LA Woman Surrenders on Drug Possession Charges

One Louisiana woman was arrested on drug charges after a search warrant was executed and released within 24 hours. A few weeks later, she was charged with a Class D felony possession of cocaine as well as possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia with bail set at $5,000. Rather than try to evade arrest, she came forward and turned herself in, posted bond, and prepared to move forward on addressing the issue proactively.

To many, this act demonstrates a commitment to making the situation right. Even if her choices in the past were not the most positive, her choice to turn herself in shows that she is ready to begin making healthier choices now and in the future. Not only will this likely serve her well when she faces the judge, but it will also help her on a personal level as she resets her course and begins the process of creating a new life for herself that is not defined by drug use and abuse.

If you are considering taking steps to address your own issues with drug use and make a fresh start in recovery, you too may benefit from “turning yourself in” and taking the initiative to start a comprehensive addiction treatment program. There are many things to take into consideration as you determine which path forward is right for you. Here are a just a few things to keep in mind as you begin this process.

You Are Not Escaping the Past but Processing It

Part of the process of growing in recovery comes with a commitment to address past choices however is most appropriate to facilitate positive movement forward. That is, if legal problems associated with drug use and abuse are an issue, then it becomes important for the individual to find out how to follow and meet legal requirements. The person has to prioritize doing everything possible to avoid further police contact and manage responsibilities associated with past charges.

This can also mean addressing trauma and abuse that may have occurred prior to or during active addiction, learning how to manage the symptoms (e.g., anxiety, anger, guilt, shame, etc.) so they do not continue to be a trigger for relapse.

It can also mean actively taking responsibility for choices made during addiction that harmed others, reaching out to those people when possible and appropriate, and “making amends” or otherwise working through those issues for the purpose of moving forward.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders Is Essential

Addiction is not just the use of drugs and alcohol. It indicates an underlying problem in behavior management that may happen to manifest through heavy drug and alcohol use. This behavior management issue is a brain disease that can be treated, but when it co-occurs with other mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.), it is essential that both the addiction disorder and the co-occurring disorder are treated simultaneously. In this way, the mental health symptoms that trigger cravings for drugs and alcohol or other addiction behaviors can be managed healthfully, giving you the opportunity to address other issues you may be facing as you start over in recovery.

The Importance of Integrated Treatment

Integrated treatment is a comprehensive approach that addresses both mental health and substance abuse disorders simultaneously. It's crucial to treat both conditions concurrently because they are often intertwined. If only one condition is treated, it can lead to relapse and a return to the other condition.

Integrated treatment combines therapy, medication management, and support groups to address the underlying issues that contribute to both conditions. It's important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to integrated treatment. Each individual's treatment plan should be tailored to their specific needs.

Medication Management

Medication management is an essential component of integrated treatment. It involves the use of medications to help manage the symptoms of mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders. Medications can help individuals stabilize their moods, reduce cravings, and manage withdrawal symptoms.

It's important to note that medication management should be used in conjunction with therapy and support groups. Medications alone are not a cure for co-occurring disorders.


Therapy is a crucial component of integrated treatment. It helps individuals address the underlying issues that contribute to both mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders. Therapy can be individual, group, or family-based.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. CBT helps individuals identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with positive ones. It also helps individuals develop coping skills to manage cravings and other triggers.

Support Groups

Support groups are another crucial component of integrated treatment. They provide individuals with a safe space to share their experiences and receive support from others who are going through similar struggles. Support groups can be in-person or online.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are two well-known support groups that individuals with co-occurring disorders can attend. There are also support groups specifically for individuals with co-occurring disorders, such as Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA).

The Benefits of Early Intervention for Co-Occurring Disorders

Early intervention is crucial for individuals with co-occurring disorders. The sooner an individual receives treatment, the better their chances of a successful recovery.

