(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Safe and effective treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is paramount to creating lasting transformation in the lives of those who are struggling. Providing powerful therapeutic resources with education and innovation makes a significant impact on those who have the opportunity for quality care. An essential part of this process is an active relapse prevention program.
Relapse prevention is a system that influences many aspects of individual recovery from addiction. So what is a relapse? And what makes a relapse prevention program so indispensable?
Relapse Prevention: What is Relapse?
First, let us look at the most basic definition or relapse. If we break it down a little we can better understand what it means and how it happens.
- In general– a relapse is to suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.
- With medicine– relapse is also referred to as recidivism or a return to a past condition.
- In the context of drug use (including alcohol) – relapse is a reinstatement of drug use and drug-seeking behavior. It is the recurrence of pathological drug use after a period of
So the common thread here is that a relapse is when someone:
- Experiences a period of improvement from a problem…
- Is healing from a previous condition…
- Has a period of abstinence, then they experience a recurrence of the initial problem/condition
With addiction, relapse means someone ends a period of improvement and falls back into drug-seeking behavior or even drug use. When you are recovering from a serious addiction, drinking or consuming a drug can sometimes be referred to as a “slip” but it is essentially a relapse. Many recovery advocates and experts are of the opinion that “recovery” means making improvements to behavior, not just abstinence. Therefore, they might say the “real relapse” actually starts when the behavior regresses to the old destructive or compulsive patterns. Some will warn you that you are in the process of a relapse without having used drugs.
Whether you believe the relapse is the behavior or the actual physical manifestation of using narcotic drugs or drinking, you can still see the real value in offering relapse prevention strategies to help avoid either circumstance.
Relapse Prevention: Knowing the Signs
The following are a few signs or behaviors that might indicate that someone may be in the process of a relapse.
When someone is experiencing low moods and lack of energy they might be in a state of depression. Other mental health disorders may begin to intensify and thoughts of suicide may also occur.
Everyday difficulties that occur regularly become overwhelming. The most basic problems can’t seem to be solved.
The individual may begin to avoid social or personal activities they once enjoyed, isolating and ignoring their responsibilities.
Someone in the stages of relapse may become irritable or even confrontational without reason.
The person may rationalize or minimize any attempt at acknowledging and addressing their behaviors.
When Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) sets in someone can be at a higher risk of relapse. They can have trouble with memory, emotional overreactions, and sleeping problems, become accident prone or overwhelmed by stress.
Lack of Control
Food, sex, caffeine, nicotine, work, gambling, or other activities become out of control. Their compulsive behaviors become consistent without thinking about the consequences.
Feeling of Immobilization
Immobilization is that feeling of desperation. People feel trapped and start to think that there is no way to solve their problems other than using or drinking.
When experiencing cravings someone may convince themselves the only way to feel better is to use or drink, and they try to justify it.
Abandoning Support System
If someone is in the stages of relapse they may begin to ignore their support systems. They might stop attending support groups, therapy or communicating with their sponsor or loved ones.
Chemical Loss of Control
In a relapse, someone recovering from addiction will eventually begin using drugs or alcohol again to solve problems, even if these problems are only being made worse by their use.
Any combination of these symptoms could mean that someone is headed towards a relapse. In some cases, they may have even relapsed already.
Taking action before someone even comes close to a relapse can make all the difference between lasting recovery and dangerous regression. An effective drug and alcohol treatment plan will include a relapse prevention program in order to help people create a solid foundation from which they can build a sustainable recovery.
Understanding the signs of relapse and the serious risks of going back to drug abuse can help someone who may be struggling in their recovery to stay grounded. It is more difficult for someone to know how to take action, and what kind of action to take if they don’t have an understanding of addiction. Palm Healthcare Company places tremendous value on the importance of education in relapse prevention.
In respect to education about relapse, people should also be made aware of the difficulties they may experience with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). When people can anticipate or at least understand the difficulty they may experience with PAWS, they can prepare themselves with healthy and preventative strategies.
Relapse prevention programs should also teach each individual new coping skills to utilize in challenging times. When someone is struggling with their recovery, they should have resources available to them to keep themselves accountable. It is vital that people be taught new and productive methods for recognizing things that are bothering them and addressing them.
