The Tara Treatment Center Blog

The Myth of Hitting Bottom

Rock Bottom

 Bruce Perkins – Perkins Intervention, PC

Have you ever heard the statement “You can’t help an alcoholic or an addict until they hit bottom?” That is exactly what I thought until I discovered the miracle of intervention while attending St. Mary’s College in Minneapolis, MN studying Chemical Dependency Family Therapy. I used to believe the problem drinker or substance abuser had to progress along the destructive path of their illness until a crisis occurred that motivated them into recovery. Unfortunately, many hit bottom in horrific accidents, overdoses, serious health issues, financial or relationship issues that seem to have ruined their lives. Often, relationships are destroyed while waiting for a loved one to “hit bottom.”

We do not have to wait for a crisis that will have caused damage from which there is no recovery. Instead, caring friends, family members, co-workers or associates can raise the bottom to the here and now with an intervention that is loving, supportive and respectful. An intervention is a process that includes a well-planned dialogue presented by people who recognize the problem and want to direct the addict into a continuum of recovery that offers each person the opportunity to reclaim their lives.

Most addicts usually have multiple layers of defense mechanisms including justifying, rationalizing and intellectualizing. One of the goals of intervention is to break through those defenses and help them see their illness, how it is affecting them and their loved ones. This is a tight rope to walk because the entire family system has been coping and surviving, often without a clear picture of the illness or each one’s part in it. Family members are able to begin their own separate recovery from how they have been affected by the illness. Many treatment centers, including Tara Treatment Center, offer a program that supports the family members’ recovery.

Those who have the opportunity to participate in an intervention will find an enhanced experience during the treatment process.

By facilitating more than 1,800 family interventions in thirty years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of watching families heal because someone had the love and courage to be proactive. Frustration, turmoil and heartbreak can lead to hope, recovery and peace through intervention.

Bruce Perkins – Perkins Intervention, PC has worked with many families and their loved ones before they come to Tara for treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. For more information, call 765-759-7339 or visit