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The Difficult Struggle of the Addicted Professional

a professional with an important job struggles to hide the symptoms of his addiction at work

Addiction can affect anyone at any point in life, and professionals are no exception. One could even argue that the stress of the professional business world can trigger substance abuse and addiction quite easily. The stigma of addiction and needing help keeps many professionals from seeking the support that they need, often leading to financial difficulties and losing important jobs. Fortunately, discreet and effective help is available for professionals seeking addiction treatment services.

Northpoint Recovery offers an executive rehab program designed to treat professionals struggling with addiction. Our team understands the unique stressors and triggers of the executive world. We can help you get to the root cause of your addiction, address any co-occurring mental health issues, and help you get your life back on track. Call 888.296.8976 today for more information.

Professionals and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a serious problem that affects many professionals. Substance use disorder can have a devastating impact on the individual’s career and on the overall performance of their organization. Professionals working in high-stress occupations are particularly vulnerable; those who face long hours, job insecurity, challenging deadlines, and lack of work/life balance are at greater risk for substance abuse.

Professions that have high rates of stress and substance abuse include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Lawyers and attorneys
  • Business executives
  • First responders
  • Military personnel and veterans
  • Pilots
  • Truck drivers
  • Artists and musicians
  • Workforce

Professionals who struggle with addiction often find it difficult to ask for help due to the stigma attached to substance use disorder. They may also be reluctant to seek assistance because they fear it could harm their career or cause them to be judged by their peers, supervisors, and colleagues. Without assistance and support, however, the risks of addiction are high; substance abuse can lead to health problems, financial difficulties, relationship issues, and even legal consequences.

Warning Signs of Addiction in Professionals

Because their public image, professional standing, and personal relationships are at risk if discovered, many professionals with addictions become quite adept at maintaining a façade of normalcy. Often, those closest to them, including their spouse, children, and coworkers, are largely or even completely unaware that a problem exists. Hiding drug use and using when alone are primary symptoms of addiction.

Some other warning signs of addiction in professionals include:

  • Working late – This is the number one tactic used by professionals struggling with substance abuse to hide their problem. It is understood that success requires effort, and the professional’s family is usually accustomed to frequent absences. Also, the absences make it more difficult for those closest to the addict to pick up on the telltale signs of addiction, like mood swings, blackouts, diminished appetite, and changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Associating with other colleagues who abuse substances – In an attempt to justify their own usage, some substance-abusing professionals will seek out others whose drug problem is just as bad, or perhaps even worse, than their own.
  • Making the extra effort – Professionals struggling with addiction know they need to hide the true extent of their usage, but because they have so much to lose, many professionals will often go to much greater lengths – stealing medication samples, writing reciprocal prescriptions with other addicted colleagues, under-medicating patients, offering reduced billing in exchange for drugs, and even going as far as driving to different towns where they might not be recognized – to use.
  • Hiding income/scheming to get more money – No matter the income level, money is always a problem for a person lost to addiction. In order to successfully disguise their addiction, many professionals will tap into retirement or college funds or attempt to conceal extra money from overtime, bonuses, or raises.

It is important to remember that help is available to executives with addiction, and many addiction treatment facilities offer specialized programs for professionals struggling with substance abuse.

The Benefits of Specialized Addiction Treatment for Professionals

Specialized addiction treatment for professionals offers a number of potential benefits. While each person’s experience with addiction is unique, certain features of specialized care can help make the recovery process easier and more successful.

First, professional-specific treatment centers often include programs tailored specifically to those in career-oriented fields. This may involve addressing issues like stressors and triggers unique to one’s profession, as well as the potential need for a different approach to treatment in order to balance work-life obligations. Such programs can provide additional resources and support that may not be available through typical addiction care.

Second, specialized treatment centers are usually staffed by professionals with knowledge of the particular challenges faced by individuals in professional positions. This can include familiarity with issues such as career setbacks, public image, and legal or ethical concerns. Having a staff that is well-versed in the unique needs of professionals can make treatment more effective, as it allows for a more tailored approach to addiction recovery.

Finally, specialized treatment centers often provide additional services, such as vocational and educational training, to help those in professional positions return to their careers. These services can be invaluable in helping individuals re-enter the workforce with the skills and confidence needed for success.

Learn More About the Executive Rehab Program at Northpoint Recovery

By providing a tailored approach, additional resources, and specialized staff, specialized addiction treatment centers can make recovery more successful for professionals struggling with addiction. With the right help, it is possible for them to reclaim their lives and return to their careers with new focus and dedication. Call 888.296.8976 or fill out our online contact form to learn how Northpoint’s executive rehab program can help you or a loved one today.