Another huge aspect of protecting yourself from relapse is to establish strong habits that keep you to be as mentally and physically healthy as possible. It can be regular exercise, better eating, social and personal relationships, or pursuing your passion or continuing your career. Find a way to care for yourself so that when your recovery is threatened you care enough about your life to protect it.
Having people that support you can make it easier to overcome adversity when it presents itself. When someone has to deal with their troubles alone they may not always see the whole picture; they may not see all the ways to address the issue. Having a support group or a therapist are just a few ways someone trying to recover from drugs or alcohol can make sure they have a safety net in place.
Palm Healthcare Company believes in helping each individual to create a personal plan for recovery that includes relapse prevention and continued support. Our facilities all emphasize the value of comprehensive education, awareness, coping skills, self-care, and aftercare. The solution to drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t end with eliminating the substance, that is only the beginning.
In the event of a relapse, getting the individual to go into an addiction treatment program can be the best way to help them before things get too bad. Getting them back on the road to recovery is crucial, and be sure to look for a program that has a comprehensive relapse prevention program.
Relapse is NOT necessary for recovery, but relapse prevention is. Even if you or someone you love has relapsed, there is still hope to take action that can help you create lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
In 2015 the Journal of Employee Assistance published an article to help Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) looking for addiction treatment programs to recommend for their clients. Guess what, challenge accepted!
When we at Palm Healthcare Company took a close look at the outline provided by the Journal of Employee Assistance on methods of treatment, we were happy to note that our treatment programs fit the description perfectly.
It is important for employers and their assistance groups to have a clear and comprehensive idea of what an effective addiction treatment program looks like, so they can provide their employees with options for quality care. The Journal of Employee Assistance article goes on to identify some of the aspects of the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals should consider as vital for effective recovery. In order to make confident recommendations, Palm Healthcare Company also believes EA professionals should do all they can to understand all levels of care and the methods of treatment.
We understand and appreciate the power of information. Let us provide a detailed look, point-by-point, at how Palm Healthcare Company can best serve your clients by meeting the suggested specifications of the Journal of Employee Assistance.
As stated in the article by the Journal of Employee Assistance, the current focus for treatment of chronic diseases like addiction is based on dynamic treatment, also known as adaptive interventions or multi-stage treatment strategies. The idea is to continuously evaluate the individual’s progress in order to adjust their treatment.
One-size-fits-all tactics fail to address unique life issues that are connected to substance use and addiction. Personalized treatment that is tailored to each individual’s specific needs is a crucial element to effective holistic treatment.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health have stated that the best programs provide a combination of services that take into account all aspects of the individual, including:
Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of treatment. We know that every person has their own unique experiences and circumstances. We all live and learn differently, so addiction treatment should take those differences into consideration.
Palm Healthcare Company, like most traditional programs, provides the basics of addiction treatment. Looking at the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals, the most traditional methods to look for include:
All detox facilities are staffed with medical professionals experienced with treating those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Every individual is given a thorough intake assessment to ensure the safest and most comfortable method of medical detox is offered to fit each client.
Because addiction is about far more than substance use, behavioral therapy is extremely important to the recovery process. Not only do these sessions examine destructive behaviors, but they also assess the thoughts and feelings that might cause them.
As part of offering behavioral therapy, Palm Healthcare Company facilities also offer unique classes on building social skills and personal development opportunities.
Palm Healthcare Company also believes that a crucial aspect of overcoming addiction is to understand it through educational, evidence-based therapeutic intervention. Classes are consistently provided explaining various aspects of addiction and mental health disorders so each individual can better understand and cope with their illness.
Support groups and 12 Steps
Historically, group therapies and a sense of community has always been a big piece of addiction recovery. Opportunities to get involved with 12 Step fellowships and other support groups can help individuals to find a sense of community with others recovering from drugs or alcohol. Palm Healthcare Company programs consistently facilitate these options.
Family weeks or weekends for those over 13 years old
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a unique and empowering experience for individuals trying to overcome their addictions, as well as for their loved ones. Part of the family program is the Palm Healthcare Family Weekend which includes various events designed to educate family members and bring each other closer through connection and support.
