What an Intervention Looks Like

What an Intervention Looks Like

What an intervention looks like is not what you typically see on TV. To have a successful intervention we must consider what drives addiction and what roadblocks will attempt to hinder the path to recovery. Many of the concerns our loved one has can be anticipated and handled prior to entering treatment. When everyone involved participates in thorough planning it is easier for the addicted person to say yes to treatment. 

  • Intervention is not as seen on television. It is a loving experience void of drama. 
  • Addiction is driven by experiences, triggers, stages of change and the fear that accompanies making a transition. 
  • Roadblocks are common and will occur. Being proactive instead of reactive makes the process safe and secure. This increases the likelihood of getting a yes from the person of concern. 
  • Families need to have a plan for both a yes or no response during the intervention. The entire network should be educated and prepared to take action. 

What an intervention looks like is a formalized process that will bring the family and friends together. The process will not look like what you see on TV. It is a loving and supportive experience that invites the person of concern to participate.

Roadblocks to Treatment

All members of the intervention network need to learn about addiction. Prior to this point, the family may be exhausted by empty ultimatums, withdrawn or in some cases separated. Our first step will be to educate ourselves on what drives addiction.

  • People, places and things
  • Cravings and triggers
  • Stages of Change
  • Fear of failure and fear of success / losing everything that they know

To help someone enter into recovery, we need to clear the path for them. In all interventions we encounter similar roadblocks. We hear things like, “I can’t leave my job” or “I have to take care of the kids.”  We will anticipate these roadblocks and make preparations so that our loved one can say yes to recovery. 

Anticipate Roadblocks

  • Who in the family is supportive and who isn’t?
  • Does the quality of the facility match the expectations of POC?
  • Time off of work and who will take care of the children and/or pets?
  • Common concerns about treatment centers: smoking, vaping, cell phone, computer, roommate, etc.

What an intervention looks like is a planned event. We need to plan how to work with the individual of concern, and we need to develop a plan for a long-term recovery. If someone refuses treatment that is just the beginning; we don’t stop there, we regroup and we change our approach.

Cover Yourself

  • What happens next when the intervention is successful?
  • What happens if the individual changes their mind after saying yes?
  • Contingency plans for a “no.”
  • Transportation plans to the facility.
  • Review what to expect in the days following.


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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