The letter is your way to speak to him from a position of love and compassion with total absence of judgment, blame or criticism. If someone approached you from a position of anger, disgust, or judgment you would innately defend yourself. When trying to approach someone who is behaving defensively, the chance of inspiring a mental break-through or epiphany about a subject to them is difficult, if not, impossible to do.
The format of the intervention letter is designed to help the addict see the family’s attempt to help him and feel their love and concerned for him. There will be specific paragraphs to point out to him the DETAILS, FACTS and EXAMPLES of how his addiction is affecting his life, relationships and health. Each team member will have the opportunity to express to the addict how his addiction is affecting the team member personally. Each letter will conclude by the team member offering their loved one a solution to his addiction.
The drug intervention letter is made up of three parts. Each part is designed to speak to the soul of the one you love. The first part of the letter is speaking to his heart. Each member expresses to him positive memories and experiences they’ve shared together. If someone has taken a trip with the addict and something wonderful happened, that is a great example. If someone remembers how he did something for them that warmed their heart or affected them in a positive tone that, too, would be a great example. You will not, under any circumstances, use any examples when drugs or alcohol were involved.
The loving tone sets the mood for the second part of the letter and helps the addict be les defensive. If he is in a defensive mood as you begin the second part of your letter, the other strategic parts of the letter will not have the necessary impact on his core authentic self.
In the second part of the letter you will describe how the consequence of his erratic and bizarre behavior affects you. Areas that need to be looked at in these detailed examples are; how it is affecting him and you emotionally, spiritually, financially, socially, mentally, and physically. An example of erratic and bizarre behavior would be driving drunk. The consequence would be, getting a DUI. This affects you because you have to drive him around, pay for his attorney and fines. This example would fall under the financial area.
Another example of bizarre and erratic behavior would be stealing from family members. One consequence would be the damage this causes to relationships. It affects you because you can no longer trust your loved one. This example would fall in the area of emotionally, mentally, socially and financially.
Another example of erratic and bizarre behavior is negative self talk, wishing his life was different. You may hear the addict say; “I always make mistakes!” “No one likes me!” “I can’t do anything right!” “I wish I were dead!” The consequence is how he is emotionally and spiritually affected by his addiction. How this affects you is fear, concern and worry that he may do something outrageous to ease his pain. This example would fall in the area of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical.
Another example is the fact that he continues to use despite the harm to himself and in some cases to others. The consequence is bodily harm, accidents and health problems. This affects you with fear, concern and anger that your loved one is doing harm to himself, yet he continues to use. He may be cutting himself, attempted suicide, and negative self talk or even sabotaging his ability to succeed or accomplish a challenge. Personal hygiene, teeth falling out, cancer, sores and markings on his skin and cirrhosis of the liver would also fall into this category. If a doctor has told him he must stop or he will die, that would be a great example.
Another example could be that he continues to use, even though he has lost his job because of his drinking or drugging. The consequences are obvious, he lost his job. How this affects you could be lack of financial security or losing a home or having to sell valuable items to make payments for monthly bills or someone having to pick up a second job to make ends meet. This example would fall under the financial and emotional area.
You MUST use detailed and specific examples. You can’t just say, “You got a DUI.” ”You lost your job.” “Your health is declining!” If you do not give specifics, such as dates, times, location, examples and situations, you will be opening the door for him to deny or defend himself. When you are talking about how the addiction has affected you, you must use emotions. Such as fear, anger, worry, concern, being terrified, sad, lonely, confused or hurt is considered emotions.
Take the example of when he said to you he wished he was dead. If you write in the letter, “You told me you wished you were dead, and that scares me,” chances are he will make an excuse or deny ever having said that. If instead you say, “Two weeks ago while we were sitting in the living room, you told me that you wished you were dead that scares me so badly that I wonder if some day I will receive a phone call that you killed yourself.” That is much, much harder to defend, deny or minimize.
In the third part of the letter, you offer a solution and say you will not support this destructive behavior anymore. You will tell your loved one what you want for him and let them know everything is going to be okay after he seeks treatment. Describe the person that you want back. Tell him his life can be how he wants it. Let him know how much you love him and want to see him happy. If he has kids, let him know the kids deserve a happy and healthy parent in their life.
All these optimistic statements are extremely important to close the letter. But, there is one piece that is so important that you must not leave it out, and it must be placed as the very, very last sentence. This is when you ask your loved one to go to treatment. I’ll repeat, you ask him to go to treatment. You do not tell him to go to treatment! You do not say, treatment will be good for you and I would like for you to go. And you do not ask in the first part of the letter, the second part of the letter or in the middle of the third part of the letter. You ask him to go to treatment with the VERY LAST SENTENCE! No exceptions!!END AKISMET -->
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