However, the Journal of Employee Assistance notes that the more “novel yet effective” programs also include more innovative addiction treatment methods. These facilities go above and beyond the basic outline of services to provide holistic treatment programs. So how does Palm Healthcare Company match up to these recommendations?
A range of therapeutic approaches
Again, Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treating addiction. Because not every form of therapy will be as influential for everyone our facilities offer a variety of therapeutic courses. Some of these include:
Palm Healthcare Company believes in utilizing cutting-edge treatment methods to create a more in-depth and personal recovery experience.
Provide multiple levels of care
There are several reasons why having different levels of care can be a big deal for EA professionals seeking treatment providers. For one, different levels of care allow for different levels of contact with the outside world.
With partial hospitalization, intensive or residential levels of treatment there is a much more secure and controlled environment with daily schedules full of therapy options and courses. If the individual is approved for Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient treatment they can attend work for part of the day while attending classes periodically.
Palm Healthcare Company helps the patient choose the level of care that is best suited for their needs. Monitoring individual progress and adapting the aspects of treatment to fit their progress is an important way to personalize the experience and support the transition from addiction to independent recovery.
Treat co-occurring mental health disorders
When an individual is struggling with a mental health disorder and substance use disorder the best method for them is dual diagnosis treatment. This allows the individual to address the addiction and the co-occurring disorder individually and simultaneously for a complete recovery.
Palm Healthcare Company understands that if someone only addresses one disorder without the other then they are more likely to have difficulty maintaining their recovery. These conditions tend to feed off of one another, and one going untreated can cause a relapse in the other.
Address underlying issues related to addiction
Palm Healthcare Company also cares a great deal about understanding substance use disorder; where it comes from and how it influences the lives of those who suffer. Therefore, we believe in exploring each individuals experience to help them find out what underlying issues are connected to their drug or alcohol use.
Addiction is such a complex disorder. There is no one way that someone ends up addicted. While there is a genetic predisposition, there are numerous other factors that contribute to the development of substance use disorder. Because things like trauma and family dynamics play a big part in the development of addiction, an effective treatment program should also examine and address these issues if the patient is going to experience lasting recovery.
Involve the entire family, including children
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is committed not just to offering brief visits with loved ones. Our Family Program is designed to:
- Give the family essential educational information
- Establish deeper connections between loved ones through recovery
- Teach about emotional well-being and healthy boundaries
- Offer life-changing breakthrough experiences
- Create a strong support system
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a FREE service offered by our facilities because we believe that family involvement is incredibly important for lasting and worthwhile transformation.
Explore performance at work
Clients who are professionals are often very focused on how their substance use affects their career. Along with life skills and behavioral therapy, there is an important element of understanding how addiction impacts your professional life. Everyone from CEOs and executives to labor workers in every industry needs to be aware of how addiction affects the workplace.
Of course, EA professionals are more likely to recommend a treatment program that pays attention to addictions impact on the workplace. So teaching clients how to safely and effectively transition from treatment back to work is an important element of these programs.
Examine legal and financial issues resulting from addiction
Our facilities also take pride in providing teams of skilled individual case-workers who consistently work on behalf of each individual to maintain their personal interests regarding legal issues or other concerns they may have. It is important that an addiction treatment provider has experienced staff members who understand the difficulties that can arise from substance use and know how to best support each individual with these concerns.
Working with the Workforce
All Palm Healthcare Company facilities provide the more holistic and effective approach through this criterion of additional services. We know that addiction is an illness that impacts every walk of life. It also impacts any career position in every industry. We work every day to provide safe, effective and personal recovery plans to every individual we come into contact with.
Another part of providing recovery options to professionals can be to allow EA professionals to get involved in the aftercare process. An EA professional can inquire about policies relating to communication with the source of the referral. If the appropriate consent is given, the EA professional themselves can even become an important part of the recovery team for helping create a discharge and aftercare plan.
Looking at these very important suggestions coming from the Journal of Employee Assistance we are confident in our dedication to providing revolutionary and holistic care above and beyond the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals. Palm Healthcare Company wants to support you and your clients to create a happier and healthier future. Please call toll-free now for more information.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
At a time like this in America, no one should be naive to the reality of addiction and the devastation it brings. The opioid epidemic impacts people in every city in every state; whether it is through prescription painkiller abuse or heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl on the illicit market. Meanwhile, methamphetamine use has also continued to grow steadily in the background. Other prescription narcotics have become more and more prevalent with misuse, and alcohol remains a legal drug both frequently abused and deadly. Something equally as important as acknowledging addiction is being aware of the options in addiction treatment.
