An intervention can be incredibly stressful. Family members and friends are presenting extremely delicate information to someone who might feel hostile, angry or attacked. Working without a plan could make the intervention even tenser, as the family might be inclined to forget important details or simply succumb to emotional outbursts. Intervention letters can help make the process easier, as they provide a script family members can simply read out loud.
Family members work closely with an interventionist to write these important letters. A typical intervention letter is addressed to the addict and contains the following items:
A statement of love and concern, such as “I am here today because I care about you and I want you to get better.”
Specific examples that illustrate the addict’s destructive behavior, such as “Last Wednesday, I came to talk to you and I couldn’t wake you up because you were drunk.”
A plea for the addict to get help, such as “I believe you can get better with the help of the treatment program we’ve chosen. Won’t you at least try it?”
Consequences that might befall the addict if the behavior doesn’t stop, such as “If you won’t get treatment, I can’t allow my kids to visit anymore.”
Intervention letters can continue to help the addict, long after the intervention is over. Many treatment programs are voluntary, meaning that the addict can simply leave whenever he or she wants to. Study results published in the American Journal of Public Healthsuggest that only 75 percent of people who enter a treatment program actually complete it. Sometimes, these intervention letters are read again when the addict is considering leaving the facility. Once again, these letters could encourage the addict to stay and complete the program.