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Substance Abuse Is Widespread

Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction - The Bergand Group

Most people probably have an image in their mind of the “type of person” that they think would develop some issue of substance abuse. This stereotyping doesn’t often involve members of law enforcement, but the truth is that “officers are nearly three times as likely to suffer from drug addiction as others.”

How Police Officers’ Work Can Lead to Substance Abuse

Law enforcement is often visualized as the opposite, in a way, of those with addictions, but that doesn’t at all mean that police officers are invulnerable to developing their own issues of substance abuse. In fact, “one out of four police officers on the street has an alcohol or drug abuse issue,” and the number of cases within this group is higher than in the rest of the population.

Why is this the case? It isn’t difficult to guess that these men and women may be dealing with their high-stress (and highly-dangerous) lives by using drugs or drinking. Police officers put their lives on the line to protect citizens. Unfortunately, coping with these difficult lives has lead many down a path on which they’ve developed an addiction of one kind or another. In addition, there is little time for them to even think about relaxing when their hours are often “grueling” and offer no space for rest and recuperation.

It’s no wonder that they have so many cases of substance abuse cases within their number. Mental illness and drug addiction are only a matter of time in these conditions, and worse than that, there’s little to no light shed on the state of this situation. Amid that mental illness is often PTSD – or post-traumatic stress disorder – which results from all of the dire scenarios that they have faced in the line of duty. The last straw is that, “even when a cop realizes he or she needs help, the biggest challenge cops have in seeking treatment is the fear of disciplinary action, or loss of their job.”

How can we begin to get the word out about this group of people and their serious need for aid? Those who attempt to treat them should really have some concept of what a police officer goes through in their day to day. They have “unique stressors” which must be touched on, if not understood, in order to address the concerns that led to substance abuse. Also, many professionals stress that he or she should be treated in or around their ‘home environment,’ getting family members involved, and keeping the officer in the area rather than sending them to farther locations. This way, they are better-equipped to return to that life in a healthier way afterward.

There has to be a change, too, in the internal workings of these departments so that cops aren’t afraid to seek out help. Whether it’s for the stress that comes with the job or for getting help for a drug addiction, officers should be free to reach out in order to recover successfully rather than to continue to suffer in silence.

To learn more about how the kinds of help that are available to you in order to recover from a drug addiction, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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