One thing we have to continue to promote is that people seek help, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they think they can afford. Expenses can be an important factor for each individual when trying to find treatment; therefore it is important to remember there are always options available regardless of financial status. At the end of the day, everyone deserves a chance at making it through their adversity.
While the options may be different, they are still out there.
State Funding Rehab Facilities
For those who are extremely limited in their resources the most attainable option may be to pursue a state-funded program. State-funded rehab facilities are cost-free, which is the greatest advantage to seeking help through these programs.
Most states have some form of government-funded addiction treatment. Sadly, some people still see a stigma attached to public assistance programs and they allow it to keep them from getting help. However, for the individual who has little to no income, or with inadequate to no insurance coverage, these organizations provide detox, treatment and support services. State-funded rehabs are often included in other state services such as:
- Child social services
- Criminal justice and prison provisions
The funding for treatment may be included as part of these other initiatives.
Some states will offer a variety of therapy options with state-funded programs. Others might not have as many due to limited funding. Some state facilities will not necessarily have access to the same technologies and treatments as private treatment providers.
Private addiction treatment programs often have unique services depending on their approach and treatment model. However, some people still find that state-funded programs are effective in helping them get their start.
Medicaid for Addiction Treatment
One thing that can be a real help to those who are unable to afford a higher level of insurance coverage is access to state-funded health insurance programs.
Medicaid coverage for no insurance rehab is a useful option. Medicaid and Medicare may actually cover both detox and inpatient addiction treatment. Some may even cover outpatient care depending on each programs requirement for eligibility through the state. Through Medicaid or Medicare, an individual who has very limited resources may receive free or low-cost addiction treatment.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what some call “Obamacare” insurance providers are required to cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. Medicaid covers:
Maintenance and craving medications
Long-term residential treatment
Other mental health services
In most states, Medicaid recipients don’t even have to worry about a copay for addiction treatment services.
Medicare for Addiction Treatment
Medicare is available for anyone:
- Over 65 years old
- With a disability
Medicare does have a monthly premium, but that amount is also based on the individual’s income. So if you make less money you pay less for your coverage.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment can be covered by Medicare. This coverage is provided in a four-part system:
Medicare Part A
Insurance for hospital stays covers up to 60 days without copay with no deductible. But Medicare only covers up to 190 days for a lifetime.
Medicare Part B
This can cover outpatient addiction care at up top 80% of the costs. This includes coverage for therapy, professional interventions, and drugs administered via clinics. This also covers co-occurring disorders like depression.
Medicare Part C
This is Medicare-approved private insurance for those who want to opt for more benefits. It does include more out-of-pocket costs and coverage can vary.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D coverage will help cover the cost of addiction medications. Specifically, this form of Medicare helps with medications used to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Someone who is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare can actually apply both forms of coverage to their addiction treatment. If you believe that you qualify for these insurance opportunities you can contact a caseworker for assistance with an application.
Once you have obtained coverage for any of these programs, you can research online to find facilities that accept these forms of insurance.
Keep in mind, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicare.
Individual Health Insurance
When examining the options for addiction treatment people who have health insurance, whether privately or through their employment, should research the coverage available through their insurance provider.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 mandates that health insurance companies to balance the alcohol and drug treatment for group plans to the stipulation for standard medical rehab.
Because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as medical conditions, insurance companies have a responsibility for covering the cost of addiction treatment. Substance use disorders are better understood today for their effects both psychiatrically and physically, so major insurance providers make a point these days to offer terms for partial or complete coverage of options for addiction treatment. Many times this coverage will allow for access to quality holistic treatment programs.
Too many people don’t know the extent of which their own insurance covers them. Find out what services are covered by your policy when seeking out care for substance abuse. As far as employers go, your right to addiction treatment is protected by FMLA, while the details of these protections and provisions may differ depending on the state or the individual companies policies.
