Having a close friend or family member with an alcohol or drug addiction can be very upsetting and stressful. As a result, you may want to hold an intervention or write an intervention letter. It is normal to feel anxious about doing this, and you may not even know where to begin. Here is how to write an intervention letter for your loved one, what you should include, what you should avoid, and when you should write it.
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When to Write an Intervention Letter
You should write your intervention letter whenever you feel like you need to. You are the only one who knows when this right time is. However, it is probably best to write your intervention letter when you are focused and not overly emotional. This way you can make sure that your words are concise, meaningful, and you don’t leave anything important out. It is also suggested that you read your letter over before sending or giving it to your loved one as well for the same reasons. If, after you read it over, you’re still unsure about its tone or contents, you can also ask a trusted friend or family member to review it. They can help you make sure your message is coming across as respectfully, lovingly, and compassionately as you had hoped.
What You Should Include
There are a few things that you should include in your intervention letter to a loved one. You should always start off by expressing your feelings toward your loved one. Explain how much you love and care about them. Next, it is a good idea to bring up a moment where their addiction negatively affected you. According to BriarwoodDetox.com, this lets your loved one know that their addiction is not only noticed by those close to them but that it is negatively impacting them as well. After this, it is crucial to highlight that you have compassion when it comes to their addiction. State that their addiction doesn’t make you love them any less, and that you understand addiction is extremely difficult to experience and overcome. Of course, you should end your letter by stating the importance of them seeking addiction treatment. You could explain some of the consequences of not receiving treatment as well.
What You Should Avoid
Of course, there are some things that you should avoid when writing an intervention letter. Your toe should never seem condescending, judgemental, angry, or mean. Instead, you should hold a calm and compassionate voice throughout the letter. Similarly, you should avoid things like name-calling, placing blame or ridicule, and using harsh narratives. Being overly pessimistic about their current or future situation is also definitely not ideal. It is also suggested to avoid any harsh language and to avoid seeming overly pushy.
Some Other Things to Consider
Just like with an intervention that is held in person, there are some other things that you should take into account before writing and sending your intervention letter. The first is that the alcohol or drug addict must be willing and ready to undergo an alcohol or drug detox and check into rehab. Otherwise, the treatment will be for nothing. You can pressure someone into going to treatment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment will be successful. This is especially true if the person is merely going to rehab to make you happy but isn’t personally motivated to get sober for themselves.
The next thing that you should remember is that your loved one’s addiction is not your fault. You do not need to take your close friend or family member’s current situation personally even though it should be taken seriously. You did not cause their addiction, you are not responsible for the decisions they make, and unfortunately, you also can’t force them to get sober either.
Finally, you should explain that you are willing to support your loved one throughout their addiction treatment and recovery. This is, of course, only if you are actually willing to do so. Explaining this will likely make the feat of overcoming addiction seem less scary and far off. Therefore, they might be more willing to go through with it. Examples of how you may support your loved one through treatment include:
- Attending family therapy sessions
- Attending family workshops
- Attending support group meetings with your loved one or on your own
- Communicating with treatment professionals throughout your loved one’s detox, rehab, or sober living programs
- Providing general support through phone calls, visits, and other personal commitments and lifestyle changes, such as not drinking alcohol in the person’s presence or removing it from your home.
Writing an intervention letter can be a very daunting, yet therapeutic, thing to do for an addict who is a loved one. However, when writing your intervention letter there are some things that you should definitely include. These are stating that you love them, describing a time where their addiction has negatively affected your life, explaining that you understand how hard experiencing addiction can be, and expressing your feelings about how they should seek help. Similarly, there are also things that you should definitely avoid when writing your loved one’s intervention letter.
These include things like coming across as condescending or judgemental, placing blame, name-calling, being overly pessimistic about your loved one’s current or future situation, and being pushy. When you are writing your intervention letter, following this advice will surely get you through. However, you should remember a few other things in addition to this. Your loved one’s addiction is never your fault and you nor anyone else is ever to blame for this. In addition, recognizing and understanding that overcoming and treating an addiction is extremely difficult is ideal. Addiction treatment never works if an alcohol or drug addict is not ready and willing to receive treatment. However, if you explain that you would be willing to help them through their addiction treatment and recovery then they may be more likely to take the important step of signing up for rehab.