What to Do If Your Loved One Is a Drug Dealer

What to Do If Your Loved One Is a Drug Dealer

Addiction makes it difficult, if not impossible, to hold a steady job. Absenteeism and poor performance at the workplace become commonplace, and, if employers catch an employee using on the job, they have ground for immediate termination.

Addiction leads to job loss more often than not, yet addicts still have bills to pay and an expensive habit to support. If your loved one is addicted to drugs, he is likely to turn to illegal channels as a source of drugs and income. Dealing drugs may seem like an easy solution.

There is no office and no set schedule, and users will have ready access to their substance of choice. As a friend or family member of an addict, you can see the harm in selling drugs and the potential for serious consequences, but communicating this message is not easy.

Talking to Your Loved One about Addiction

If your loved one is using and dealing drugs, remaining silent and taking no action enables him to continue on the current path. You cannot force someone to get treatment and stop dealing, but you can take steps to reach out while remaining safe.

Addiction changes an individual’s behaviors and thoughts, and you may worry about how your loved one will react, if you bring up treatment. Hiring a professional interventionist is the first step in keeping yourself safe while helping your loved one. Interventionists will talk with you to determine the best intervention or mediation approach, and they will be present for the planning process and the meeting itself to keep conversations on track and participants safe.

Crime and Addiction

Crime and addiction are closely related, but this does not mean that punishment for drug-related activities includes treatment. Courts are beginning to see the benefit of alternative sentencing, and the National Institutes of Health “Addiction and the Criminal Justice System” fact sheet shares, “treatment begun in the criminal justice system and continued in the community garners lasting reductions in criminal activity and drug abuse.”

While you do not want to threaten a loved one, particularly if he is involved with violent crime, interventions typically involve setting consequences for continued substance abuse. One of these may involve promises to report illegal activity, if addiction continues. Jail is not a solution to addiction, but it can create a “rock bottom” that your loved one will respond to and may provide court-ordered treatment that will lead to a real desire to change.