Private Pay Options in Addiction Treatment
Of course, health insurance is not required to obtain addiction treatment services. Not everyone has insurance, or their insurance might not provide the coverage they need. There are also facilities that cater to a private pay demographic.
All across the country, there are addiction treatment facilities that offer different levels of high-quality and luxury treatment options for those who would prefer to pay cash for services. Many patients who chose to private pay do so for a variety of reasons, and they often find that they require a combination of treatment methods, including:
Intensive one-on-one counseling
Private recovery coaching
Of course, different programs have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, those who chose to private pay for addiction treatment often do so because they are looking for a very specific approach with a very specific criterion that caters to their own needs.
Executive Treatment Programs
Executive treatment programs are another one of the options in addiction treatment. These facilities cater to clients that wish to pay more for a more private environment with more luxuries. Executive programs are more expensive and are more commonly utilized by CEOs, high-paid professionals, and celebrities.
Many programs that offer executive options for addiction treatment allow for those receiving care to continue working with their businesses or clients while attending individual therapy, support groups, and holistic treatments.
Help is Out There
Addiction is everywhere. Sadly, there are not as many resources as many recovery advocates believe there should be. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find help with addiction and recovery.
But help is out there.
There are accredited holistic treatment programs that maintain their integrity by providing quality care to their clients. These facilities provide high-level services in a safe and comfortable environment while staying at the edge of innovations in treatment. While not all of these companies advertise their contributions, many even provide scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford treatment to have access to their programs.
Meanwhile, we should all look to our politicians and public health officials to create even more options for addiction treatment. Until more support and funding is available for expansion of options for addiction treatment, the resources we have now do everything they can to make a difference.
Palm Healthcare Company has made a commitment to provide effective, innovative and holistic addiction treatment options to those still suffering with substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
With substance use disorder and addiction being such a prevalent problem in America, we think it is crucial for people to understand substance use and addiction as best as they possibly can. Part of looking at which professions have the highest rate of substance use disorder is not just about making people aware of how common it is in the workplace, but also to break the stigma of substance use disorder and show that drugs and alcohol impact people in every workplace, from entry level to executives.
Resources of Substance Use Rates
In April of 2015 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a survey that combined data collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from every year between 2008 and 2012 to find out which professions held the highest rates of:
The NSDUH assess symptoms of dependence or abuse of alcohol or drugs through a series of questions included in their survey. The questions are based on the criteria described by the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It defines illicit drugs as:
The NSDUH uses the definition of heavy alcohol use of:
- 5 or more drinks on the same occasion
- 5 or more days in the past 30 days
The rating system includes full-time workers from age 18 up to age 64.
Which Jobs Have the Highest Rates of Substance Use Disorder?
In the following categories, number represents the percentage of works out of all those surveyed between 2008 and 2012.
Heavy Alcohol Use
- Mining workers- 5%
- Construction- 5%
- Accommodations/Food Services- 8%
- Arts/Entertainment/Recreation- 5%
- Utilities- 3%
- Wholesale trade- 2%
- Management/Administrative support/waste management- 9%
- Manufacturing- 7%
- Agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting- 4%
- Retail trade- 0%
- Transportation and warehousing- 8%
- Other services (except public administration)- 5%
- Real estate/rental/leasing- 5%
- Information- 1%
- Professional/scientific/technical services- 7%
- Finance and insurance- 4%
- Public administration- 6%
- Educational services- 7%
- Health care and social assistance- 4%
Illicit Drug Use
The overall rate of illicit substance use among full-time workers, between the age of 18 to 64 years old, who admitted to having used within a month of taking the survey was 8.6% of workers. That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that is a percentage of ALL professions it is actually a lot bigger than you think.
