Humans avoid confrontation. It makes them uncomfortable. It makes people feel vulnerable, ashamed, and even angry. Someone took your parking spot at work, or your roommate left dishes in the sink, and there’s nothing more you want to do than just go and yell at them.
Sometimes it is best to pick your battles, and just park in a new spot, or grab a sponge and gloves and start scrubbing. With small things like this, getting into a confrontation is a waste of time and energy. There are however, many instances when confrontation is absolutely necessary, such as when someone you care about is turning into an addict.
In a situation like this, the initial start of the confrontation does not have to be face-to-face. Sometimes, when we are talking about emotionally raw topics, it is hard to stay composed, and we often do not get everything across that we want to express to someone. You can avoid this by writing an intervention letter to your friend of family member, letting them know it is time for them to make a change before they ruin their life.
If you are unsure if it really is time for an intervention, try taking an intervention quiz to gauge if you are overreacting or not. Just like when you talk to a doctor, be honest about your answers and do not hold back.
Drafting an intervention letter can be a very difficult thing to do, but if someone is going through the emotional toll of writing it that usually means it must be done. You want to start the letter off expressing your love and support for the person who is in trouble. You want to make it clear that you are not angry or upset, but worried.
Let them know you value their happiness, and how much their well-being means to you. If you have any personal stories of times you shared together, you can mention that as well. This can help lead into you expressing how you miss who they used to be, and that you do not care for the person they have turned into.
After you establish your trust and intentions, it is time to delve into the hard stuff. If their addiction was caused by an even such as a death or breakup, let them know that it is completely normal to be upset. Write to them about how you have seen them change as a person, and how it is not healthy to be dealing with their emotions in the way they currently are.
It is extremely important to not attack the addict. Do not just pile on a laundry list of things that they have done wrong, but instead generally speak to the ways they are harming not just themselves, but others. Remind them of all the people they have in their corner, and that they are not alone. Remind them of all the people their addiction impacts, not just themselves.
There is a very fine line between caring too much, and being cruel. While you may want to be straight up with them, you do not want to make them get upset and spiral deeper into their addiction. You may have caught them in a few lies, but it is important to not rub it in their face. They may have changed a lot physically from their addiction, but it is important to not make them self-conscious or like they are an ugly human being. This is a good place for you to mention how you know they are an addict, by pointing out the signs and symptoms they are displaying.
Signs of addiction
When a person is addicted to drugs, it is quite easy to notice the many ways it is negatively impacting their daily life as well as their health. They could either be sleeping all the time, or not sleeping at all. They could be over eating and gaining weight, and they could also stop eating and be rapidly losing weight.
Addicts will often display mood swings, being extremely happy at times and isolated and emotional at others. They appear to be apathetic, unmotivated, and sluggish. You may have noticed money missing from your bag, or catch them lying about using. It is key to not get angry here, because their addiction is controlling their actions. This is not who they are.
How to write an intervention letter
There is no one right way to write an intervention letter. Every addict is different, and their relationship with their drug of choice varies person to person. Depending on how advanced their addiction is, determines how much help they are going to need.
Drug addiction support is available online and in person. Not all treatment centers are the same, and addicts need a lot of constant support and care during recovery. While you cannot force them to go, sending an intervention letter may help them come to terms with their addiction, finally admit that they have a problem, and maybe even enroll in a drug addiction treatment program.
Drug addiction treatment is available in many forms. A full detox is necessary, and is often quite a painful process. Your job is to be there for them, as well as give them some much needed space and time to rest.
Ignoring addiction only makes it worse. While it is not your job to fix others, it is your job as a friend to want the best for them. Sometimes, all it takes is a wakeup call, and an addict can turn their life around. You can be that wakeup call with the simple act of sending them a well-crafted intervention letter.