The addiction crisis has been at the forefront of national news lately and for good reason. Statistics on the growing problem are alarming and this is prompting experts to come up with strategies to combat this epidemic.
Guest blogger Eva Benoit has authored an insightful post on how addiction can affect every sector of life.
End Your Addiction, Save Your Career
by guest blogger Eva Benoit
While you might think of addicts as mostly unemployed people who struggle to get by in life, the truth is that addiction affects every sector of life.
According to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 11.4 percent of those employed in management (such as business executives) were diagnosed with a substance use disorder within a year of the survey. About 9.9 percent of those in management reported heavy alcohol use in the last month, and 12.1 percent reported illegal drug use in the last month. Professionals and executives clearly need treatment to recover from their addictions, and they can do so without jeopardizing their career.
How They Got Here
Professionals and executives are often hard-charging individuals who have reached their positions through hard work, busy schedules, over-the-top commitment and taking a few risks. They are active in their success, and their lifestyle may lead to alcohol dependency and/or a substance abuse problem. Prescription medication is one of the most common drugs of choice for this group, which can include doctors and health professionals, lawyers, business executives and CEOs, pilots, dentists, professional athletes and more.
What’s at Stake
For many professionals and executives, the stakes are higher when they face addiction than for others. Many have spouses, children and employees who fully rely on them for financial support, whether it’s direct or through the provision of a job. If a doctor who owns his own practice loses his job, for example, his nurses and administrative staff will be looking for new employment as well. Many professionals also work in sensitive careers that require public trust. When they abuse a substance, that trust is broken, and many members of the public can be put at risk. It’s vital that professionals get the help they need to fight their addiction as soon as possible.
Signs of Abuse
Professionals and executives may have the resources others lack – such as wealth and flexible schedules – to be able to hide their addiction longer, but it will eventually become harder and harder for them to conceal their substance abuse. Here are some signs it’s time for them to seek help:
Their work starts to decline
They are unable to honor commitments at work or home
Their mood and temperament change
Others have to cover for them
Their appearance deteriorates
They have financial or legal problems
This list is just a start, but if you notice these things, it’s time for professional help.
How to Recover
Most professionals and executives will, of course, want their treatment to not affect their careers in a negative way. Because they are likely financially well off, this is much more likely to occur. Executive rehab programs can be structured to include a high degree of privacy as well as workspaces, internet and phone access, and conference rooms. Many high-end treatment centers (which could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 a month) will also include the amenities executives are used to, including high-thread count sheets, tailored diets and personal therapists and trainers.
Because performing at a high level is important, diet and exercise programs are vital to professionals’ recovery. They can’t do the job they need to do if their minds and bodies are out of whack, so a huge part of their recovery program should include maximizing the benefits of diet and exercise. All of this should help their recovery program be quicker and more effective.
When professionals and executives succumb to the temptations that lead to addiction, many are often surprised. The same characteristics that took them to the top should help them recover as long as they are channeled in appropriate ways. If they recover well, they can still go on to have a long, successful career.
Learn more about article author, Eva Benoit
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