Reports indicate that law enforcement had been surveilling calls for months between the RI woman arrested and those who were working with her to transport heroin up from Central America. Conversations often focused on how best to evade detection by law enforcement to get the drugs from point A to point B and how to get large sums of money back to people in Guatemala.
There is a saying that law enforcement only has to be at the right place at the right time once in order to take down someone who is selling drugs or otherwise living a life of crime related to an ongoing addiction but that those who are attempting to live outside of the law have to be in the right place at the right time every single time in order to avoid imprisonment.
A life that revolves around drugs will invariably put someone on the wrong side of the law eventually. If it does not result in a life sentence, it can actually be a positive thing if it becomes a wakeup call that it is time to get treatment and make some big changes in life.
A Built-In Impetus for Change
Those who face drug trafficking charges are not eligible for drug courts in Rhode Island, but those who are arrested for possession of small amounts of most drugs may be able to avoid criminal court. The benefit of this is that treatment is often required of the individual as is working with a case manager and regularly demonstrating that they are staying clean and sober, engaged in rehab, and working to get a job and/or a safe place to live that will allow them to continue in recovery.
It is a program that has proven to be effective as well as cost-effective; people who are living with addiction need treatment, not prison. They need support for the long-term as they work to create positive changes in life, often starting over with new friends and a new place to live because almost nothing from their old life is transferrable to their new life in recovery. Arrest is never a happy or stress-free event, but if it can put someone on the road to recovery who might not otherwise recognize that they need help, then there is good that can come from it – not just for the individual but for their family members as well.
Turning Hardship into a Launchpad
If your loved one has long been living with addiction, to the point that they are engaging in criminal activities in order to maintain a steady supply of their drug of choice, it is likely that you have already tried to discuss the option of treatment with little success. However, a big negative event that is inarguably caused by drug use and abuse – like arrest or overdose – can be the launching pad you need to have a serious conversation that is focused on treatment rather than on whether or not drug use is really the root cause of the problem.
The fact is that abuse of substances is almost never the root cause of the problem but a symptom of underlying issues that can create additional problems for the individual and an ongoing cycle of drug abuse and struggle. More drug abuse causes more problems; more problems trigger cravings for drugs and alcohol. The only way to break this cycle is to undergo professional treatment, and for many, a big event like arrest can provide the moment of clarity that is necessary to make that happen.