When you see someone you love battling a substance abuse problem, you may begin to feel helpless and not know what to do.
This is common, but you should not sit idly by as their addiction gets worse. What you cannot say in words, you may be able to say in a letter.
Why You Should Write a Letter to Your Addicted Loved OneThere are several ways to go about writing a letter to an addict; these letters may have different motivations.
One common letter to an addict is an impact letter. An impact letter explains how a person’s addiction has affected others. This format may be used in an addiction intervention to start the family healing process and prompt the addict to get help. When the addict hears how their substance abuse has negatively impacted several of their loved ones, it can be an eye-opening experience that finally convinces them that they should stop.
Just because you write a letter to an addict in your life doesn’t mean you have to send it. While an intervention letter is meant for your addicted loved one, an expressive letter is meant for you. Letting your emotions all out on paper can be cathartic and help you remove their power over you. This letter may be a big step in your personal healing process.
How to Write an Intervention Letter to An AddictA letter that you never show your addicted loved one can be written however you want and doesn’t need to follow any specific guidelines. On the other hand, if you want to send an impact letter to an addict with the intention of getting them into drug detox and treatment, you need to be more strategic.
Do Not Judge or AccuseNo one wants to have a letter trashing them. While you should talk about the ways they hurt you, try to avoid sounding resentful or judging them. These negative emotions will only cause the addict to put their guard up and pull away.
Offer Support & LoveWhile they may have hurt you, you still love them, and it is because you love them that you want them to get better. Let them know how much they matter to you and why they are important to you. This positivity and support may prompt them to finally get help because they know that you are by their side.
Explain What Is NextThe point of an intervention letter is to try to get the addict help. Besides talking about how you support them or how they may have hurt you, you should mention what needs to come next. Offer the solution of rehab or tell them what consequences may occur if they do not agree to get help. Many people unknowingly enable their addicted loved one, but an intervention letter is a good time to set new boundaries and let them know that there are consequences for their actions. You may even want to consider group therapy for family members of addicts and the addict.
Keep It ShortWhile you could probably write several pages and get it all out, this letter is for the addict, not for you. Intervention letters to an addict should be short and simple. You want to get your main points across and avoid having your letter turn into a rant.
Watching your loved one struggle with substance abuse is hard, but our nationwide addiction treatment centers want to offer our support. With locations around the United States, we want to help people get their loved ones into treatment and get them sober.