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Intervention Letters
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Actual Intervention Letter of a Successful Intervention:

   Dear brother,

Most of my memories growing up with you involve being doubled over with laughter and wiping away tears from laughing so hard.  You have the most pitch-perfect sense of humor – always knowing how to cheer me up and make something annoying or frustrating or sad into something hilarious.  We had a so many shared experiences, and you always found the “funny” in them.  I remember sitting in the backseat with you during family vacations, cracking up.  Remember “sane” from Spain?  Sane on the left; sane on the right!  Remember Spanish class at Marist and “Senora Hague, St. Johnson’s Bay?!”  And “consado – contenta!”  and work at Fuddruckers – with Mohammed, and “order up please!!” and clogging (remember when you had to go to clogging practice with a horrific wind and sunburn from your ski trip in Breckenridge, in your cub scout uniform – and we would mock Chip Woodall (clap, hey, clap, hey, clap, hey hey!!). 

And you were always so fun loving and FUN to be around.  I loved when you would come visit me in Boston – in college and in law school, or San Francisco or on all of our ski trips – in Lake Tahoe, in Mammoth, in Utah. I felt like we really bonded as adults and were able to open up to each other, even sharing some of the same friends.  You were always so loving, too.  I’ll never forget when Paw-Paw died, you were the only one I felt like shared the pain in the same way that I did – and you comforted me then and so many other times when I was having a hard time. 

And now as a mommy, I have so many moments as a mommy to laugh about, cry about, scream about, puzzle over, feel like a failure over.  I miss being able to share those things with you.  I wish we could all continue our ski trips in the winter, and have fun beach vacations in the summer with our kids becoming close as cousins.  But these days you are not fun loving.  I feel so sad when I hear you constantly complaining about everything – how the world is treating you unfairly, how the bank screwed up again, your friend’s check bounced again, how a creditor took the money out of your account on the wrong day again, how you can’t believe your bad luck, how you just don’t want to talk to me until life is better.  And when we do interact, I  feel used and lied to and hurt.  Remember when you were at Mike’s, watching football, and when we were talking on the phone you slurred your words to the point that they were unrecognizable and then passed out mid-sentence?  When I started screaming into the phone in fear, you came to, and made an excuse for the incident.  Remember when I came to Atlanta with both kids in tow alone shortly after Gregory was born, and you left many nights to go over to Mike’s – to get high --  instead of spending time with me and the kids?  Remember all of the loans that I gave you for car repairs, and even when you set the repayment terms, you didn’t keep them – you sent a check and then asked me not to cash it, or claimed you had the “wrong address” for me even though I’ve never moved, or told me that you just got an overdraft in your bank because the “bank screwed up” again.  Remember the mountain of pill bottles that covered your bathroom counter, spilled out of the bathroom drawers and filled most every open space in your bedroom at mom’s house?  Remember when you accidentally called me when you were with your friend, just before moving from Atlanta to New York?  And you made up some story to explain away what I heard?  And when we spoke on your birthday in May – the only time we’ve spoken on the phone since last November – you told me that you were making lots of money, that you had a savings account and had begun a 401k?  This, while in reality you in fact didn’t have a bank account at all, had blown through a $7,000 income tax refund in lightening speed and were cashing in _______'s 401(k), having your internet cut off and were behind on all of your bills.   I’m so hurt by all of the lies.  You’re the only sibling I have, and I really miss you.

You have gone to extraordinary measures to try to hide the addiction, but it is not a secret anymore.  I love you and am very concerned about you, and I’m sharing information with everyone who loves you so that I can help you.  There are no secrets anymore.  I know that you are sick, and you didn’t cause this illness any more than Maw-Maw caused her breast cancer or Dad caused his diabetes.  Addiction is a serious disease that runs in our family, and I don’t want to lose you. 

I’m so worried about you that I often can’t sleep at night, and have trouble focusing on my work or my family at home.  I’m here – far away from my small children who need me – because you need me even more right now.  Look around at all of us – this is your family unit.  This is where you came from, and you know what is right and what is wrong.  You know that this is not the way to lead your life – and this is not the way you want your beautiful daughter, ______ to grow up, in a web of lies and financial ruin due to drugs.

I know you can do this.  You have all of my support, and I am rooting for you.  Will you please accept the help we are offering today?



