If you are a member of the Louisiana State Bar and have become concerned about the alcohol or drug use of an immediate loved one, associate or partner in your firm, a fellow judge, or any lawyer, judge or a family member thereof, JLAP can help by providing you with professional advice on what can be done to try to get the person the help that they need.
It is inaccurate and dangerous to think that an alcoholic or addict must be allowed to “hit bottom” on their own before they will accept help. Alcoholism and addiction are chronic, progressive diseases that will continue to cause greater and greater damage to the person, the person’s family, the profession, and the public if left untreated.
The two biggest misconceptions at play here are: 1) underestimating the sheer power of the diseases of alcoholism and addiction; and 2) thinking that there is more time to see if things improve without confronting the issues head-on.
Those two simple, yet astonishingly powerful, misconceptions routinely conspire to cause severe damage that may have been wholly averted by early intervention. Alcoholism and addiction literally kills people via impairment related accidents. These diseases also ruin careers, harm the reputation of the profession, and severely damage family units.
It is a simple truth: if alcohol and drug use by someone you know has become problematic enough that you are now reading this and are seeking information on what you can or should do, that alone indicates there is likely a significant problem that should be addressed without delay.
Many times in alcoholism and addiction cases, what the profession sees is merely the “tip of the iceberg” and presents as a reduction in the person’s diligence and competence.
JLAP’s experience is that lawyers and judges are very high functioning. Even slight changes in performance can mark underlying problems that are severe. Lawyers and judges are adept at successfully hiding the true seriousness of their problems until something really terrible happens and it can no longer be disguised.
JLAP’s Executive Director is a Certified Clinical Interventionist through the Love First training hosted by the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, California. For more information about the Love First program >> Love First: Get to the Heart of Recovery
Through intervention it may be possible to get the person into recovery before irreversible harm is caused by the disease in the form of criminal arrests for DWI or other substance-related charges, disciplinary complaints by clients harmed as a result of an impaired member of the profession, or other consequences
Louisiana Bar Journal Articles by Buddy Stockwell:
August/September 2014 – Intervention Saves Lives
Read more LSBA articles written by Buddy Stockwell >>
Lap Related Articles:
The Right Way to Help, by John Jay of Love First.