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Addiction Treatment for Teachers and Professors

Teaching is a noble profession that requires a high level of empathy and dedication to the success of others. Dedicating your life to shaping the world’s youth is a selfless choice that also comes with a lot of stress.

Dealing with a heavy workload, lack of resources, high levels of pressure, and challenging students or parents can take a toll on your mental health. It’s easy to forget about yourself while solely focusing on taking care of your students. Neglecting your mental health and attempting to alleviate stress with drugs or alcohol can lead you down a dangerous path. Substance use disorder is common among people from all walks of life. Over 21 million people are currently struggling with addiction.1

If you or someone you know is fighting addiction, seeking help is your first step to recovery. Many types of addiction treatment for teachers are available that can provide support and help you get back to your old self.

Addiction Among Teachers, Professors, & Educators

Rates of substance use and mental health disorders are particularly high for educators. Education professions are some of the most stressful, leaving educators at increased risk for burnout.2 A 2015 study revealed about 7% of educators admitted to alcohol and illicit drug use.3 About 5% of participants were also diagnosed with SUDs.3

COVID-19 has only exacerbated these numbers, with an increase in alcohol and substance use during the pandemic and many teachers attributing pandemic-related triggers to stress, burnout, and depressive symptoms.4,5

Stress may be the number one trigger for substance use in educators.6 A lack of healthy coping skills can result in heavy alcohol and drug use. Many educators lack resources and support their classrooms with their own money. Some are exposed to trauma daily and struggle emotionally while dealing with the stress of witnessing children growing up in poverty.

The pandemic has brought difficult situations like the teacher shortage and hybrid and online learning, leaving educators to fend for themselves with the little assistance offered to them. The rise in mass shootings and concerns for safety in schools has also left many teachers struggling to feel at ease in the workplace.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Educators

Signs of substance abuse appear differently in everyone. Tell-tale signs may not always be easily detectable. However, if you start to notice that your loved one or a coworker is acting differently, substance use disorder may be to blame. Some potential signs of addiction among teachers, professors, and other educators may include:

  • Substance use during school hours.
  • Neglecting responsibilities like curriculum planning, lesson planning, grading, afterschool activities, or club responsibilities.
  • Seeming less engaged with work and students.
  • Frequently showing up late or calling in sick.

If you or someone you know well is displaying several of these signs, you should get help immediately. Seeking professional help in a treatment center as soon as possible is the best way to fully recover and get your life back on track.

Addiction Treatment and Rehabs for Educators

Rehab and addiction treatment for educators offer different services to aid in your journey to recovery. Everyone has unique needs, and one specific treatment won’t work for everyone. Facilities offer individualized care plans to best accommodate you. There are also several specialized treatment plans and rehab for educators, including a variety of programming and treatment services, such as medical detox, therapy, and mental health services.

Mental Health Care

If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder along with addiction, you should seek help from a mental health facility. High levels of stress can develop into mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.7

Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses develop when a person struggles with substance use disorder along with at least 1 mental health illness.1 The onset of co-occurring disorders is thought to happen in 2 different ways. Self-medicating or trying to alleviate the symptoms of mental illnesses with substances can bring on co-occurring disorders. Using substances for a prolonged period can also manifest in mental health disorders.1

Either way, mental health professionals recommend treating both disorders simultaneously.8 Taking an integrated approach, such as participating in therapy for your anxiety while undergoing medical detox, addresses your co-occurring disorder holistically, heightening your chances for a full recovery.8

Flexible Treatment Options

You may be wondering if you can continue working while in treatment. Outpatient programs offer the flexibility of living at home while in recovery. You’ll still be able to work and tend to your other responsibilities. There are also supplemental treatment options like after-school support groups.

If you need a more immersive treatment where you can focus solely on recovery without distractions, you can also stay in inpatient rehab for teachers during the summer. Treatment in inpatient rehab typically lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 days and helps you build the necessary coping skills to deal with day-to-day stressors more healthily.

Tailored Therapy

Therapy is an essential part of recovery. Many different types of therapy are used in treating substance use disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family and group therapy, and alternative therapies.8 Some facilities offer therapy programs tailored to meet the specific needs of educators.

A deeper focus on developing coping strategies and caring for your mental health can help you gain the skills to handle work stress healthily and prevent relapse when met with difficult situations.8

Finding Addiction Treatment for Teachers & Educators

Asking for help is the best thing you can do if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction. Getting treatment will help you feel better and get back to serving others to your highest ability.

There are many different options for substance abuse treatment for teachers that can address your unique needs. If you want to keep working, you can explore different outpatient programs. Attending an inpatient rehab is also extremely helpful if you need a safe space where you can completely focus on your recovery.

Whichever option you choose, be sure the provider is in your network to assist you with covering at least some, if not all, of the costs of rehab. If you’re ready to seek addiction treatment, American Addiction Centers is here to help. Call our helpline or reach out online for more information on addiction treatment for teachers and what your specific insurance plan will cover.

Educator Addiction Treatment FAQs

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