Pre script: Am so grateful to be receiving guests posts these days especially on a topic so close to heart and home. I have seen many addicted and so much pain, I can only hope they reach out everyday even after a relapse
Are you living a double life? Are you, by all appearances, a hardworking professional by day and an addict by night? How do you know when you need to seek help?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and are concerned you need help for an addiction, take heart knowing there are a lot of options for you to get the treatment you need. Our guide is here to support you on your journey to a healthier life.
First, if you have difficulty making it through the day without some form of chemical stimulant, or if you need alcohol or some other depressant to bring you down, you are probably an addict. Additionally, there are many other telltale signs of addiction you should be aware of, including:
Thinking frequently about your drug of choice (DOC)
Feeling like you can’t fit in or make it without your DOC
Performing uncharacteristic or dangerous behaviors in order to get your DOC
Regularly being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Addiction is less about how often or how much you use, and more about the consequences of your using. If your substance use causes problems in your life, you may have an abuse issue.
Addicts are all ages, shapes and sizes, and from every career path and socioeconomic background. Addiction is also a chronic issue, meaning that it’s a lifelong condition; if you’re an addict, you’re one for life, and you will need to work on your recovery every day.
If you’re hesitant to seek treatment out of fear it will require you to take time off from work, the good news is that you can most likely get help from an outpatient facility on your schedule; this would allow you to continue working over the course of your treatment. Inpatient centers can be effective if you need to get away from your daily life and the impulse to use, but that makes it difficult to keep things close to “normal life.” If you want or need to continue working, outpatient treatment may be your best option.
If you seek medical treatment, your information will not be shared with your boss. The only time a treatment professional would share that you are in treatment would be if you gave them written permission, or if they felt you were a danger to yourself or others. Otherwise, people can find out only if you share your news, or if they guess it from your behavior. If you take medical leave and you don’t want to share the reason with your boss or co-workers, they will not know the nature of your absence.
Check with your company’s HR department about your company’s medical and mental health benefits options. Your company may have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that allows you to take time off to get better without fear of losing your job. Make an appointment with an HR rep to discuss your situation confidentially; they can be a great referral resource, as well as answer questions about your options. Even if you work for a small firm, your company’s health insurance may cover substance abuse treatment in full or in part.
Outside of the office, there are many additional resources for those seeking help for addiction. For example, the SAMHSA National Helpline offers free, confidential treatment referral in English and Spanish for individuals and their families seeking help for substance abuse. The number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357), and the organization takes calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, you can find treatment centers in your area using SAMHSA’s locator tool.
If you’re an addict, you have a choice to make every day, every hour, every minute whether you use or not — but you don’t have to struggle alone. You have many options for getting the treatment you need. Don’t let the stress of your job — or the fear of losing it — keep you from taking action for your well-being. Choose right now to get the help you need.
About 6 years ago, Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. Her website is evabenoit.com and she is author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.
Have a great weekend everyone and know you are not alone in any struggles