Your sister

Actual Intervention Letter from a successful intervention:

My Dear Son,

    On Oct 29th in 1976 at Bayview hospital a big boy was born!  I watched his mother reach for him and say, “That’s the most beautiful baby in the whole world!”  And you were!!  I watched this boy grow and learn and get excited, laugh a lot and occasionally cry and play and work toward goals, develop talents and face disappointments.  You fell in love with skiing, enjoyed your musical ability – as I did, developed a kind and sensitive spirit,  were unashamed of bending over and kissing your dad on the head in front of your friends even as a 15, 16, 17 and 18 year-old.

    When you were little, you had an innate ability to remember how to drive to and from almost any location, learn to play new musical instruments and dance.  You won two consecutive annual talent shows at ________ Elementary School.  You played baseball, running the bases as fast -- or faster -- than any of your teammates.  You went on scouting outings and had many fun adventures/misadventures (like sleeping at _______ Wood after having your tent flooded.)  There were many good-quality friends and much laughter and happiness.   I loved your gentle spirit and was full of fatherly pride.

    As you grew and developed, I knew you would become a good citizen of the world and a credit to yourself and others.  As you went off to college in Miami, I was cautiously optimistic.  (You had collected some new acquaintances that concerned me – like some of the people with whom you were playing music when you threw a party on _______ Road, lied to me and said all these party-goers ‘just showed up when they heard you and your band were practicing your music.’)  I was concerned about your decision-making in absence of guidance, but confident in your ability to get the job done in school with proper focus and directed energy.  I became very concerned when I heard about your traffic ticket in Texas, a trip to New Orleans and other unfocussed decisions.  When I found out that you were misusing your college money and lying, I was very troubled! 

    Then you moved in with mom again, lied about attending community college at _________ moved in with a bunch of known druggies, lost all of your music equipment – always blaming others, lost your car, and on and on.  As you sank down deeper, I moved you in with me, requiring that you maintain a steady job, and pay a reduced rent, do a few shared chores, and hopefully, develop some career goals and perhaps go back to school.  I observed that, at times you couldn’t even keep up with your rent’ borrowed money from others and often didn’t take your turn at your chores.  You always had an excuse – which I refused to listen to!

    I knew something was amuck, but I was stupid!  I thought the money was going for just pot!  I remembered our run off of __________ when we found the Cannabis plants growing in terracotta planters and drew a leaf and an arrow.  We both laughed and you showed no interest.   It was shocking to me to hear that you were using other drugs.  You may recall that I aksed you about the rumor passed indirectly through ___________ expressing his concern over ‘other drugs’ you were using.  You assured me this was bull and asked me for specifics.

    Some friends and clients totally got it!  You and Mike appeared to be high at you 2010 birthday party.  But I still wasn’t even certain there was a serious problem until the drug prescriptions and resulting narcotic purchases from the scum-bag physician in Southwest ________.  I saw how desperate you and ________ were to get a prescription filled.  I saw the cash receipts and listened to you attempt to con me!  I felt sad as you almost immediately said you were leaving for New York.  You said you needed to get away from some of your relationships!  You may recall, I said you can find similar people wherever you move to.  I was very sad to see you move to an environment I was certain would be no better and perhaps worse.  I watched as you and ________ ducked questions about your financial dealings, used your considerable verbal skills to con me out of money and explain away collection calls to my phone number – always asserting that the people doing the collecting were in the wrong and that the bank had made a mistake -- and I believe you tortured yourselves with the knowledge that you were being dishonest and behaving dishonorably.

    I cried out loud as I recalled the slurred words in the middle of the day, the trips to client sites when I was certain you were impaired and the interaction with _____ as he asked me not to let you back on the job site.  I reacted by telling you our clients need your unimpaired efforts!  You didn’t respond!

    Son, I love you.  You deserve a better life than the one you are living!  I keep seeing evidence of the horrible results of your bad decisions – unable to pay rent, buy ______ clothes, food and essentials, always leaving to “run errands,” and all of the times you were “just around the corner from mom’s house.”  It was always the same answer when I called after you should have already been home from taking _______ to work late!

    As your loving father, I want you to get help for this horrible disease/problem!  I want you to become the sweet, sensitive son you used to be.  I want you to provide for your sweet unassuming and loving daughter.   I want you to be in control of your own life!  I want you to be a son and a respected friend and citizen in your community!  The key is to address the drug addiction first!  That is step one!  Please get the help that is being offered here today!



Dad, your loving father

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