A struggling addict and his father got the support they needed just in time.

Recovering from addiction is one of the hardest things somebody can do. Addiction chews people up and spits them out, and changes them before our very eyes. 

Unfortunately, too many people in America are familiar with the horrific things addiction can leave in its wake. They have lost friends, lovers, parents, and children to this horrible disease.

One father was struggling to get his son to rehab when he had an unforgettable encounter with a sheriff that would help set his loved one onto the path to recovery.

Why One Young Man Claimed to Be Kidnapped

One afternoon, New York Sheriff Mike Carpinelli received a distress call from a young man claiming to be kidnapped. He felt that something about the call was strange, and quickly made his way to the scene to investigate. There, he found a scene that broke his heart.

He discovered a father, Jeff Darling, and his son in the car. The young man, wearing a black hoodie and looking gaunt and unhealthy, was clearly dealing with substance abuse issues. His father, looking anxious and tired, was at the end of his rope. 

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Sheriff Carpinelli discovered that the young man was battling addiction and had finally agreed to go to rehab, but had changed his mind halfway to the facility. Hoping to escape the situation and get back to his drugs, he called the police claiming to be kidnapped. 

“It’s not easy to get an addict in treatment unless they are ready. My son agreed to go but a half-hour into the drive from our home […] he changed his mind,” Jeff said.

Why a Police Officer Went Above and Beyond for One Man

The story was all too familiar to Carpinelli, who had seen his fair share of struggling addicts throughout his career. He decided to call it a day and stay with the family until the boy agreed to go to rehab. 

He sat down on the street with the young boy and talked to him for hours, finally getting him to cooperate, get back into the car, and begin the healing process. 

Carpinelli’s support didn’t stop there. He followed Jeff and his son all the way to the rehab centre, helped the boy carry his bags, and got him checked in. Even though the program was only 21 days, he felt that it was a start in the right direction and better than nothing! 

How One Police Officer Proved the Power of Compassion

Carpinelli’s loving support outlined in this story serves as an amazing example for law enforcement everywhere. Sure, there are times when police officers are required to show “tough love” and use force to keep people safe. However, there is also so much power in compassion. 

“Hopefully with more people showing this type of compassion, more people would understand not only what families are going through but what the men and women in blue deal with on a daily basis,” Jeff said.

Both father and son had their lives changed forever thanks to the compassionate and kind actions of a police officer. More people who are in positions of power should be motivated to help their communities the way Sheriff Carpinelli did.