If you cannot be there in person to help with an intervention for an addicted loved one, writing a letter is the next best thing. For those who can be there in person, an intervention letter allows an individual to collect their thoughts and prepare in advance. An intervention presents your loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse and can motivate someone to seek or accept help.1
So how can you express your thoughts in written form? Are there any topics you should avoid? Here are a few tips to help you write an intervention letter.
- Be precise. Use specific examples that bring home why you felt those things. Consider how those certain events changed or impacted your life.
- Remain nonjudgmental. It’s natural to feel anger toward your addicted loved one. However, an intervention letter is not the right place for you to express that anger. Instead, remain calm, and focus on the love you feel for your family member. Express your hope that she chooses treatment and recovery instead of drug addiction.
- Draw a line in the sand. It’s possible that you enabled your loved one’s addiction at some point. You may have paid her rent or called into her work to explain why she is late again or not coming in. It is important to not shelter your loved one from experiencing the full consequences of her addiction. Make it clear that you will no longer enable her, and she will not receive any help unless she agrees to go to treatment immediately.
- Offer drug rehab as an immediate option. Giving your addicted loved one the gift of treatment is the best thing you can do. Ask her to accept this gift in your letter. Make it clear that you are not trying to get rid of her by sending her away but that treatment is the best option.
Still not sure what to write? Here’s a sample intervention letter to assist you.
I love you so much. For so long all I wanted was to believe that your use of drugs and alcohol was just a phase. But now it’s clear that you are truly living with an addiction. Because you’re my sister and I love you, I am hoping that you will get help.
I know you don’t think that your alcohol use is a problem. But over and over again, I have seen you hurt yourself and others while you were drunk. When I got married, you promised me you wouldn’t drink.But when you were at my wedding, you drank so much that you made a scene in the middle of the dance floor. You were screaming and dancing wildly, falling all over the place. Not only was thisembarrassing to me, but it hurt me that you didn’t keep your promise. Even on my wedding day, I did not feel like I was important to you.
I know that alcoholism is a disease,2 and know I don’t blame you for having this disorder. I do want you to admit to yourself that you are living with this disease.It’s time to get the medical treatment that will help you to overcome it. If you decide not to go to alcohol rehab, that is your choice, but you can no longer live with me if you don’t seek help. Please choose treatment. I want my sister back.
If you have a loved one that is living with an addiction, please don’t wait any longer to get her treatment. At Michael’s House, we offer lasting recovery in a comfortable setting to anyone struggling with drug addiction. Please contact us at Michael’s House today to talk with one of our admissions coordinators about how we can help. We are ready to help your loved move forward and pursue a healthy life.
1“Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Sept. 2014. Web. 11 June 2017.