PART TWO: About Treatment Designed Specifically to Help You
Anyone who has experienced their life being “taken over” and dictated by the obsession and compulsion to drink or use drugs knows just how much loss can be involved: the loss of one’s serenity and sanity, self-esteem, self-worth and health, one’s relationship with a spouse, family, friends and co-workers, perhaps the loss of one’s job, home and freedom.
However, for healthcare professionals, even more can be lost to the incessant demands of a substance use disorder. Your license and ability to practice, for which you have studied and worked so hard to achieve, as well as the respect, support and trust of your co-workers, peers and patients. All of this and more hangs in the balance when you find yourself waylaid by the uncontrollable urge to drink or use drugs.
But being afflicted with a substance use disorder (aka ‘the disease of addiction’) does not have to mean a life sentence of misery, the loss of one’s license and a ruined career. Fortunately, there are options for healthcare professionals to get the help they need, starting with treatment programs that cater specifically to doctors, nurses and other professionals in the healthcare field. As the Butler Center for Research points out, “Healthcare professional(HCP)-specific treatment programs are critical, as state medical boards require higher levels of treatment intervention in the interest of patient safety.”
Certainly, the first emphasis for anyone seeking recovery from alcohol or drug addiction needs to be placed on “getting clean/sober,” which in many cases may be made easier by entering a medically supervised detox program. (Check to see which addiction treatment centers in your area offer this service.)
Whether or not you need to complete a detox program, once you’re ready to start participating in a treatment program, you’ll want to locate one that specializes in helping medical professionals find and maintain recovery, while keeping their license and practice intact. These treatment centers typically have a number of program components in common, including:
- How to restore your career and reputation
- The process of returning to a professional practice
- Addressing licensing and disciplinary matters
- Avoiding potential triggers in and outside of the workplace
- Participation in monitoring programs
- Establishing continued aftercare
HCP-specific treatment programs are staffed by members who regularly treat medical professionals and therefore have both familiarity and expertise in addressing the challenges that arise for doctors, nurses and those in the healthcare field. As Dr. Jeffrey Juergens explains, “These treatment programs are acutely aware of the addiction and recovery struggles which are inherent in the medical profession. They will work alongside you to get to the root of what caused your addiction and guide you through the process of restoring your health.”
HCP-specific treatment programs give patients more intensive treatment and follow-up care plans that help build strong foundations for life-long recovery. They also assist with the legal and business matters pertaining to medical licensing, continuation of one’s practice, and the repairing of one’s professional reputation.
Fortunately, there’s “good news” for healthcare professionals who’re seeking recovery from a substance use disorder. Research has shown “they demonstrate some of the highest success rates in any specialized population. A 2008 longitudinal study reported that 81% of the participants who completed their treatment programs maintained sobriety for five years post-treatment. (And) there does not appear to be a significant difference in outcomes for those who self-refer to treatment and those who are coerced by the Board of Medicine, as the threat of losing their licenses was thought to be an effective catalyst for non-voluntary healthcare professionals to attend treatment and follow their continuing care plans.”
The bottom line? There are treatment options designed specifically for you, and help—as well as a new life free from addiction—is indeed just a phone call away. Contact us today by calling 866.796.4720