How Intervention Letters Can Prevent You From Saying The Wrong Thing

Carly BensonIntervention

intervention letters drug alcohol addiction
When a loved one is abusing substances it is natural for their immediate family and friends to want to try to help or step in. Substance abuse affects everyone involved and can be a very emotionally charged experience. It’s important to understand how an intervention can help in these situations where intervening is necessary. We have found that a lot of people have only seen interventions as portrayed in movies and television, so it can seem overwhelming to begin the process for one in real life. One thing that has been successful during an intervention is having a carefully crafted intervention letter along with having a trained Intervention Specialist involved. We understand there are many questions surrounding how to write an intervention letter and feel understanding the key elements of one is very important.

What is an intervention letter?

An intervention letter is a plea of love and concern for someone who is abusing substances that offer your feelings about their behaviors, shows that you care about them and offers a plan to get them into a substance abuse treatment program.

How can intervention letters prevent you from saying the wrong thing?

Intervention letters help you to structure your feelings and keep you focused and on track during a very hard conversation. It’s easy to get carried away with emotions and responses without having your thoughts on paper. Intervention letters help you to organize your thoughts and more effectively and concisely get your point across.

How can you avoid placing blame on the addict during an intervention or sounding judgmental?

The best way to communicate with an addict is to tell them how their behavior is making you feel and how it is affecting your relationship. Lead with statements that include “I” more than “you.” Communicating how you feel instead of pointing out everything they are doing wrong will help them understand that you are coming from a loving place and showing your feelings about their conduct.

How to write an intervention letter

There are many different intervention letter templates available. Most commonly an intervention letter is structured in a way that lets the person know you care about them and includes each of the following:
  • Your concern about their well-being and health.
  • How their abuse is affecting you with specific examples of their behavior and how it makes you feel.
  • An offer for treatment is presented that answers all their questions and addresses any foreseen objections they may have.
  • A stipulation that they get help or face consequences inside your relationship that will prevent them from receiving further support from you if they choose not to.

How should you phrase an ultimatum?

It is important at the close of an intervention letter to issue an ultimatum to the substance abuser. This needs to be worded in a way that lets them know that all enabling behaviors on your part will be revoked should they refuse to get treatment. It should be very specific regarding what things will no longer continue if they do not take the offer to get help. Loaning money, giving rides, making excuses on their behalf, etc. should be things that are addressed and identified as things that will be discontinued immediately. Most people wonder, “are interventions a good idea?” According to the National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Dependence, “when done with a person who is trained and successfully experienced as an interventionist, over 90% of people make a commitment to get help. The research would suggest that interventions are a good idea and if done with a professional as well as effective intervention letters, they can save lives. Contact us today for more information on treatment programs to offer your loved ones during an intervention and for the support you may need in helping get them the help they need. References: Intervention Tips And Guidelines, National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Dependence, July 25, 2015,
Written by: Carly Benson As an avid traveler, yogi & confessed self-help junkie, Carly writes about her adventures in life & sobriety on, where she offers inspirational concepts for enlightenment, spirituality, and embracing epicness.