- Accommodations and food services- 1%
- Arts/Entertainment/Recreation- 7%
- Management/Administrative support/waste management- 1%
- Information- 7%
- Construction- 6%
- Other services (except public administration)- 2%
- Real estate/Rental/Leasing- 9%
- Retail trade- 3%
- Professional, scientific and technical services- 0%
- Wholesale trade- 8%
- Manufacturing- 4%
- Finance and insurance- 5%
- Utilities- 1%
- Transportation and warehousing- 9%
- Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing/Hunting- 7%
- Health care and social assistance- 5%
- Mining- 0%
- Educational services- 8%
- Public administration- 3%
Substance Use Disorder
When it comes to substance use disorder the data is collected for full-time workers from age 18 to 64 that fit the criteria for substance use disorder within a year of taking the survey. The rates of substance use disorder in different professions include:
- Accommodations and food services- 9%
- Construction- 3%
- Arts/Entertainment/Recreation- 9%
- Mining workers- 8%
- Utilities- 5%
- Management/Administrative support/waste management- 4%
- Retail trade-5%
- Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing/Hunting- 5%
- Wholesale trade- 4%
- Other services (except public administration)- 1%
- Real estate/Rental/Leasing- 0%
- Information- 8%
- Finance and insurance- 4%
- Manufacturing- 3%
- Transportation and warehousing- 1%
- Professional, scientific and technical services- 8%
- Public administration- 2%
- Health care and social assistance- 7%
- Educational services- 5%
Different Job Substance Use Trends
When looking at these rankings we can see a few professions that are consistently represented in the top five of all three categories.
NOTE: Remember the top ranks are not based on the overall number of users, but on the percentage of the total industry.
#1 in Heavy Alcohol Use– Mining Workers
121,000 mining workers that were surveyed contributed to the top ranking percent in an industry for heavy alcohol use. This number may seem small compared to the high numbers of heavy alcohol use in other professions. But think of it like this- If there are:
- 100,000 nurses and 70 of them drink heavily
- 100 miners and 70 of them drink heavily
Which would you think it a bigger issue?
#1 in Illicit Drug Use– Accommodations and food services
Accommodations and food services came in as the top rated profession for illicit drug use. According to the numbers of all those in this industry measured, approximately 1,169,000 were recorded for illicit drug use within a month of the survey.
This statistic does not change when accounting for gender or age differences. What this suggests is there may be something unique about this industry and how people end up using drugs more often working in accommodations and food services more than anywhere else.
#1 in Substance Use Disorder- Accommodations and food services
In terms of substance use disorder the accommodations and food services industry again come in at the top of the list. This time, the numbers of those surveyed shows that approximately 1,038,000 people in this profession actually fit the criteria from the DSM-IV for substance use disorder.
But unlike with illicit drug use, this rating did not stay the same when adjusting for age or gender differences. So what does that mean?
It means the higher rates of substance use disorder in the accommodation and food industry depends on the demographics employed in that industry. For example, if you look at age:
- 18-25 years old this industry is number 2
- 26-34 years old its number 1
- 35-49 years old this industry is number 3
- 50-64 years old its only number 11
So What Jobs are the Worst for Substance Use Disorder?
The big thing here is we must acknowledge that there are variables like age and gender that actually will make a big difference as to which jobs are ‘worse for substance use disorder’, while also recognizing the issue of substance use and addiction is not one size fits all. It is a different story for every individual. There is a formula that takes environment into account, but that formula is not the same for everyone.
A young woman working in the accommodations and food services industry might have a harder time staying off drugs than she might as a school teacher… or maybe not. Young men working in social assistance might find it a lot easier to stay off of drugs than one working in construction. It isn’t a guarantee, but it is a trend we can note.
So, does your job put you in an industry with higher rates of drinking, drug use or addiction? Are you more likely to have co-workers or employees that struggle with substance use than in another position?
With data like this we have to ask- does the job make an impact?
When we consider how central our jobs are to our everyday lives, we should take into account what kind of workplace we put ourselves in and what we have to offer. It is the same thing for those of use trying to work toward recovery. Substance use disorder recovery can be a lot of work, but it is definitely worth the livelihood you stand to gain from it. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
It used to be that when people thought of someone struggling with addiction or alcoholism, they pictured a hobo with patchy clothes drunk under a bridge or blacked out in an alley somewhere. Now, after years of watching our stigmas be proven wrong over and over again, we thankfully have a more realistic image.
These days it is not all the uncommon to imagine that people struggling with substance use disorders do actually have jobs. In fact, most people who struggle with addiction are middle-age, middle-class Americans who have careers or trades. What is called the ‘functioning addict’ often flies under the radar, paying the bills and taking care of their responsibilities, although maybe not as well as they imagine.
