Unfortunately, alcohol and drug addiction affect every segment of society regardless of race, social status, religion, or occupation. This includes the police officers that protect us from the dangers in life. After constantly facing high-risk situations, putting their life on the line in high stake circumstances, or having chronic pain from an injury from their job, even police officers are susceptible to using drugs and alcohol to cope. According to NIH:
Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month.
Unfortunately, these numbers rise every year and do not exclude police officers. A law enforcement career is very stressful and there have been cases of police officers turning to drugs and alcohol.
Why do Police Officers Turn to Drugs and Alcohol?
Police officers risk their lives every day to protect the community. This often leads to a trauma that is not easy to deal with. There are many different factors that contribute to stress, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction.
- Dangers of the job: Not only do officers conduct searches and issue tickets, but there are also more dangerous aspects to their job that occur during arrests, drug busts, or even hostage situations. These high-risk situations often lead to a lot of stress.
- Busy work schedules: Police officers often work 10-12 hour shifts. These schedules don’t allow for must rest during the workdays. Working a string of 12-hour shifts can lead to sleep deprivation and a foggy mind, which affects their performance on the job. This can lead to the use of drugs to fall asleep or stay awake.
- PTSD: Police see a lot of disturbing events like crime scenes or fatal car accidents that lead to psychological problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition that occurs after a traumatic event. People who suffer from this often turn to drugs to self medicate.
- Chronic pain: Police officers who are hurt on the job are often prescribed pain medication, which is a mind-altering, addictive substance. Sometimes this can even lead to buying pills illegally after the prescription has run out or turning to illegal drugs for the pain.
Addiction Treatment for Law Enforcement Officers
Here at Recreate Life Counseling, we offer a wide variety of different treatment options depending upon the person’s needs and the severity of their situation. We address the person as a whole, not just the addiction, to maximize success by getting to the root of the individual’s problems.
We offer a partial hospitalization program that provides the most intensive treatment for those struggling with drug and alcohol treatment. The therapies and activities offered are dependent on the specific need of the person. Our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) generally provides medication management, for those dealing with mental and behavioral disorders prescribed by a psychiatrist. It offers group therapy, individual therapy, and even family sessions.
We also offer different outpatient treatment programs that offer intensive treatment is a structured setting in a less restrictive environment. This provides therapy, education, and guidance as a person begins to reintegrate into society. For police officers, we will focus on the day-to-day hardships that they will face on the job and at home and teach them different coping tactics to successfully deal with it. Our programs offer relapse prevention and cognitive behavioral therapy to strengthen your coping skills so you can handle cravings and temptations out in the real world.
Police officers put themselves in a dangerous situation and risk their lives every single day to keep others safe. If you are struggling with the trauma and pain that you deal with by using drugs and alcohol so self medicate, you have an option to heal yourself. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world. Drug addiction and alcoholism aren’t an easy thing to face and you do not have to do it on your own. Let us give you the knowledge you need to succeed in your recovery even after you have left addiction treatment.