Let’s say that you have accepted the fact that your husband has an alcohol problem, and now recognize that you must do something to make him realize that fact as well. He is in denial, which is not at all uncommon when someone is a substance abuser. However, his alcoholism has begun to have an impact on the entire family, as well as his ability to perform at work. As a result you have determined that your best course of action is an alcohol intervention.

You have already selected the people who love and care about your husband to participate with you in this intervention. It is important to have people who your husband respects as part of the team in order to penetrate the denial and barriers that he is likely to put up. If his alcohol use has indeed impacted his ability to work, you might consider asking someone he respects at work to be part of the alcoholism intervention team.

After research and careful planning, you are preparing for the event with the assistance of an interventionist who has told you that the most successful interventions are the ones that are well planned, tightly controlled, and rehearsed. The interventionist has also stressed the importance of the intervention letter that each participant is to write. These letters become the script for alcohol interventions.

Each participant should prepare their own intervention letter. The process of writing these letters can be very difficult, but at the same time they give each person a voice at the intervention. It is important that the letters not be judgmental, derogatory, or place blame. At the same time, they should be personal and as specific as possible. For example, you should not generalize and say “You are always passed out on the sofa when I come to visit”, but rather be specific and say something like “When I came to visit you last Tuesday, you had passed out and I couldn’t wake you.”

Each author reads his or her letter aloud during an alcoholism intervention. The close of each letter should emphasize how much you love and care about this person and how concerned you are about his health and wellbeing. You then request that the alcoholic agree to accept the help that is being offered to him that day in the form of treatment for his drinking problem. The objective is to get them to enter treatment immediately. If the intervention letters are compelling enough, your script will have a happy ending when your husband enters a treatment facility.