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Writing a Goodbye Letter to Addiction: Why It’s Important & How to Begin

man writing a goodbye letter to addiction Whether you are a high-functioning alcoholic or your heroin use makes it hard to get through the day, your relationship with your drug of choice is like a bad relationship with a romantic partner. While you may realize it is toxic and unhealthy, you still struggle to leave. Although scary, it’s time to let go. Breaking up with addiction isn’t easy, but it will be the best thing you ever do.

The Benefits of Writing a Letter to Addiction

Going to a rehab center and getting treatment is often a necessary first step to getting clean, but addiction recovery is a process. One way to help you along your journey may be with a goodbye letter to drugs. Writing a goodbye letter to addiction can:

  • Decrease ambivalence and resistance to recovery
  • Have therapeutic benefits
  • Open lines of communication
  • Help your future self
  • Provide you with closure

Decrease Ambivalence & Resistance

Saying goodbye to your addiction in a letter is one way to formally state your goals to get and stay sober as well as your intention of leaving drugs and alcohol in the past. Putting this type of declaration in writing makes it more real. Some evidence suggests that you are even 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.1

Therapeutic Benefits

Writing a goodbye letter to addiction may also be therapeutic. These goodbye letters to opiates, cocaine, alcohol, or any other substance of use can help people address significant events in their past related to their addiction. It may also help them get out on paper what they would otherwise struggle to do so with words.2

Open Lines of Communication

Along with helping you feel better, writing a breakup letter to addiction could also help your therapist. Especially in the early stages of residential addiction treatment, some people struggle to open up. This letter to your substance of choice could help you better articulate your feelings or even been a means of communicating with your therapist if you choose to share the letter with them.

Help Your Future Self

Your addiction breakup letter may also help you in the future. When times get tough in recovery, you can look back on this letter and be reminded of why you decided to get clean in the first place. This may give you the extra motivation you need to stay on this path and avoid relapse.


Just like after a breakup, sometimes you need closure. Writing a letter to addiction may be able to provide you this closure as you end your relationship with drugs. With this letter, you can let go of the past and your addiction. Instead, you can start to focus on your future in recovery.  

7 Tips on How to Write a Goodbye Letter to Drugs

While writing a goodbye letter to alcohol and drugs may sound good in theory, you may not know where to begin. What should you say? What should you not say? How long should it be? Instead of getting overwhelmed, these tips on writing a goodbye letter to addiction can help you get started.

1. Focus on your why.

Why are you getting clean? What led you to this point? Why are you ready to change now?

2. Look to the future.

What do you have to look forward to with getting sober? What good changes will come about because of your recovery?

3. Create some goals.

What do you hope to achieve by getting sober? What goals were put on hold because of your addiction that you can start pursuing again?

4. Give yourself positive affirmation.

You can do this. You are stronger than your addiction, you may just need to remind yourself of this in your letter.

5. Ignore grammar.

Write from the heart instead of getting bogged down on perfect spelling or grammar.

6. Be honest with yourself.

What can you say on paper that you have not been able to admit aloud? How do you really feel?

7. Write several versions.

Recovery is a long journey. Feel free to update your letter or write new ones as your life changes. Ending your relationship with addiction isn’t easy, but it will be the best choice you ever made. If you are struggling to get started, we are here. Our Texas detox center helps people begin their journey to lifelong recovery. Contact us today to learn more.

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