You’ve undoubtedly heard it said that no alcohol or drug addict wakes up one morning and suddenly decides to transform him or herself from sobriety to addiction. Rather, addiction is a gradual process that starts with just one drink or one hit. Such is the case with an American man from Texas who became addicted to drugs and alcohol only to go on to bank robbery. Now he and his children are in prison after being successfully prosecuted for a November 2013 robbery.

Scott was an engineer with a good job and a typical American family when his wife died of cancer in 1997. He turned to alcohol and drugs to escape the grief and pain of losing his partner. However, when he began to suffer financially for it, there was not enough money to support his habit and his children at the same time. It was then that Scott robbed his first bank.

News reports claim Scott pulled off his robberies only once or twice per year while his children were still young. Nevertheless, when they reached adulthood, he enlisted their help to pull off even bigger jobs. Their first robbery as a family netted them nearly $70,000. Yet that money was gone in a heartbeat. You can probably imagine the rest of the story.

Never Worth It

Scott’s two children were only 20 and 18 years old when they were arrested last year. They will now spend the next several years in prison only to emerge with records that will follow them around for the rest of their lives. Yes, both are responsible for their own choices. However, all of this could have been avoided if Scott had received help for his addiction rather than turning to bank robbery. In the end, he realises none of it was worth the cost. Scott continues to apologise time and again for ruining the lives of his children rather than doing what was best for them.

It is unfortunate that Scott’s situation is not unusual. All across the UK there are untold numbers of innocent families suffering at the hands of a loved one addicted to alcohol or drugs. They do not deserve to have to bear the consequences of their parent’s decisions, but those consequences are thrust upon them nonetheless. It is more than sad; it is completely unacceptable.

By his own admission, Scott could have at least left his job, gone on welfare, and stayed at home with his kids. However, that is the worst-case scenario. He could have arranged for detox and rehab therapy while placing his kids with family members or friends. After rehabbing, he could have gone back to work and taking care of his family, as he should have. Instead, he chose to continue in a lifestyle that eventually involved his kids too.

Consider Your Family

We decided to bring this story to your attention as sort of online intervention. If you are using alcohol and drugs right now, we hope that what you read will cause you to think about your own family. Especially if you have kids. Learn from Scott’s example rather than putting your own children through a hell they do not deserve. Get help for your drug or alcohol problem right now.

If you have no means of paying for private care, you can access free care from the NHS. It offers medicated detox and referrals to professional counsellors and local support groups willing to help. Of course, you can join a local family addiction support group on your own. You can also check out one of the many alcohol and drug charities available throughout the UK.

We do recommend private care at a residential rehab clinic for chronic alcoholics and drug users. Private clinics offer programmes ranging from four to 12 weeks at varying rates. The main advantage of these programmes is the concentrated therapy approach that helps you to deal with your addiction issues by removing all distractions. Most of the clinics in the UK use bespoke treatment plans uniquely tailored to each client.

We sincerely hope Scott and his children learn from their time in prison. We hope that when they get out, all three will get their lives together, and move on from what is certainly a sordid chapter of their lives. Fortunately, the help is there if they want to make use of it.

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