A huge amount of drugs was taken off the streets in Alexandria, Louisiana, at the end of last month – almost $2 million worth of narcotics, according to the US Department of Defense. With an aviation assist from the Louisiana National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force and Aviation Operation, Louisiana State Police and local authorities were able to apprehend an individual responsible for allegedly possessing about 70 pounds of drugs, including about $1.5 million worth of crystal meth, about $100,000 worth of cocaine, heroin valued at about $120,000, and promethazine syrup worth about $3,000. Additionally, authorities also confiscated more than $67,000 in cash.
The investigation started about a month prior to the arrest and seizure. Authorities say that it is ongoing and will likely result in more arrests.
In the course of active addiction, there is a constant flow of high highs and low lows. When someone who is physically and psychologically dependent on a substance and used to getting it from a specific source is suddenly unable to access their drug of choice, it can be a time of high stress. Without regular use, withdrawal symptoms may kick in – an extreme physiological and psychological response to being without the drug of choice that can be deeply devastating.
In this state, a person may be more likely to do things that they would not do if addiction were not a factor, including harming family members emotionally or physically and/or committing criminal acts in order to get more of their drug of choice. It can be devastating not only to the individual and their families but also to innocent bystanders.
Families in Trouble
Though the focus is often on the individual struggling with the addiction disorder, the fact is that the disorder negatively impacts a huge circle of people around that individual. Families can be hit hard by addiction. It is just as important for them to reach out for help, so they can begin their own journey to recovery and also avoid enabling behaviors that may inadvertently prolong the amount of time their loved one spends in active addiction. This means that it is appropriate for a loved one to seek treatment even if the person struggling with addiction is not actively seeking treatment.
The sooner that family members learn about the nature of addiction and what behaviors are enabling, the more likely it is that they will be able to help their loved one begin the treatment process.
Is Your Loved One Ready to Take the First Step or the Next Step?
There is no cure for addiction, a disorder that alters the function of both the brain and the body in deeply impactful ways. This means that though entry into treatment is certainly effective and can allow for remission for years, if not a lifetime, it is not a guarantee that relapse will not occur.
Addiction actually changes the shape and function of neurons in the brain, altering how the brain communicates with the body and manages impulse control. Not only does this make it difficult to manage drug and alcohol use, but it can also mean a lesser ability to moderate any behavior that triggers the “pleasure pathway” in the brain and creates a “high.” This means that certain behaviors, such as gambling, shopping, sex, and more, are often just as problematic as drug and alcohol use. Issues with any of these behaviors can make it more difficult to function healthfully in life and maintain emotional stability and balance.
If your loved one has relapsed to any addictive behavior and is struggling to find stability in recovery, you can help. By maintaining boundaries and separating the reality of the situation from what you would like it to be, you can help your loved one to accurately assess what is going on and connect with treatment that can help if necessary.
Whether it is a dry spell caused by a huge drug bust that triggers this epiphany moment or your own personal realization that things have to change, you can play an integral part in helping your family member connect with comprehensive treatment that can help them heal.