Lights Out, Voodoo Doll, Head Trip, Grave Digger – these are just a few of the names of the synthetic drugs that one man sold through his wholesale business based in Texas. A judge recently ordered that his sentence would end with the two years he has already served for charges that include conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances. He pleaded guilty to both charges, taking responsibility for his part in a much larger synthetic drug ring that made an estimated $16 million in less than two years and included 15+ businesses across a number of states.
Emails and text messages were gathered in the course of the investigation, revealing who was involved, in what capacity, and to what degree. The Texas man’s culpability was undeniable, and it was smart to claim that fact and plead guilty.
Unfortunately, when it comes to drug use and behaviors, many people will deny the level of severity of the issue long after it has become evident that the problem is serious – not just the person living with the addiction but friends and family members as well.
Are you acknowledging your loved one’s use of substances, or are you in denial?
Denial Is Protection
When we refuse to really assess an issue that has the potential to be problematic or when we see the clear evidence of a substance use disorder and ignore it, it is often an attempt to protect ourselves from the difficulty of emotionally processing the truth. When you ignore something, you do not have to deal with it. You give yourself permission to maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, the status quo in the case of drug use and abuse means continual threat of harm, including death, due to medical emergency or choices made under the influence, making denial no real protection at all.
First Things First
The good news is that you can give yourself permission to take a moment and prepare for what is to come, no matter how difficult. Though there is an urgent need to address the problem of a loved one’s ongoing substance use disorder, there is not a need to rush the proceedings. You have time to take a breath, do a little research, reach out for assistance, and do things in the most functional and fluid way possible. Not only is this recommended for your own personal mental health, but it may also increase the likelihood that your loved one really hears what you have to say and agrees to enroll in a treatment program.
Ask for Help
A substance use disorder is no small thing, and it makes sense to reach out for assistance from a number of different areas as you take on the process of helping your loved one begin treatment. You do not have to take this on alone, nor should you. In fact, the more people you have in your corner backing you up and helping you to plan out the details, the more likely it is that the prospect of treatment will be presented to your family member living in addiction as a viable and necessary option.
Some good sources of assistance as you get started in figuring out what is happening with your loved one and how best to proceed include:
- Close family members and confidantes: Other people in your family and your closest friends who know you best will be able to help you by giving you an objective opinion about what is happening with your loved one and being there with you when you broach the subject of treatment with your loved one.
- A religious leader: If you find solace in a religion, then it can be helpful to have the guidance and support of a clergy member.
- Professional interventionist: A professional interventionist can help you manage the details and assist you in making critical decisions as you plan the discussion with your loved one about the option of treatment and take the lead when you actually hold that conversation.
- Therapist: It is true that your loved one needs to undergo treatment for addiction, but you too have been impacted by their ongoing drug and alcohol use. As a result, you will also need assistance as you undertake your personal healing process. Therapeutic intervention is recommended.
Are you ready to address the problem of your loved one’s addiction?