I am at a loss. I want to give up, but I know that I can’t. My best friend of ten years is headed down a dangerous spiral and I am afraid he is close to hitting rock bottom. I have talked to his sister and she is just as worried as I am. Last night got so drunk he fell down his apartment stairs and broke his leg. He just laughed it off and is already back to drinking! He lost his job two weeks ago because he kept showing up late and leaving early due to his drinking. His wife left him last year when she decided she couldn’t take it anymore. I am afraid I will be getting a call one day that he has not made it through the night. I need help in figuring out how to help my friend before it is too late. We have tried creating interventions for him before but they have failed. What are some tips you have for confronting someone about an addiction that is taking over their life?
Sincerely, “Scared for James”
Family intervention and addiction recovery
Dear “Scared for James,”
It really seems as though your friend could be days away from ending up seriously injured or worse. I am surprised he has avoided legal trouble so far, because those with serious addictions often get arrested or put in jail. It’s possible he might even have legal troubles he has not told you about. Your friend James is headed down a dark path, and it is your responsibility as his friend to make sure he gets better, or at least try your absolute very best. Many people do not understand and know the correct ways to go about having an intervention for an addict. It may be necessary for you to hire a professional to keep things calm and organized.
An intervention is not an easy task to take on. You want to make sure that there is enough people present to show support, but not too many so that it’s overwhelming. Often interventions will have people present such as a spouse, sibling, a close friend, and parents. Make sure that you schedule the intervention at a time that the addict is most likely to be sober, and to have it somewhere private like your home or theirs.
A drug or alcohol intervention letter is another way that you can approach someone who is struggling with addiction. This way you can write out your feeling and emotions on paper and be more organized. Letters are an easy way to communicate if you are afraid to do it face to face.
Addicts often meet confrontations with anger and denial so a letter is a good way to give them time to think about their actions. They often refuse to admit they have a problem and will try to cut you out of their life for bringing it up. Do not let the fear of this stop you. You could be the person who makes the difference in their life and ends up saving their life.
An intervention letter does not have to be all bad about the addict. You can highlight their positive qualities and make sure they know how much and how many people love and care about them. Let them know you want them to get better and that this is not to hurt them. Let your friend know that he is going to die if he does not change his habits soon. Getting sober will improve his life. He can look for a new job, and begin dating again or work on repairing his failed marriage.
Addicts do not have to be victims to dangerous substances. Addiction is a disease and help is out there. They do not have to throw away their life for alcohol. An intervention is what can encourage your friend to get help and change their life. Do not give up on them no matter what, because you know they would not give up on you if the situation was reversed.
Best of Luck,