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The goal of an intervention is to help a person who has a problem, realize that they have a problem, and agree to receive help.

It can be excruciating to watch someone self-destruct and feel helpless. Holding an intervention is a loving way to show that you care (even though it may not initially be perceived as such by the individual), express your fears, and provide peace of mind that you have done everything in your power to support your loved one by trying to help them help themselves. It can be extremely difficult and requires courage to face someone whose addictive behaviors have caused you pain or concern. An intervention letter can be a valuable tool to help an individual struggling with addiction understand how their behaviors affect their loved ones and can be an excellent way to get your message across. Use the following prompts to help you write a meaningful intervention letter:

  • Begin with a statement of compassion. Think about the relationship you had with your loved one and the moments you had with them before their addiction.

“Mom, I know how much you love me and how proud you are of me. You taught me to X, Y, and Z. You helped me learn the importance of X.  If it weren’t for you, I would not be the person I am today.”

  • Outline a specific example of their substance abuse and how it affected you. Use clear, tangible descriptions and try to avoid using words that may make your loved one feel threatened. 

“Mom, I know you have been abusing cocaine. I know that you have been abusing it for some time now. You continue to lose weight, and you always ask me to check your nose and see if you have any “boogies” up there. You have been asking me to borrow money, and over the past few months, I have barely seen you. Whenever the phone rings, my stomach drops because I think it is someone calling to tell me that you are in the hospital or dead.” 

  • Show that you have taken the time to understand their addiction. Make sure to let him or her know that you recognize that their substance abuse is due to a mental health disorder and acknowledge that it is not their fault. 

“…after researching chemical dependence I discovered that you are suffering from a disease that requires medical treatment.” 

  • Ask them to accept help. Repeat your love and concern and explain the current care services being offered.

“I love you and respect you. I do not want to see this addiction continue to run your life. We are all here together so we can offer support to help you overcome your addiction. We have a place that we researched, and it has a bed open for you to go to tonight. This treatment center has been successful with tons of people who have had similar addictions. They know what they are doing and can help you. Would you consider accepting our support?”

  • Clearly define the consequences if treatment is refused. Explain your personal boundaries and provide clear consequences should your loved one refuse to accept treatment.  

“If you continue to abuse cocaine, I want you to know that I can no longer protect your drug abuse. It grates at my soul, and I do not want to help you harm yourself anymore. I will not make excuses for you, and I will not lie for you. I am going to tell people the truth.” 

Writing an intervention letter can be difficult, but a heartfelt, authentic intervention letter can help an individual struggling with addiction be more inclined to accept the support being offered. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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