LA Women on Spring Break Busted for Trading Hydrocodone for Meth

When on vacation, people tend to break their own rules, push boundaries, and do things

When on vacation, people tend to break their own rules, push boundaries, and do things they ordinarily would not do. This may have been the case for two women from Louisiana spending their Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida, when they made plans to trade hydrocodone for crystal meth with an undercover investigator.

The investigator met the women near a motel, and after the exchange was made, the Washington County Drug Task Force arrested them both. A glass pipe, hypodermic needles, and metal spoons with residue of crystal meth were also found in their possession. Both women were arrested for sale and/or delivery of opiate drugs, use of a two-way device to facilitate a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Though most people who make risky decisions on vacation hope that whatever happens doesn’t follow them home, these Louisiana women will likely be dealing with the fallout of their choices in Florida for years to come.

Tourist Mentality

In Louisiana, we are very familiar with the tourist mentality. People come from around the world for Mardi Gras and to enjoy our jazz festivals and other celebrations. We watch as people make choices while visiting that they likely would never make in their own hometowns, and we know firsthand what the repercussions for those choices can be.

Louisiana has the highest rate of prisoners per capita among all the states in the country and perhaps in the world. Some reports find that Louisiana has an imprisonment rate that is almost five times that of Iran and 13 times that of China. In the past 20 years, the number of people incarcerated in Louisiana has doubled, yet New Orleans still has one of the highest rates of homicide in the country. It is likely that these numbers are boosted by the fact that so many tourists come here and make extreme choices that end in arrest. It is clear that when it comes to drug use and abuse, what happens on vacation does not stay on vacation, especially in areas with high rates of tourism – party-centered tourism, in particular.

Staying Sober in Party Central

New Orleans, Baton Rouge – there is no shortage of clubs, bars, and parties going on all the time, with easy access to alcohol and any substance you can think of. For people who are in recovery, this constant temptation can be difficult, but it can also be seen as an opportunity. When one is constantly surrounded by drugs and alcohol, it makes it almost mandatory to have a plan in place to manage the situation when feeling triggered. For example, in order to avoid relapse due to repeated exposure to people who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, you can:

  • Have a list of people in your phone who are on call for you any time of day or night and willing to talk you through a stressful moment.
  • Know where the meetings are and what time they are happening no matter where you are.
  • Have things you can do for yourself in the moment to give you space to assess how you are feeling and make some positive choices (e.g., taking three deep breaths, going outside, counting to 10, etc.).
  • Talk to your therapist or counselor in advance and ask if it is okay if you text or call if you are in crisis.
  • Keep an electronic copy of an inspiring book or one about recovery on your phone, so you can always take a time out and read something that may speak to you.
  • Download apps that send you inspirational or recovery-related reminders and texts throughout the day.

Though it is true that you can never “pull a geographic” and move away from your stressors and problems, it may be prudent to consider moving neighborhoods if you happen to live above a bar, for example, or in a district where there is a great deal of crime, partying, or drug deals. Give yourself everything you need to be successful in recovery, including a home that is safe in every sense of the word.

Find Sober-Friendly Activities

Seeking out non-alcoholic drinks at parties and social events

One of the most challenging aspects of staying sober in party central is dealing with the pressure to drink. Fortunately, many bars and clubs now offer a range of non-alcoholic drinks that are just as delicious as their boozy counterparts. It's important to seek out these options when attending parties or social events.

If you're unsure whether a particular establishment offers non-alcoholic drinks, don't be afraid to ask the bartender or server. They may have some recommendations for you based on your taste preferences.

Another option is to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages to parties. This way, you can ensure that you always have something to drink that won't compromise your sobriety. Consider bringing a variety of options, such as sparkling water, juice, or mocktails.

Remember, there's no shame in choosing not to drink alcohol. In fact, many people will respect and admire your decision to prioritize your health and well-being.

Building a Network of Sober Friends

The Importance of Support and Encouragement

Building a network of sober friends can be crucial to maintaining your sobriety, especially in party central where alcohol is often the focal point of social events. Having people around you who understand and support your decision to stay sober can make all the difference.

