Two people broke into a pharmacy in Covington, Louisiana, robbing the pharmacy of prescription medications early this month. They were caught on video but not in person, and deputies in St. Tammany Parish are now searching for them. The robbery took place about 20 minutes after the two individuals attempted to break into a pharmacy near Mandeville; this too was caught on surveillance video. It is believed that these two people were also behind two similar robberies in Hammond and that they were driving a stolen white van.
Because the sole focus of these robberies was prescription medications, it is likely that these were addiction-related crimes. Prescription drugs are expensive, and when one is out of money, heroin is also expensive. Some resort to criminal behaviors that generate money to buy drugs of choice; others go straight to the source and begin selling drugs themselves in order to pay for their own habit, or they rob pharmacies and medical facilities.
Too often, crimes like these end up complicating a relatively straightforward situation. A person with an addiction disorder will have a difficult time managing impulsive behaviors and is primarily ruled by the need to engage in their addiction behavior of choice. The good news is that, as long as the crime is nonviolent, when caught, those who commit crimes motivated by an addiction disorder may have the opportunity to connect with treatment services that can be life-changing through a judge’s order. Here’s what you need to know.
Addiction Is Treatable
Whether addiction manifests in the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, gambling, shopping, disordered eating, or unhealthy sexual behaviors, it is a highly treatable disease. Professional treatment programs that are designed to meet the individual’s needs by creating a personalized treatment plan, and continually assessing and evaluating how treatment is progressing, has the highest likelihood of having a positive impact on a person’s ability to manage addiction healthfully.
Though everyone will require a unique combination of treatments and therapies, in general, it is recommended that those struggling with addiction choose a program that will provide them with:
- A complete evaluation and assessment process at the beginning of treatment to identify any co-occurring disorders and to better understand the experience and goals of the individual requesting treatment
- A unique treatment plan based on the results of the evaluation process and the goals of the client as they determine their path forward in recovery
- Personal therapy sessions that allow for case management as well as continued assessment of progress and updated treatment goals
- Peer support through group therapy sessions and 12-Step meetings
- Family support through workshops, family therapy sessions, and support groups
- Long-term follow-up care and support through aftercare and alumni groups
There Is No Such Thing as ‘Rock Bottom’
Too often, concerned family members who are rebuffed in their attempts to help their loved one connect with treatment services tell themselves that either it is a phase that will pass on its own or that the person just needs to hit “rock bottom” before they can get help. The truth is that “rock bottom” is a myth. It does not exist. One person can hear from their spouse that they are about to file for divorce if they don’t get help and immediately realize that it’s time to go to treatment while another person can lose their spouse, their kids, their health, and their job and still refuse to acknowledge that they need help. The fact is that drug use is too dangerous to continue at any level when it is having a negative impact on a person’s life, and with the high rate of fentanyl-laced substances circulating on the streets, even occasional use can result in a deadly overdose.
You Do Not Have to Go through This Alone
Whether or not your loved one living with addiction is ready to admit that they have a problem, you do not have to face this alone. Family members are hit hard by a loved one’s addiction. You need support and recovery as much as your loved one does, and the sooner you connect with others who can help you to more objectively view your situation, the better able you will be to help your family member connect with treatment services.
Are you ready to take the first step toward recovery?