Benefits of Early Intervention

  • Prevention of worsening conditions: Early intervention can prevent the conditions from worsening and potentially causing irreversible damage.
  • Avoidance of legal problems: Early intervention can help individuals avoid legal problems or other consequences that may arise from untreated mental health and substance abuse disorders.
  • Improved quality of life: Early intervention can improve an individual's overall quality of life by reducing symptoms and improving their ability to function in daily life.
  • Reduced risk of relapse: Early intervention can reduce the risk of relapse. When both conditions are treated simultaneously, individuals are less likely to turn to substances when they experience symptoms of mental health disorders.

Overall, early intervention is essential for individuals with co-occurring disorders. It can lead to a more successful recovery, improved quality of life, and reduced risk of relapse. If you or someone you know is struggling with co-occurring disorders, seek help as soon as possible to increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Different Types of Therapy for Co-occurring Disorders

While cognitive-behavioral therapy is commonly used in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, it's important to note that there are other types of therapy that can be effective as well.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of therapy that focuses on teaching individuals how to regulate their emotions and improve relationships with others. It's often used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder, which frequently co-occurs with substance abuse disorders.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is another type of therapy that can be effective for individuals with co-occurring disorders who have experienced trauma. EMDR involves recalling traumatic memories while engaging in eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation. This process can help individuals process the trauma and reduce symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT is a type of therapy that focuses on improving relationships with others. It's often used in the treatment of depression, which frequently co-occurs with substance abuse disorders. IPT can help individuals identify negative patterns in their relationships and develop strategies to improve communication and resolve conflicts.

In addition to these types of therapy, there are many other approaches that may be used in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. It's important for individuals to work closely with their treatment team to determine which types of therapy will be most effective for their specific needs.

Patience Is Key

You did not develop an addiction disorder overnight, and it will take more than a few weeks to quit some of the old behaviors that are harming you and learn new ones that are healthier. It is possible, however, and with time and persistence and a solid support system helping you to stay on track, you will begin to change how you view the world, yourself, and your purpose for being here.

Finding a Treatment Center for Integrated Treatment

Finding a treatment center that specializes in integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders can be challenging. However, it's essential to find a facility that can provide comprehensive care for both mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Considerations When Choosing a Treatment Center

  • Accreditation: Look for a treatment center that is accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Joint Commission or the Council on Accreditation. Accreditation ensures that the facility meets certain standards of care.
  • Treatment Approach: Make sure the treatment center offers integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders. Ask about their approach to medication management, therapy, and support groups.
  • Staff Qualifications: Look for a treatment center with qualified staff who have experience treating co-occurring disorders. Ask about their credentials and training.
  • Facility Amenities: Consider the amenities offered at the facility, such as private rooms, recreational activities, and nutritious meals. These amenities can contribute to an individual's overall well-being during their stay.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Treatment Center

  • What is your approach to integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders?
  • What types of therapy do you offer?
  • How do you manage medications for mental health and substance abuse disorders?
  • What is the staff-to-patient ratio?
  • How long is the average length of stay?
  • Do you offer aftercare services?

It's important to take time when choosing a treatment center for co-occurring disorders. Research different facilities, ask questions, and tour the facility if possible. Finding the right treatment center can make all the difference in an individual's recovery journey.

You Are in Control of Your Future

Though you may not be able to reverse your addiction on your own or to simply choose to just stop engaging in addiction behaviors without treatment and support, you are still in control of your choices and the direction your life will take from this day forward. You have the ability to decide what you will do next, no matter what you did this morning, yesterday, or last year. There is no one to blame for where you are or what heights you will or will not reach; there is just you, ready to accept responsibility for your choices, to accept who you are and what you’ve been through, and to begin making each choice that arises based on the healthiest option available.


Treating co-occurring disorders requires a comprehensive approach to address mental health and substance abuse disorders together. Treatment may include therapy, medication management, and support groups tailored to the individual's needs. CBT is often used, but other therapies like DBT, EMDR, and IPT can also be effective.

Early intervention is crucial to prevent irreversible damage. When choosing a treatment center, consider accreditation, staff qualifications, and facility amenities. Research, ask questions, and tour the facility.

Are you in control of your life? Are you ready to learn how to be?


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.