A recent letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine from a group of doctors in Colorado discusses a troublesome...
In our many years of experience treating substance abuse at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we have identified a variety of professions that face unique challenges with regards to substance abuse and mental illness. Although high workplace stress levels are common to all of them, each of these professions has their own particular issues that need to be addressed in treatment. Due to this fact, we have created specialized treatment programs for professionals in these identified fields. These professionals include: professional athletes, healthcare professionals, aviation professionals, first responders, and active duty and retired members of the military.
Our professional programs were designed to offer quality treatment to individuals in careers in these fields that are prone to substance abuse and other mental health issues. These programs not only help individuals suffering from job-related substance abuse pursue recovery, they also help them resume their careers. Each of these professions has its own story to tell regarding susceptibility to substance abuse, but they all place their professionals at greater risk than others.
Professional athletes often begin using prescription drugs while playing their sports to deal with chronic pain or injuries they suffer on the job, however the addictions they sometimes develop can continue long after their playing days end. Healthcare professionals deal with the stress of saving lives every day and can be tempted by easy access to prescription medications in the workplace. Active duty and retired military personnel face much higher rates of PTSD from trauma on the battlefield, putting them at greater risk for substance abuse. These unique workplace stories all deserve substance abuse treatment plans and programs that are designed specifically for individuals in these high-risk professions. Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches has created programs for professionals in each of these fields that can enable them to overcome their challenges and greet the new dawn with meaning and purpose.
Professional athletes endure a great deal of physical and emotional stress throughout the course of their careers.
The life-or-death situations that healthcare professionals often face can cause incredible long-term stress and can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Combine this with the easier access to prescriptions that doctors and nurses have, and it's clear why many dedicated health care professionals wind up falling victim to substance abuse.
Our veterans and active military sacrifice a tremendous amount in the defense and protection of our country. Unfortunately, many experience unthinkable trauma that stays with them forever and triggers long-term addiction and mental illness. This has a lasting negative impact on their health and quality of life.
The level of potential stress and trauma associated with a career in public safety is, to many, too much to comprehend. In an effort to cope with the pressure, tragedy and suffering they often face, many of these dedicated professionals regrettably turn to drugs and alcohol.
Aviation professionals face special career stress that often drives them to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. As their substance abuse gets worse, they compromise their safety as well as the airline passengers for whom they’re responsible. This results in disciplinary action and a subsequent decline in quality of life and overall health.