So with such a high percentage of the working population struggling with substance use disorder, how should employers be addressing addiction in the workplace? Here are 7 suggestions for the employer who might have to deal with addiction in the workplace.
1. Have a policy and enforce it
The first way for employers to address addiction in the workplace should be a given; have a policy in place for drugs and alcohol.
By establishing the workplace policies and expectations related to drugs and alcohol, having them in writing and explaining them clearly to your staff. You have already set a boundary. As an employer it is up to you to let your staff know what your expectations are and what you will and won’t tolerate.
Then, once the policy is in place, follow through with it. You are able to address substance use as a whole by implementing policies on drugs and alcohol and then committing to those guidelines.
2. Avoid enabling
By establishing a drug and alcohol policy an employer is already setting up the groundwork to help them avoid enabling. Those policies will hold not just your employees accountable, but also they will hold you accountable.
Employers, managers and supervisors should avoid enabling addiction in the workplace with actions like:
- Lending money to an addicted employee
- Covering up for the employee
- Giving the employee’s work to others
- Trying to counsel the employee without a professional
Families and loved ones are always warned about the risks of enabling someone struggling with addiction, the same goes for their bosses. If you have an employee who is struggling do not make excuses for them. It doesn’t serve the company, and it definitely doesn’t serve their best interests either.
3. Schedule a meeting
When an employer is concerned about an employee who may be struggling with drugs or alcohol try not to address it over a phone call or an email. Take a more hands-on approach, it is just good leadership. Schedule a face-to-face meeting.
Supervisors should review signs of abuse with an Employee Assistance Program (EPA) counselor before meeting with the employee.
An employer or supervisor should notify the individual of a place and time to have a meeting for discussing the employee’s performance. The supervisor should plan to hold the meeting in a private setting, so not to spread someone’s personal business around the workplace.
4. Keep it professional
It is very important that when addressing the individual you do your best to be professional without making the conversation too personal. Instead, the employer or supervisor should keep the focus of the meeting on the employee’s job performance. Make it clear that if they do not correct their performance issues they may face discipline or termination.
Even if you have a good relationship, setting boundaries is important when dealing with a work-related issue concerning drugs or alcohol. It is best to not directly address the substance abuse in question, unless they have been obviously impaired on the clock.
Then suggest the employee to the EAP. While an employee cannot be forced to use EAP services, you can strongly encourage them to take those steps.
5. Expect Resistance
Denial is a common reaction for someone confronted with their substance abuse. Remember their resistance isn’t just about their addiction in the workplace; they may still be dealing with that denial within themselves. Accepting that drugs or alcohol are a serious problem is not an easy admission to make for most people.
If the employee is denying their addiction in the workplace and refusing to seek or accept help from EAP, be ready for it. Whoever supervises this employee should continue to document any and all issues with that individual. If necessary, be prepared to follow through with disciplinary action. Stay consistent. It may help them realize how their substance use is impacting their work before it is too late.
If an employee has been intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at work an employer may consider holding an intervention with colleagues, coworkers or other people close to the individual. While this may not always be appropriate, it is still an option.
Most of us are familiar with the concept. With an intervention all people involved confront the addicted employee about their drug or alcohol use, but not to punish or scrutinize. Remember the purpose of an intervention is to encourage them to seek professional help.
If choosing to stage an intervention, remember there are trained professionals who should lead a work-based intervention. An employer or supervisor should not lead the intervention.
For more information on how to stage a work-based intervention contact an EAP counselor.
7. Offer support
Now just because we have suggested being a professional doesn’t mean we are suggesting not being compassionate. You may have a close relationship with a lot of your staff. As a supervisor you may have cultivated a teamwork culture that is result driven and supportive, so support your team members.
One of the best things an employer can do to help employees with substance abuse problems is to offer comprehensive health plans that cover all stages of treatment for substance use disorders. Some of the best healthcare plans for your employees will cover:
- Educating employees on the dangers of abusing alcohol and drugs
- Addiction treatment
If you want the people on your team to get help when they need it, also be willing to show your support when they reach out for it.
