When is an Intervention Necessary?

When is an Intervention Necessary?

Recovery doesn’t require losing it all to begin healing. There is no need to hit the bottom before seeking treatment. Because addiction is hidden, we may not recognize when others truly need help. Entering treatment is a personal choice, and the best we can do to others is to help them realize the recurring consequences of addiction. 

  • The need to “hit rock bottom” is a recovery myth. 
  • Recovery is a personal choice, and we may not be aware of the emotional turmoil inside others who battle with addiction. 
  • Addiction is a slow moving train, accelerating slowly towards derailment. 
  • The goal is to help our loved one choose treatment by recognizing the consequences of substance use. 

One of the biggest blocks to seeking recovery is the myth that someone has to “hit rock bottom” before they can recover. The decision to recover can come at any time they’re ready for a new life. We can begin to recover as soon as the person is ready to be done with the sickness, the hangovers, and the consequences. Many young people have chosen recovery after just a few years of using.

I compare addiction to a freight train gaining speed. We are free to jump off at any point. Some people get off early, while the train is increasing in acceleration. Others wait until the train wheels get shaky, and some wait for derailment. 

But do they have to?

A lot of people look like they’re really happy when they’re using, and often their friends are surprised when they consider recovery. They may have an abundant life, houses, and a good job. However, on the inside, substance use is taking a huge emotional toll. When I chose to get sober, my life looked very abundant. In fact, I decided to get sober in a vacation house in the Hamptons. Inside, I was emotionless and very unhappy—but I never told anyone about my feelings.

People can choose recovery at any time, and we want to catch them before too many consequences have occurred. They don’t need to wait until they “lose everything” to recover. Many people don’t wait that long. I liken recovery to a self-help program that we choose for ourselves. We’ve all chosen workouts, medications, and diets for self-improvement. We consciously choose to adhere to those programs. Most people choose to diet, for instance, when they notice a few extra pounds—long before they become obese.

You can choose recovery any time you want. Most people that question their substance use have already reached an emotional bottom, whether they’re expressing it to others or not. What others see on the outside may not reflect what you’re feeling on the inside.

Let’s bust the myth that someone has to hit “rock bottom.” Let’s help people choose recovery before they hit that point. By intervening early, we can tap into someone’s emotional bottom. They might already be there.

Our goal with an intervention is to help someone see the consequences of their substance use, to shine a light on something that they are missing. We want to help them choose recovery at a point.


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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