Writing an Intervention Letter
Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be scary, frustrating, angering, and heartbreaking. You see how their drug and alcohol use is affecting their life and the lives of those around them, but they may not see it or may be in denial. If they have dismissed or denied the need for treatment in the past, it may be time to hold an intervention. This is a structured meeting led by an addiction specialist or therapist. It brings together a few close family members and friends to confront the person about their addiction and offer treatment.
One component of an intervention is the intervention letter. Each person is asked to write down their feelings and concerns in an organized and effective manner. Then, everyone takes turns reading their letter to the person. Having a letter to read from can help you to stay focused and ensure that you say exactly what you want to say. You don’t have to worry about your mind going blank or getting caught up in the emotion of the meeting.
But what should – and shouldn’t – you say in your letter?
Be honest. If you want them to get help, you need to be honest and let them know the impact of their addiction. It can be a good idea to share a specific event or figures to emphasize your point and concerns. For instance, “You missed work eight days last month because you had been out drinking the night before,” or “Last Thursday while we were at X’s graduation, you were in jail for DUI.”
However, don’t place blame such as telling them it’s their fault that this or that happened. You want to show concern but not make them feel like they’re being attacked.
Stay positive and start off by sharing a few of the wonderful memories you have together. Maybe the day they proposed, when you first met, a fun trip you went on, or how every Saturday you’d have breakfast together and then go fishing. Remind them of some of the reasons why they’re such an important part of your life.
Express your concern about the path that they’re on. You could let them know that you miss spending time with them because they’re always out, you’re worried that you’re going to get a call saying they’re in the hospital or in jail, or you’re concerned about their health.
Offer treatment. Once you’ve shared your thoughts, let them know you want them to accept your offer for treatment. You can reassure them that you’ll stand by their side and support them along the way, but that they need to get help. Prior to holding the intervention, you will have identified a treatment facility like Get Real Recovery where they can go for rehab.
Stand firm in case they refuse help. Mention a few consequences if they say no, such as not covering up for them anymore or no longer giving them money. But don’t just make vague statements or consequences you’re not willing/able to follow through with; make it meaningful and realistic.
An intervention letter can be a powerful tool to help you communicate your love and concern for someone struggling with addiction and encourage them to seek treatment. Get Real Recovery offers personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs. When someone is ready to overcome addiction, Get Real Recovery is ready to help them along each step of their journey.
Do you know someone who could benefit from addiction treatment? Call Get Real Recovery today to find out how we can help.