Consider joining a local recovery group or attending meetings at your college's counseling center. These groups provide opportunities to connect with others who are also in recovery and share similar experiences. You may even find a mentor or sponsor who can offer guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of staying sober.

In addition to formal recovery groups, consider reaching out to classmates or colleagues who are also committed to sobriety. You may be surprised at how many people are making the same choice as you. Plan activities together that don't revolve around alcohol, such as going for a hike, checking out a museum exhibit, or trying out a new restaurant.

Remember, building a network of sober friends isn't just about finding people who won't pressure you to drink. It's about finding people who will actively support and encourage your journey towards sobriety. These individuals can provide accountability, motivation, and friendship when you need it most.

One of the best ways to stay sober in party central is to engage in activities that do not involve alcohol or drugs. Many college towns have plenty of activities that are fun and sober-friendly. You can join a sports team, take up a hobby, or attend events that do not involve drinking. Some examples include:

  • Joining a fitness class or club
  • Attending a concert or music festival
  • Going to a comedy show or movie theater
  • Participating in volunteer work or community service
  • Taking up art classes or workshops

Reaching Out for Professional Help

Sometimes, maintaining sobriety can be challenging, even with the right strategies and support system in place. If you find yourself struggling to stay sober in party central, it may be helpful to reach out for professional help.

A counselor or therapist can provide additional support and guidance as you navigate your journey to sobriety. They can help you understand the root causes of your addiction and develop coping mechanisms to deal with triggers and cravings. Additionally, they can provide a safe space for you to talk about your experiences and emotions without fear of judgment.

Many colleges have counseling services available for students, which may offer individual or group therapy sessions. Alternatively, you can find a therapist in your local community who specializes in addiction or substance abuse. Some insurance plans also cover mental health services, so be sure to check with your provider.

Remember that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but rather a courageous step towards healing.

Developing a Relapse Prevention Plan

Even with the best strategies and support system in place, triggers and cravings can still arise. That's why it's important to have a relapse prevention plan in case of these situations.

A relapse prevention plan is a personalized plan that outlines steps you can take to prevent a relapse. This includes identifying triggers and developing strategies for dealing with cravings. Some tips for developing a relapse prevention plan include:

  • Identifying triggers: Make a list of people, places, or situations that may trigger your desire to use alcohol or drugs. Common triggers include stress, boredom, social pressure, and negative emotions.
  • Developing coping strategies: Once you've identified your triggers, develop coping mechanisms for each one. For example, if stress is a trigger for you, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation when you feel stressed.
  • Creating an action plan: If you do experience a craving or trigger, create an action plan that outlines steps you can take to avoid using alcohol or drugs. This may include calling a friend from your support system or engaging in sober-friendly activities.

Remember that everyone's relapse prevention plan will be different and should be tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. It's important to regularly review and update your plan as needed to ensure its effectiveness in preventing relapse.

Finding and Attending Sober Events or Meetings in the Community

Attending sober events or meetings in the community can be a great way to connect with others who share your commitment to sobriety. These events provide a safe and supportive environment where you can socialize, have fun, and build new friendships without the pressure of alcohol or drugs.

There are many types of sober events and meetings available in most communities. Some examples include:

  • Sober dances or parties
  • Yoga or meditation classes
  • Art or music therapy sessions
  • Support group meetings (AA, NA, SMART Recovery)
  • Outdoor activities such as hiking or camping trips

If you're not sure where to find sober events in your area, try doing an online search for "sober events near me" or "sober meetups." You can also reach out to local organizations such as community centers, churches, or recovery centers for information on upcoming events.

Attending these events can help you stay motivated and inspired on your journey to sobriety. It's also a great opportunity to meet new people who understand what you're going through and can offer support when you need it most.

How do you handle the temptation to take risks with your recovery?

Conclusion

Staying sober in party central can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and support system. By engaging in sober-friendly activities, planning ahead, finding a support system, and practicing self-care, you can maintain your sobriety and enjoy all that college life has to offer.

Sources:

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021, January). College Drinking.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, February 4). Find a Support Group.
Since joining the Townsend content team, Shlomo has become a thought leader in the addiction field. He is a Seinfeld junkie, a recovering Twitter fanatic, and a sports expert. He enjoys milk shakes and beautiful views from rooftops.