Of course if the employee is displaying erratic or disruptive behavior, or intoxicated in the workplace, than an employer will want to contact EAP services to alert them of the situation. After this, depending on the context you may send an employee home or place them on leave or suspension. Whatever you do, document every incident and subsequent action. Some may require drug testing. Make sure to adhere to your own policies.
At the end of the day, the employer should be motivated by the chance to help an employee struggling with addiction in the workplace to get the help they need to get better. If you want your team to be as healthy and productive as possible than you should be willing to support them in any way you can. Be sure to stay accountable and committed to your staff. They make it all possible.
Addiction does not care about your job title. Plenty of professionals experience serious substance use disorder, everyone from an intern to a CEO. Palm Healthcare offers assistance to employers and their employees when it comes to initiating the treatment process. Our addiction specialists and case managers are just one part of a compassionated staff thoroughly trained to navigate the process so that professionals seeking help can do so effectively. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
Holistic methods of drug and alcohol addiction treatment are so effective because they are designed to heal all the unique aspects of an individual’s life. This style of comprehensive care delivers empowering and personalized recovery strategies to help each person find their way to a lasting transformation. Holistic addiction treatment doesn’t just save a life; it helps people to discover a new quality of life in recovery.
Part of creating a customized plan of recovery means making a complete appraisal of the individual’s needs and how best to serve them in a healthy and productive environment. Part of the initial assessment includes what some refer to as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
Every program may not use the term Addiction Severity Index directly. However, an intake assessment is always a critical step toward a comprehensive treatment. So what is the ASI and why does it matter?
What is the Addiction Severity Index?
The ASI is a semi-structured interview with an individual seeking care for issues with substance abuse. The interview is designed to address seven potential problem areas relevant to substance use disorder in potential patients, including:
Employment and support
The input given by the individual is important because it helps providers determine the best way to engage in safe and effective treatment. All information gathered for the Addiction Severity Index is treated as confidential.
In each of the 7 areas, the individual will be asked to answer questions based on a 1-to-5 scale system. The individual will be asked how bothered they are by problems pertaining to each area. They will then be asked how important treatment is for them in those areas. The scale is:
1- Not at all
Of course each individual has the right to refuse to answer any question, especially if a topic is:
Considered too personal
Uncomfortable to the patient
If this is the case the individual should be instructed not to answer. While the individual should be made aware of the benefits of answering as many questions as they can in order to prepare a more comprehensive treatment plan, they should also be allowed to avoid unnecessary distress.
Ultimately, the Addiction Severity Index is typically used as a standard assessment tool for evaluating substance use disorder and determining treatment options. Having a higher score on the ASI can be an indication of a greater need for treatment in the listed areas.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Addiction Severity Index, Lite version, also known as ASI-Lite, is a shortened version of the ASI. In other words:
- A typical ASI gauges problems within the previous 30 days and calculates a lifetime worth of information about problem behaviors.
- ASI-Lite contains 22 fewer questions than the ASI, and omits items relating to severity evaluations, and a family history grid.
The abridged version of the Addiction Severity Index is not an extremely uncommon method. It simply utilizes a portion of the data to outline treatment options.
Why Does it Matter?
While not everyone may be familiar with the term Addiction Severity Index, it is easy to guess as to why its important. When dealing with such a complex and intimate issue as substance use disorder the more information you have to build a foundation the better. This offers more potential to address every part of the problem. With a holistic addiction treatment program there is typically an intake process that helps clinicians and medical staff best understand the individual’s needs.
If the individual has struggled with legal, professional and/or financial issues, their recovery plan can be more focused toward how to overcome these adversities.
If they are dealing with a medical issue while trying to repair damage done to their personal and familial relationships they can build their plan around coping with these obstacles.
A complete picture like the Addiction Severity Index can be crucial when addressing dual diagnosis patients. In order to effectively address someone who may be struggling with a mental health disorder, such as clinical depression, while also dealing with addiction both co-occurring disorders must be simultaneously treated. If someone ignores one to focus on the other it frequently instigates a relapse of the untreated issue.
The point of evaluating the Addiction Severity Index and using holistic addiction treatment is to heal all parts of the person’s life; not just the addiction.
Palm Healthcare Company is proud to have some of the most trusted holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs in South Florida. Our innovative and personalized approach helps create lasting healing and comprehensive transformation. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398