How To Write An Effective Intervention Letter

Kevin WoodIntervention

man writing an intervention letter
Addiction can be a hard thing to admit and a lot of people quietly suffer instead of coming to terms with their addiction. Even as their lives spiral out of control around them, they still remain convinced that their life is going fine. The goal of an intervention is to break through the wall of denial and help your loved one finally seek out the treatment they require to help put their lives back together. Intervention letters can be given to a loved one, if you can’t be present for an intervention, or they can be read aloud at the actual intervention. Interventions can be very stressful and emotional situations, often it can be helpful to have to the guiding influence of a letter, so you can make sure to say everything you’d like to touch on. Below we cover the process for writing an intervention letter that communicates everything you’d like to say to a loved one, while helping them to make the right decision.

What Makes a Good Intervention Letter?

In order to write an effective intervention letter you’ll want to make sure it includes the following elements:
  • Make it personal. Use the first person when addressing yourself and your loved one. Share personal stories and your perspective about how their drug or alcohol abuse has affected your life.
  • Don’t accuse. This isn’t time to berate your loved one and make them feel bad about their addiction. State the facts and feelings you have. Don’t shame them.
  • Love should be the backbone of your letter. The goal of your letter is to show them how much you care about them, and how much it hurts that they continue to do damage to their health and life through their addiction.

1. Describe Your Love and Connection

Tell stories that illustrate how much you love them. Describe the times you shared in detail that showcase what makes them special and what you miss about them since they’ve been abusing drugs. Highlight fond memories and do what you can to make your letter as genuine as possible. Avoid using cliches and understating how much they mean to you.

2. Make Your Case With Evidence

Now is when you’re going to make your case. Give actual examples of moments where them abusing the drug has had a negative impact on your life and the life of your loved one. Describe the situations exactly as they happened. Avoid your own interpretation of the events and instead state the facts as they happened. It’s very difficult to deny reality when you state it very plainly and matter-of-factly. Also, focus on more recent examples. There’s no need to dig up the past.

3. State Your Bottom Line

Your bottom-line increases your bargaining power and gives your loved one an ultimatum. This is where you’re making your plead for them to go and get help. This might be something like, “I want my father back, and your grandkids want their grandfather back. Would you please accept our help?” In this section, it’s important to reassure your loved one that you believe in them and will support them throughout their recovery. You know they can successfully make it through rehab and live a sober life. It can also be helpful to list out any recovery options or treatment centers that you’ve already researched, so you can make the decision as easy as possible. We offer a variety of treatment options to cater to a variety of circumstances and addictions. Explore our treatment options.   Sources: “Intervention – Tips and Guidelines” NCADD, 25 Jul 2015. Web. 5 Apr 2016. “Intervention Techniques and Models” Intervention Support. Web. 5 Apr 2016.