Being caught in the throes of addiction is to be caught in a state where logic, consideration, and reason are thrown out the window in exchange for the pursuit of using. Otherwise sound individuals will engage in irrational or out of character behavior, lying, stealing, cheating, and using any means possible to achieve their end. This is one of the most hurtful symptoms of addiction.
Addicts will sometimes disappear. It could be for a few hours, or it could be months. It is extremely hurtful and worrisome to their loved ones. What do you do if a friend or family member disappears?
There is no time limit to do this, you can file a report immediately and have all law enforcement keeping an eye out for your loved one. The vast majority of missing persons cases are resolved by the missing person themselves within 72 hours. However, there’s the consideration of additional danger for addicts, as their situations are intrinsically more complicated. Give local law enforcement as much information as possible.
"Be prepared to provide information on the missing person, including birth date or age, physical descriptions, and most importantly, any medical information. Police will also need to know the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and the last location where the missing person had been seen or was known to be. Also, provide any known associates and telephone numbers of persons who know the missing person. Other helpful information that may be provided: cell phone numbers, email addresses, or social network information. When an adult person has been reported missing to police, he or she is entered into a nationwide database; this will assist other law enforcement agencies in finding the missing person."
The above text, taken from the Los Angeles Police Department website, covers some of the information you could provide to make law enforcement’s job easier. Others include what clothing they may have packed to take with them, what kind of vehicles they may drive or have access to (and plate numbers if possible), any known associates or friends that may be helping them, and any present or prior significant others. Additionally, as many recent photographs as you can find will help with the description.
It is by no means a pleasant thought, but contact your local, county, and state coroner’s offices to canvas for your missing addict. A description may help identity a John or Jane Doe that otherwise would be kept in unidentified storage.
The Salvation Army has a missing person program, available here. This program specializes in locating missing adults.
Create a Facebook profile with pictures of the missing individual and post in local area Facebook groups. Raise community awareness by posting flyers everywhere, check your local ordinances first. Notify local church groups and charities, put up posters in bus stops, businesses, restaurants and anywhere else that will allow it.
If your loved one has not been turned up after this searching process, it may be time to hire a private investigator, or “PI.” Here are some guidelines for employing and retaining the services of a Private Investigator.
In closing, keep heart: the majority of missing persons will show back up on their own within 72 hours. Your addict may stay away longer, but anecdotal evidence dictates the majority of addicts will resurface when they need support from their family. Do the best you can do, and wait.