Drug Rehab for Professionals

Drug abuse at the workplace does not get the type of press that abuse in schools, universities, and settings such as parties receive. Therefore, many people are not aware that improper use of drugs can affect the quality of their work and their relationships with their supervisors and co-workers. Managers often face situations where an employee behaves inappropriately, shows up drunk at work, or is unable to function properly because of drug use. The only way out of the problem is to insist that the employee be assessed at a physician at a drug rehab rehabilitation services center.

Employees who use drugs, on the other hand, find themselves isolated because of their increasingly irritable (or violent) behavior. They may refuse to acknowledge they have an addiction problem. They might blame their behavior on workplace stress or other problems such as financial difficulties. They might absent themselves from work often, not show up for work after weekends, not have a reasonable cause for their absence, be involved in accidents, turn in shoddy work, miss deadlines, and have frequent mood swings. If you are the manager, pay attention to your employee’s appearance: the “hung over” look with reddened eyes, poor motor coordination, fatigue, incoherent speech, and messy overall appearance is a dead giveaway.

Specific Professions and Associated Risk Factors

Are there some professions that are more prone to drug and substance abuse? While it will not be fair to tag certain professions as sources of drug abuse, studies have found that professions that put more responsibilities on practitioners for the welfare of others see more cases of drug use. For example, nurses and doctors who are under tremendous pressure of helping and healing patients often resort to that “extra glass” or pop a pill to soothe their frayed nerves at the end of a hard day’s work. This habit soon becomes an addiction, where the user is unable to give up using alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement and emergency services personnel are also susceptible to drug use, brought on by the stressful nature of their jobs. Soldiers who have seen a lot of active duty also report more cases of using medications without prescriptions.

One of the major reasons some professions have a greater inclination to drug abuse lies in the fact that these professionals are supposed to be, self reliant, infallible, and cool headed at all times. Stress in hospitals, on the war front, in police stations and firefighting stations is assumed to be part of the job, and a “true professional always knows how to deal with it.”  This might lead to a certain feeling of shame for these professionals to ask for help in managing stress.

Exposure to traumatic events also increases the risk of substance abuse. This is true especially of professions involving more risk and firsthand exposure to traumatic events. For example, in the days following the 2001 bombings of the World Trade Center, everyone from firefighters, police personnel, to emergency service personnel at the site had to face a distressing situation. This led to a spike in cases of post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) which is often correlated to drug abuse.

While law enforcement and emergency relief is among the riskier professions, and medical profession is considered stressful owing to the burden of responsibility on doctors, other professionals also face their share of stress. Finance professionals such as brokers, insurance advisers, airplane pilots also face stress on the job on almost a daily basis. Surprisingly, journalism is also reported to be a stressful field, where deadlines and the need for gathering breaking news puts a lot of pressure on people working in the industry. The recent economic crisis has made the situation worse. Not only have the traditionally stressful jobs become more demanding, even other professions such as real estate brokerage and advertising have now joined their ranks.

If you work in one of the jobs mentioned above, or have any other type of high pressure occupation, you are at increased risk of stress. Stress makes professionals prone to substance abuse, though all professionals do not necessarily turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve the pressure. Whether you are a manager or an employee, you need to watch out for signs of substance abuse.

Treatment Approaches

Drug rehab programs for professionals (health, business, journalism, emergency services, finance, creative fields, etc.) work best when you get to choose a facility that takes care of you. It should be run by people you can trust. The first days of the program are often the hardest, particularly if you have been a longtime drug user. Therefore, it is necessary to share a good rapport with your doctor and other care providers during your stay.

The detox program will concentrate on ridding your body of harmful chemicals accumulated through drug abuse. The next stage is a residential, inpatient treatment program where you will be required to stay in the facility for a few days or weeks. The daily routine and the strict vigilance will help you stay “clean”. Each facility has a different approach to help you stay sober or off drugs. Some may emphasize team activities and sharing to make people feel less isolated. Others might offer one-on-one treatment and counseling with doctors and therapists. You might be encouraged to take up a hobby or activity you like. Some facilities use spirituality as a way of making patients feel in control of their lives and to calm their mind. Any rehab program needs to take into account the impulses that lead to substance abuse; otherwise the patient risks a relapse. Some programs also prepare the patient for life after rehab, such as by equipping them with work skills that might help them find a new or better job.

Finding treatment for drug addiction is important not only for you and your career, but also for your family, friends, and people who depend on you to do your job well. If your fingers are shaky during surgery or your decision making ability is affected by use of drugs, you cannot afford to wait until an accident forces you into rehab (if not prison). Drug rehab will help you deal with your own emotional issues and equip you to handle stress at work in many constructive ways.

If you or someone you love needs help from a drug and alcohol rehab center for professionals, please call (877) 710-6093. All calls are confidential.

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