
Month 3 & Beyond
After care support
Weekly Zoom sessions with AP and networkNetwork Reviews: Where Are My Amends and Trauma
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.