Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. Most of those who find recovery will say they wish they’d have gotten help much sooner than they did, and that getting help would have saved them years of pain, loss, and turmoil.
Who is a Professional?
Traditionally a professional is labeled as someone in a specialized field of expertise who provides this knowledge to others for a fee. People in society look up to professionals because they are generally better educated, more intelligent, and more outgoing. Often these are doctors, lawyers, engineers and nurses. This is why addiction treatment for professionals is different. The facts are that professionals generally work more, are under more stress, and have more obligations to perform than other people. This leads to unique issues that could lead up to an addiction. Many professionals start self-medicating so they can focus longer and work more hours, thinking it will also assist in an improved performance while using drugs or alcohol. This is rarely the case and over time, as the addiction erodes the fabric of the person’s life; their performance suffers greatly often leading to some kind of intervention by a licensing body, manager or co-professional.
At that point the person would generally need treatment and/or require treatment to remain credentialed. The professional has the same choice to make as anyone else, and often times they look back and say that choice saved their life.
What Does Treatment Look Like?
At Rogers Memorial Hospital professionals get a 5 day evaluation which is personally designed to identify symptoms and diagnose chemical dependency and addiction. The patient will receive a thorough medical assessment and initial consultation with a medical doctor about their current condition. The evaluation consists of a series of assessments by members of the treatment team including addiction professionals, psychiatrists, neuropsychologist, alcohol and drug abuse counselor, and a family therapist. The professional also attends group therapy sessions during this time and is asked to prepare an autobiography to present in a group session. They are also expected to attend evening 12-step meetings and, for physicians with possible chemical dependency, off-campus Caduceus meetings.
After the 5 day evaluation period staff will review and recommend a series of next steps which may include residential treatment, group sessions on an outpatient level, or day treatment for a specific period of time.
The one thing that stands out about professionals is the level of respect by one’s peers once recovery has been established. There is a general understanding about addiction amongst professionals so when a fellow professional seeks help, they are treated with dignity and not stigmatized by their peers. This can go a long way in terms of strengthening the person and assisting in their recovery.