If your loved one is a substance abuser, this can cause a wide array of issues. While some of these issues are small, some may be much bigger than you think you can handle. Unexpected things will likely occur, such as your loved one going missing. While this can be extremely frightening, it is important to understand why users go missing and determine the probability of why your loved one has gone missing before taking action.
Why Do Users Go Missing?
It’s not a common occurrence, but when a user goes missing, there is usually a reason. Being the user’s friend or family member, you may feel worried or frustrated. The following are reasons why addicted persons leave friends or loved ones:
- To get away from pressures: Friends and family who have tried to help the user prior to his or her departure may have put pressure on the user to change. In an attempt to continue using without being judged, the user may have left the area.
- To escape trouble: If the user had conflict with or owes money to a drug dealer and cannot fulfill the drug dealer’s demands, the user may have fled in an effort to avoid the consequences.
- To avoid emotions: The user may have left in an effort to try to get away from problems and negative emotions. Unfortunately, the user’s problems and emotions will likely follow the user wherever he or she goes.
Understanding the reasons why your loved one may have gone missing can help you narrow down where your loved one may possibly be.
What Do I Do When My Loved One Goes Missing?
Once you discover that your loved one has gone missing, it is important to remain calm in order to make the right decisions about who to alert and what to do. Consider the following steps of action:
- Contact friends and family members. Call friends and family members who may have been in touch with your loved one. Try to determine who talked with the user last. Also, go to your loved one’s home and try to talk to neighbors in an effort to see when they last saw the user.
- Contact the police and local hospitals. Let your police department and your local hospitals know that you cannot get in contact with your loved one who has an addiction problem. Inform them that the user may be a danger to himself or herself and possibly to others. Ask them to help spread the word that the user has gone missing and to contact you with any information they receive.
- Contact drug counselors. Drug counselors can provide you with resources to help find your loved one. This is their area of expertise, and they tend to be more street smart. Enlisting them to help can give you a better idea of where your loved one could possibly be.
All you can do when your loved one goes missing is enlist the right people to help find him or her, including friends, family, neighbors and professionals. Turning the situation over to the police can be your best bet to ensure that your loved one gets home safely.