For the next few years, a former guard at High Desert State Prison will get to know firsthand what it is like to be on the other side of the locked door as an inmate. Convicted of bringing methamphetamine into the prison, the former guard will spend between one and four years in lockup on charges of transporting a controlled substance and providing a controlled substance to a prisoner.
The Nevada Department of Corrections Inspector General’s Office investigated the allegations, uncovered through surveillance of inmate phone calls. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office prosecuted the case.
In a statement, Laxalt said: “Today’s sentencing should send the message that no one is above the law, including law enforcement officers. My office will continue to partner with other state agencies in an effort to bring individuals who commit these crimes to justice, and ensure the safety of Nevada’s prisons and the public.”
A Matter of Time
The arrest of the former guard serves as a stark reminder not only that no one is above the law but also that it is often just a matter of time before the consequences for criminal choices related to drugs and drug sales become severe. Loss of freedom is one such consequence, and it is also common for people who are living a drug-centered lifestyle to struggle with:
- Health problems, either due to drug use or physical issues caused by living in a world dominated by drug dealers and desperate people
- Emotional issues, especially mental health symptoms that crop up due to fear of law enforcement or use of substances
- Relationship difficulties, including divorce, loss of custody, and estrangement from extended family
- Financial hardship, either due to the inability to maintain employment or the high cost of drugs and/or alcohol
Before the Worst Can Happen
For many families who have a clear view of what may befall a loved one who is absorbed by a life dominated by drug use and sales, their singular goal is to help the person connect with treatment services and other resources that will help them to get back on track before the worst occurs. Whether the worst possible outcome is defined as arrest and loss of freedom or accident and injury due to drug use or overdose, the hope is that with enough support, they can avoid those consequences.
Many families opt to stage an intervention in order to help their loved one recognize the dire risks associated with their current lifestyle. If you are considering staging an intervention for your loved one, you can improve the process and increase the likelihood that they will agree to treatment when you:
- Avoid judgment: No matter what emotions you are feeling – and there are likely many – the sole focus of an intervention is to help your loved one begin the treatment process. There will be time later to address emotional issues or other past problems, and that will be an important part of the recovery process for all involved, but at the intervention, everyone’s attention should stay focused on helping your loved one begin treatment.
- Hold a planning meeting: Even if you feel confident in the process, it can still be helpful for other participants to meet together once prior to the intervention. At this meeting, everyone can make sure they are on the same page, that all the details of the event have been addressed, and that everyone has the support they need to stay focused and on track at the intervention itself.
- Set up a spot in treatment in advance: Because the goal is for the person struggling with addiction to leave from the intervention and immediately enter treatment, it is important that family members take the time to secure enrollment in a treatment program in advance of the intervention, guaranteeing that there will be a spot available should the individual agree to get help.
- Create firm boundaries: At a certain point in the intervention, it may be time for participants to state how they will withdraw support that has made it easier for the individual to continue actively using drugs and drinking. Whether this is paying their bills, offering them a place to stay, or otherwise buffering them from the consequences of their substance abuse, it is important that support is withdrawn should the person decide not to enter treatment.
- Follow through: It is not easy to stand by while someone you love is struggling, but the best possible support you can give them is the clarity that treatment is absolutely necessary for healing. Stand by your resolve to withdraw support should they initially refuse treatment and they may determine soon that entering drug rehab is the best choice after all.
Is Now the Time for Your Family to Take Action?
This holiday season, if someone in your family is struggling, you can give them the best possible gift by offering to connect them with treatment services they need to avoid the worst consequences of drug use and abuse. Are you ready to take the leap and support your loved one in choosing recovery?