Prosecutors disagree. They are seeking to seize the $1.3 million in cash that was allegedly earned by the doctor’s wife between 2009 and 2016 through drug sales, the doctor’s lake house estate in Coeur d’Alene, three houses in Las Vegas, and eight cars. Though refusing to comment on the details of the case, the prosecution noted to reporters that they would be presenting evidence to support their charges.
While whether or not the doctor knew that the money he gave his wife was going to support her illegal endeavors may remain up for debate, it appears to be clear that his money was used to support these activities.
For families living with addiction, this scenario is familiar. Though on a much larger scale, family members are often horrified to find that their hard-earned money has gone to fund a loved one’s use of drugs or that prized possessions have been sold to support an addiction. In some cases, the money or items were not stolen but given to the person living with addiction in hopes of helping them out in some way. It can be jarring to find that these well-meant gifts were used to fund the very thing that the family fears most.
How can you know whether or not your well-intentioned choices are enabling a loved one’s addiction? And how do you make positive changes that help them?
Giving someone who is struggling with addiction any cash or access to money will certainly increase their ability to buy drugs and alcohol even if the funds do not go directly to the purchase of their substance of choice. If their rent is paid, for example, then someone living with addiction has fewer financial obligations and can freely spend more on substances of abuse.
Similarly, cash gifts are not the only thing that can enable someone’s continued use of drugs. Doing anything that makes it easier for someone to continue making the choice to avoid treatment prolongs their addiction. This can include:
- Providing someone with free room and board
- Providing childcare or another service that frees up their time to get and stay high
- Paying someone’s bail or legal fees related to drug charges
- Making excuses or lying for someone in order to help them avoid the consequences of their use of substances (e.g., lying to an employer, neighbor, etc.)
- Otherwise buffering someone from the physical, emotional, and social consequences related to drug use and/or the choices made under the influence
Turning a New Page
Though you cannot undo what has been done in the past, you can make a commitment to making healthier choices in the future, both for you and for your loved one. This can start right now. Here’s how:
- Make a list that highlights all of the behaviors that you feel may have enabled your loved one’s ability to continue in active addiction.
- Write down how and what you will change on that list. Be specific.
- Talk to a therapist who specializes in substance abuse treatment and discuss your current situation and your goals for your family’s future.
- Seek out a 12-Step support group that is designed for friends and family members of people who are or were living in active addiction to get some perspective and support.
- Consider staging an intervention for your loved one so they can connect with the treatment they need to begin the healing process.
How will you improve your life and the lives of everyone in your family by creating positive boundaries today?