Adam Banks

The Intervention is Just the Beginning

After successfully placing a newly recovering person suffering from addiction in a treatment facility after an intervention, your work with Suntra may not be over. To a certain extent, the hard work is still to come. At Suntra, we offer more than just intervention services: we also offer family support while a loved one is undergoing treatment. We understand and have worked through many of the common problems that come up for families during treatment; we know that, most likely, your loved one is going to call sometime in the first week of treatment asking to leave. This is a common call, and we can work with you on how to handle it. Perhaps even more importantly, while your loved one is in treatment we can work together to look at the dynamics at home that may have encouraged or enabled addiction. Often, family members have inadvertently become caught up in the cycle of addiction. The process begins slowly, without anyone realizing what’s happening, and becomes a cyclone that sweeps up other people, careers, and finances. While the patient is in treatment, the team at Suntra works with the family to set boundaries—firm lines in the sand—of what they are… Read More »The Intervention is Just the Beginning

Trauma from Living in the Closet

To cope, I developed a false persona. It wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t fully conscious, but for ten years I lived a painful, false existence. Every morning when I woke up, I woke up in extreme fear of being found out for who I really was. So I quickly put on a mask and lived as my false self.

The First Meeting is the Most Important (October 26, 2006)

I have two sobriety dates that are meaningful to me: the date that I attended my first 12 Step meeting, and the date that I finally committed to living a life of abstinence—a date so important to me that I had it tattooed on the back of my arm.

Things Not to Say During an Intervention

By the time an intervention has been called, the family is almost always at their wits’ end. (Though an intervention usually seems like a last resort, we can easily make the case that it should be called earlier—not after “the last straw.”) Over the years, the family of someone suffering from addiction has probably tried everything they can think of, and certainly all the yelling and guilt-tripping that can be so easy, in these cases, to fall into. However, an intervention should be a loving meeting. We work together to encourage someone into treatment with love, respect, and support—and so we have to break through, and discard, the methods that have tried and failed in the past. Family members may have things they feel they need to say, because they’ve been hurt and they want their loved one to understand that. But a lot of what family members want to say should not be said. Those techniques have not worked in the past, though they’ve probably been tried many times. In our interventions, we don’t enter attack mode: we stay calm. We don’t want to trigger an argument, which is unlikely to lead to change. There are a few things… Read More »Things Not to Say During an Intervention

Coaching for Airline Pilots

When I was struggling, I decided to go it alone—and it was a much harder way to go. Today, I’m here to listen to pilots and help them figure out what is right for them. Despite the restrictions of the system, I advocate for pilots to get help, ask questions, and seek answers.

Four Reasons to Use a Recovery Coach

Recovery coaching can be a fantastic tool for people working to maintain recovery from drugs and alcohol. I like to think of coaching as a way to bring recovery into “real life.” Treatment centers and therapy can also be very useful, but recovery coaching is unique in that it focuses on on-the-ground problem solving for the day-to-day. Here’s what I focus on in my recovery coaching: Future Looking: Therapy and rehabilitation centers tend to focus on trauma and the past—absolutely necessary to recover, but not always actionable today. In contract, recovery coaching looks at what’s happening right now, focuses on ways to navigate the present, and makes plans for the future. As a coach, I know that my job is not to provide therapy—but I can offer consistent check-ins to help maintain sobriety and build a better life. Professional Guidance: As someone who works in recovery, I’ve seen many clients navigate recovery resources in their communities. I have a vast body of knowledge about different outpatient programs, therapists, and 12 Step meetings, and I can help connect clients to the tools that will best meet their needs. Accountability Your Way: A recovery coach can reinforce accountability in a different way… Read More »Four Reasons to Use a Recovery Coach

Close to Relapse: “As Prescribed by a Doctor”

My injuries were so severe that my doctor put me on an opiate painkiller, which I didn’t know much about at the time. Nor did the general population: it was just before the opiate crisis became a national news story.