The Basics of Writing an Intervention Letter

The Basics of Writing an Intervention Letter

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The Basics of Writing an Intervention Letter

If you have decided to have an intervention for a loved one or have been invited to take part in an intervention, you will quickly discover that interventions are highly rehearsed. This is important as emotions can run high during an intervention. In essence, family dynamics can actually work against the addict asking for help. If you are going to be part of an intervention, you will be asked to write a letter to the addict. This article is focused on what should be included in that letter for the best chances of success.

What does the Letter do

It may seem odd to some to write a letter to someone who will be sitting right in front of them. But for an intervention that is both a surprise and addressing a tough issue. It is important to remain focused, because letters help accomplish this. This letter is written ahead of time, which can be cathartic for the writer. This allows some emotions to be felt before the actual intervention. However, the letter can also serve many other purposes.

The letter can be a road map to keep the intervention on track, as the words are written right in front of you. Intervention letters may help you keep your emotions in check. This is to help avoid becoming excited or frozen. Perhaps unsure of what to say. Since the letters will be rehearsed ahead of time, the group can help perfect it to have the most effect. Plus, the letters can be sent with the addict to rehab to serve as a reminder of why they need to get better.

Writing the Letter

As mentioned, emotions run high during interventions. Sticking to a well written letter can help you keep from exploding in anger or forgetting your own words when they are needed most. When writing, you must remember that even a hint of anger or blame toward the addict can be fatal to the intervention. An addict will listen intently to see if this is the case. You can expect an addict to jump on the chance to argue and escape. The letters become scripts that must be closely guarded and read. Therefore, each letter should have several parts which will be described below.

Every letter should begin with a simple statement that shows love and concern. This should be straight from the heart. The next step is to share a specific instance in which you have been grateful for the addict. This can be in a situation or at a time they were helpful. It will likely catch the addict off guard to hear gratitude, and will help them to calm down and listen. Next, add a small section on what you have learned about addiction as a disease and how treatment can help. However, this may not be appropriate for every intervention letter. It depends on each case.

Moving forward, you should add a section about how the addict’s negative behavior has caused problems. This should not be written in a blaming way. You should add factual evidence that you saw firsthand. Furthermore, the letter should end with repeated love and concern. This way the format will be repeated by every member of the group.

Final thoughts

The Basics of Writing an Intervention Letter

In writing a letter in this way you are showing the addict that you care and want what is best for them. However, at the end of the day only they will accept help. The letters can be sent to rehab with the patient as a reminder of why they are working toward sobriety. If you are part of an intervention, follow these guidelines to offer the best results for your loved one.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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