Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Investigations
We get many calls about parents who drink or use illegal drugs around their children despite a court order. Usually, surveillance is requested. Driving intoxicated while children are in the car is a felony in Texas. Other parents may have alcohol and drug problems or a parent may misuse their prescription pain medication. The issue of misusing pain medications can be a difficult case requiring a good deal of investigation and knowledge of additions and medications.
Some parents feed their prescription drug abuse by doctor hopping or frequent trips to the emergency room for fictitious ailments. Some parents may have real and legitimate ailments but overuse their medications making it difficult to tell abuse from overuse or to tell the legitimate use of medications.
A drug abuser’s profile and demeanor is different from a person using pain medications responsibly. A person who is legitimately using pain medications will tend to try to use the least amount of medication possible to control the pain. For example, they might take half a dose of medication even though the doctor wrote the prescription to take a full dose.
In some of our cases we have found illegal drugs, multiple prescription bottles, and over a hundred beer cans and wine bottles by doing trash pulls – a very effective way to determine what is going on inside a household. Often times, in child custody cases, if drug use is suspected by the other party a motion can be filed by your attorney to compel drug testing – for details on different drug tests and their effectiveness see Drug Testing in Family Law, an article I wrote explaining drug testing in high conflict family law cases. If drug abuse is suspected by the court, the court upon its own motion can order either party to drug test as well.
In the Temporary Orders stage, it is common that both parties are ordered not to use illegal drugs or drink alcohol in the presence of the children or drink or use drugs 24 (sometimes its 12 hrs) hours prior to visitation. Some parents still do and as investigators we catch them doing it all the time – because the irresponsible parent does not think anybody is watching and that they can do what they want to, “Nobody is going to tell me that I can’t drink.”, forgetting that the other parent still has a say so in the matter.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse is one of Our Specialties
We have dealt with some very difficult cases in the past especially with parents who were strongly in denial regarding their drug or alcohol problem. On the flip side, we have dealt with equally difficult cases for persons who may have used drugs in the past and have now quit but remain stigmatized for the other party to complain about.
Both situations require a good deal of investigation. In some cases showing proof one is NOT doing drugs or drinking excessively is just as important as showing proof that one is abusing drugs.
In addition to being a private investigator,the owner of TLW Guardian Investigations Tom Ware, M.Ed., holds a certification as a Master’s Addictions Counselor (Now retired).