How To Write An Intervention Letter

If you are about to partake in a drug or alcohol intervention, our intervention specialist will likely ask you to write out a letter that you will read to the individual in question during the intervention itself. Not only are these letters useful in communicating various concerns, but they also prove a useful tool in keeping the participants collected, focused and on-track. Because emotions can run high, it’s important for each participant to have a well thought out statement to prevent them from allowing their emotions to get away from them. In the guide below, we will walk you through a few tips to help you write your intervention letter.

The first rule of any intervention letter is never to cast blame or anger towards the individual in question. Because the addict has already been put in an awkward position, they will be listening intently for any reason to lash out at the people “at fault”. Once an argument is sparked and anger owns the day, the intervention is at a high failure risk. A well written letter will allow you to avoid such instances while maintaining a clear and positive mindset.

There are several traits typically found in a good intervention letter. Begin by communicating your concern and love for the individual. Because you are an important part of the addict’s life, you need to make sure these statements come directly from the heart.

Secondly, you’ll want to recall a specific instance where the addict has been particularly helpful and kind towards you; Perhaps you can remember a time where the individual has accomplished a goal and made you proud. Gratitude and affirmations are the last thing an addict will expect to hear. By beginning your letter on a positive note, you will lower the addict’s guard, thus removing any energy focused towards you and turning it inwards towards the addict themselves.

In the next section, made a brief statement regarding your newfound understanding of addiction as a disease, along with your desire for the individual to obtain help through formal treatment. This statement will work to put the addition into a medical scope of thinking rather than a moral one. If an addict is able to view their actions as a treatable disease, they will be all the more likely to accept the help they need.

At this point, you should begin listing various facts associated with the addict’s negative behavior. Think back and recall several specific events to help illustrate your concerns. Be sure to only include events of which you have first-hand knowledge, rather than “he said, she said” –type instances. By using first-hand experiences to place the addition into perspective, the addict will have little room to argue.

End your letter on a positive note, repeating your concern and love for the individual before asking them to accept the help that is being offered. If you choose, you may also include the consequences associated with treatment refusal, incompletion or relapse.

By staying positive, focused and loving, you will find your recipient more open to hearing what you have to say. Once you are finished reading, allow your intervention specialist to direct the remainder of the group.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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