Addiction is a disease that can affect any person regardless of age, race, location, or social status. Business professionals and office workers from reception to the top floor may struggle with substance use issues at some point during their lives. In fact, drinking and drugs in the workplace may seem like products of a bygone era, but it may be more common than you think.
Between after-work get-togethers, in-office celebrations, and holiday parties, professionals may be engaged in drinking culture in their workplace. Others may use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate as a way to cope with high-stress positions or anxiety issues.
Professionals can also experience pressure to engage in drinking or drug culture as a means to network with others and to advance their careers. For similar reasons, refraining from drugs and alcohol or even seeking help with a substance use issue might be stigmatized. Moreover, professionals who are in recovery may find it difficult to resist cravings and triggers at work functions that involve drugs or alcohol.
However, there are treatment options for professionals that are seeking long-lasting freedom from active addiction. It’s important to address substance use issues as soon as possible to avoid serious consequences to your health, relationships, finances, or legal status.
Learn more about addiction treatment and how professionals can find options that are best for their needs.
Addiction treatment is a process that seeks to address biological, psychological, social, legal, and financial issues that may be directly or indirectly related to a substance use disorder. The process of treating addiction will largely depend on your own needs. When you first enter addiction treatment, you will go through a process of intake and assessment that are designed to determine your needs and the right level of care for you.
If you have high-level medical needs, or if you come to treatment after recently stopping drug use, you may need medical detox, which is the highest level of care in addiction treatment. Medical detox involves 24-hour care from medical professionals for about a week. Chemical dependence can lead to uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. In a detox program, medical practitioners will help ensure your safety while working to mitigate uncomfortable symptoms. In detox, other medical needs may also be addressed.
A week of detox is typically not enough to effectively address a substance use disorder, and more in-depth treatment is needed to facilitate a long-lasting change. Clinicians can help you find the next level of care that’s appropriate for your needs. If you’ve gone through withdrawal and completed detox, but you still have high-level medical or psychological needs, you may go through an inpatient or residential program. Residential treatment involves 24-hour medical monitoring or clinical care to help ensure your safety around the clock.
Once you can live on your own, you may advance to an intensive outpatient program (IOP). IOP is designed to offer intensive treatment services while also affording you the flexibility and the added responsibility of living on your own. IOP can involve as much as 12 hours of treatment services each day to nine hours of treatment each week, depending on your needs. As you progress, you may move down to standard outpatient treatment, which involves fewer than nine hours of treatment each week.
Outpatient treatment is an important step in addiction treatment because it bridges the gap between higher levels of care and complete independence. This step helps to ease people back into everyday life after treatment.
Through addiction treatment, you will participate in a variety of therapies depending on your specific needs. This may include individual, group, or family therapy. Behavioral therapies are also common in addiction treatment, which is designed to motivate or help you achieve a lasting change.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly recommended therapy options in addiction treatment. It focuses on how thoughts and coping skills can lead to a relapse or continued abstinence. Through CBT, you can learn relapse prevention strategies that will help safeguard your recovery for years to come. You may also address other mental help problems in CBT like anxiety.
After treatment, your facility’s aftercare program can help connect you to community resources that can support you in maintaining your sobriety like 12-step programs, sober living houses, and job placement programs.
A wide array of barriers to addiction treatment keeps people from getting the help they need. Barriers can be monetary or practical. If you feel like you can’t afford treatment or that your responsibilities don’t allow for treatment, you might feel like you have limited options. However, the nature of addiction is that it will slowly start to take over multiple aspects of your life. Without treatment, it may start to affect your career, finances, and responsibilities anyway.
On the other hand, professionals might have other barriers that aren’t related to the practical ability to attend treatment. Instead, they might be afraid of the stigma that surrounds addiction and seeking treatment. People often cite privacy concerns, not wanting spouses to find out, and wanting to hide addiction from their employers as reasons to avoid treatment. Again, addiction tends to spread to multiple aspects of your life.
It’s possible to hide a substance use disorder for a while, but it’s a progressive disease. It will become more noticeable as your addiction continues. For instance, alcoholism may start with nightly binges, but before long, you may start to feel withdrawal symptoms in the morning or needing drinks in the middle of the workday. Addiction is identified by compulsive use despite serious consequences. Sometimes, a person may know they have a substance use problem and still be unable to stop. However, many addicted people don’t realize or don’t want to admit that they have a problem, which can be another significant barrier to treatment.
Addiction is identified by compulsive use despite serious consequences. Sometimes, a person may know they have a substance use problem and still be unable to stop. However, many addicted people don’t realize or don’t want to admit that they have a problem, which can be another significant barrier to treatment.
Because social stigma and privacy concerns are a significant barrier to treatment, especially for professionals, seeking treatment away from your home town can be an excellent option. When you go out of town for treatment, it may be easier to explain an extended trip out of town to your employer, friends, or family. But that’s not the only benefit. While you’re out of town, you will be away from your everyday locations and landmarks. You won’t know where to get drugs readily, so you may not be as tempted to give in to cravings. You may not face the same sights and smells that your hometown has that would otherwise cause a trigger or drug craving.
Seeking Addiction Treatment Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, there is help available to lead you to freedom from active addiction. Speak to an addiction treatment specialist at Serenity at Summit to learn more about addiction treatment options that might be available to you.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
Mayo Clinic. (2019, March 16). Cognitive behavioral therapy. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016, February). 8: Medical detoxification. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification
Rapp, R. C., Xu, J., Carr, C. A., Lane, D. T., Wang, J., & Carlson, R. (2006, April). Treatment barriers identified by substance abusers assessed at a centralized intake unit. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1986793/