Recovery Month is a great time to celebrate our lives, what we’ve accomplished, where we’re headed, and the wonderful people that have been a part of the journey. Treatment professionals are a group of diverse people that all work toward a common goal: recovery for their patients.
It is rather fitting that Recovery Month takes place in the month that we also celebrate Labor Day. After all, a huge component to nearly everyone’s recovery is a treatment professional. The job of a treatment professional often entails saving lives and relationships by providing professional treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
Challenges for Treatment Providers
The job that treatment professionals do is not an easy one. It can be rewarding, especially at a time like Recovery Month when they can observe the successful recovery of past patients. But there are many other aspects of the profession that are not glamorous, that go completely unappreciated. A good number of treatment professionals put in long hours every day, and they spend it helping patients work through the most trying times in their lives. It can be very stressful to try to help a person who still doesn’t know if he wants help, to listen to the traumatic stories of people’s pasts, to see the damage someone is doing to themselves and can’t be stopped.
In a time of uncertain healthcare reform, it can be even tougher for those that work in the healthcare system, including those in the mental health and addiction treatment fields. New policies and new practices will be a part of most hospitals and clinics in the near future. The economy’s decline also creates obstacles for treatment professionals, as facilities fight to keep their funding and staff. The depression and anxiety that the economy is causing in many citizens increases the need for both mental health and addiction treatment.
Help and Resources for Professionals
It is important for the treatment professional to also be cared for. Now more than ever, hospitals and clinics should see that they need to provide help for their providers. Regular evaluations of the emotional state of providers should be considered, as well as regulating working hours and extended workdays.
There are some resources that many treatment professionals have found beneficial in recent years. The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) is one such resource. It brings together treatment providers in order to focus on prevention, intervention, quality of treatment, and recovery support. Groups like NAADAC provide education and certification for treatment professionals, and most importantly, they give these workers a support system when they need it.
The work of treatment professionals should be observed this month as we consider the recovery of many of their patients. As we also celebrate Labor Day, let us be thankful for the work of our treatment professionals.