The search for a missing 13-year-old Texas girl ended tragically early this month when her body was found inside a home near Dallas. In the home was the body of a man who had been a person of interest during the four-day search, and during the course of the investigation, it became apparent to law enforcement that the little girl was a pawn in a drug deal playing out among the adults in her family.
According to court documents, a boyfriend of one the girl’s cousins stole drugs from two men who were reported drug dealers. There is allegedly a witness that reports that those men told her that they planned to kidnap the girl in an attempt to get the drugs back. Further specifics about how or why the child was killed have not been reported.
The tragedy is one of millions of stories like it in which an innocent person was harmed due to drug-related issues. Children aren’t always involved, but very often the victim is a family member who may or may not know what is at stake or what is happening.
Are you at risk due to a loved one’s ongoing struggle with addiction?
If your loved one has harmed you physically or threatened your safety or that of another family member while under the influence or for any reason, it is important to get to a safe place as quickly as possible. Please note that abusers often search web histories, and if you seek out assistance for domestic violence online, it may compromise your safety. Simply clearing your history may not be enough; reach out immediately for assistance that will help you to escape a dangerous situation, as you and anyone else who is in your care may be in harm’s way. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233, or connect with thehotline.org at a public computer and use their online chat service to speak with someone from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central Time every day.
In many cases, whether or not physical violence is part of the problem, emotional abuse is an issue when one person in the family is living with addiction. It can be painful to deal with broken trust, blame, argument, and manipulation, even though the cause is an untreated medical disorder. It can also be difficult to extricate yourself from the situation long enough to see what is happening objectively and to recognize that no matter what you do, you cannot help your loved one overcome their addiction disorder if they do not undergo professional medical and psychological treatment.
Taking a Stand
There are a number of reasons why family members may not immediately move to help a loved one go to rehab. If it is not due to physical or emotional abuse, it may simply be the desire to believe that the problem is not that serious and that it will pass on its own. For others, they may have tried to discuss the option of treatment with their loved one only to hear all the reasons why it isn’t necessary – that they will make changes on their own, that it’s not that serious, or that someone else is really the problem.
If you are living with someone who is using drugs and alcohol heavily, the time is now to get treatment – whether or not your loved one agrees to enroll in drug rehab. No one gets through an addiction unscathed, even those who are actively using drugs and alcohol. You require treatment as much as they do – treatment that is tailored to address your needs and experience, that helps you to better understand the nature of addiction, how it impacts people, and what you can and cannot do to help your loved one while also caring for others in your family and taking care of yourself.
Is today the day you have a serious talk with your loved one about the need for addiction treatment? Are you ready to not only help your family connect with the treatment services they need to heal but also to learn more about the different types of therapeutic assistance that will best help you to get back on track?