Melanie, a middle-aged San Francisco single mother stared at the scratch marks on the leather couch in the living room. Her eyes were moist with tears as the bitter scenes from last night’s argument played before her eyes. “When is it going to be my face that she scratches in anger?” she wondered. Her worst fears were turning out to be a reality. She knew that her teenaged daughter Stephanie was experimenting with OxyContin since the past seven to eight months. Recently, Melanie got into a bitter argument with her daughter about her latest addiction to heroin when she spotted some white powder packets in her wardrobe.
Last night matters got worse when Melanie heard that Stephanie had turned to prostitution to pay for her drugs. She lost her temper and the heated argument which followed soon turned violent and ugly. Stephanie was constantly in a fit of fury and would go to any extent to feed her addiction. Melanie understood that some form of major intervention would be necessary to take control of the situation, now.
Making up one’s mind to take a tough stand
Sometimes tough love is the hardest to dish out, but is the only option left. Melanie decided to report Stephanie and her compulsive drug-seeking behavior to the police, as she knew that an arrest was the only way to get Stephanie off the streets.
Melanie tipped the authorities about her intention to go for a drive with her daughter, who would be in the passenger seat with drugs in her handbag. As planned, a San Francisco law enforcement officer arrested the young girl during a stopover on charges of carrying drug paraphernalia and possession of an illegal controlled substance.
Though it can be an agonizing ordeal for parents to hand over their own son or daughter to the cops, in the context of the deadly opioid crisis, saving their child’s life should be any day more important. According to the statistics shared by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there were 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015.
Some points to consider before taking that extreme decision:
- Ensuring that every possible option is exhausted: Exploring every potential resource including the services of a reputed addiction treatment center, counselor or therapist before calling the police as a last-ditch attempt is a good practice.
- Explaining to the police the reason for reporting one’s child: It is advisable to let the police have a clear understanding of why they should take control of the situation. They should be aware of the fact that matters have spiraled out of hand, but they needn’t overdo it by coming in with guns drawn.
- Avoid assuming the duration of jail time: Depending on the person’s prior criminal record and local statutes, the jail time could last for just a few hours. It would make sense to keep one’s child’s lawyer in the loop. Moreover, the focus of the jail time should be on making the addict seek treatment.
- Seeking support for the family: The opioid epidemic not only affects the addict but also their family members. They too need to learn new strategies to support the addict once they’re back from the rehab.
Leading an addiction-free life
Addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. Though timely treatment is imperative for complete recovery, the support of family members and loved ones cannot be ignored. If you or a loved one is addicted to prescription drugs, contact the Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline to learn more about the prescription drug abuse treatment centers in the USA. You may also chat online with our treatment advisors or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-450-1557 to seek professional help to break free from the clutches of addiction.