When law enforcement executed a search warrant on a home in Tampa last month, five people were arrested. Charges ranged from giving law enforcement a false name to possession of cocaine as well as possession with intent to sell cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, felon in possession of a fire arm, and possession of cannabis.
Florida also saw more arrests in Fort Pierce last month, when more than 20 people were arrested in a two-month undercover investigation that led to the arrests of buyers and sellers of heroin and crack cocaine. More arrests are expected in the coming weeks related to the drugs and weapons found during the investigation.
Drug busts are happening every day in Tampa and across the state. Many are struggling with the use and abuse of illicit substances as well as legal substances like alcohol and prescription drugs. Too often, the first time it becomes real that there is a serious problem is when law enforcement arrives. Though the bad news is that the person now must deal with legal problems as well as the drug abuse issue, the good news is that the arrest can be a wakeup call and encouragement to get much-needed treatment.
What will it take for your loved one to see the need for drug addiction treatment?
The Cycle of Drug Abuse
Unfortunately, when it comes to drug abuse, arrest on drug-related charges is often just part of the cycle of addiction. In many cases, a person will abuse drugs in increasingly larger doses and more frequently despite an increase in negative consequences. Problems with people at home, difficulties getting the job done at work, health problems, and financial struggles are just a few of the common issues that people face as drug abuse turns into addiction. If these issues continue and grow, yet the person is unable or unwilling to stop using their drug of choice, it is clear that addiction is an issue.
When a big event like overdose, accident under the influence, or arrest occurs, it can serve as a much needed wakeup call. A life-shaking event makes it clear like nothing else that drug use and abuse have indeed become a problem and that it is time to seek treatment before the issue takes the person’s freedom or life.
If action is not taken right away and treatment sought, the adrenaline of this event and the momentum it creates can be lost. The person may attempt to stay sober alone and find that it is not possible, ultimately returning to the same behaviors that led to the incident. Without treatment, this cycle will continue without end unless the person is incarcerated or dies due to overdose or accident.
The Shift of Momentum
Movement forward and out of addiction can begin with something like an arrest. Concerned friends and family members are encouraged to seize the moment and stage an intervention with the goal of clarifying that addiction is the root problem and that treatment can help. If the person can learn from the experience and connect with treatment, the future can be brighter. In the case of issues with law enforcement, undergoing treatment may even help the court to see things in a more lenient light and potentially opt for a lighter punishment with continued sobriety.
But how do you stage an intervention for someone who has formerly had no sustained interest in getting treatment? You can:
- Choose who will take part in the intervention – that is, the people who will speak and help your loved one to understand that treatment is necessary.
- Determine whether or not you will hire a professional interventionist to assist you, often a good choice if you are uncertain how best to proceed.
- Enroll your loved one in a drug rehab program with a start date that coincides with the date of the intervention.
- Hold a planning meeting and include everyone except the person struggling with addiction with the goal of answering everyone’s questions, working out the details, and helping everyone to think through what they will say.
- Choose a time and place, and decide who will get the person to the intervention.
- Pack a bag for your loved one if you have chosen an inpatient drug treatment program.
At the intervention, it is a good idea to stay calm and stay focused. The goal is to help the person recognize the need for immediate treatment and to go right away.
What does your loved one need to break the cycle of addiction?