Addiction Treatment For Teachers
Educating is one of the most difficult jobs in the nation, making drug and alcohol addiction a frequent problem amongst teachers. There are many treatment options for teachers with substance use disorders, including detox, inpatient, and outpatient services.
At Spring Hill Recovery Center, we want to use Teacher Appreciation Week to celebrate the triumph of educators and bring awareness to the obstacles they face.
Though teachers try not to show it during class and when speaking with parents, many are constantly stressed about the demands of their job.
That’s why it’s no surprise some teachers turn to alcohol and/or drugs. These may relieve stress temporarily, but using substances as a coping mechanism can quickly lead to addiction.
Finding the right addiction treatment option as a teacher can be difficult. At Spring Hill Recovery Center, there are many levels of care available where teachers can recover confidentially.
Treatment can be scheduled around a teacher’s busy work hours. In most cases, teachers will not have to disclose if they are seeking treatment.
Why Teachers Develop Addiction
Stress, being overworked, mental health concerns, and other issues such as unresolved trauma can contribute to addiction for educators in America.
The stress that comes with being tasked with shaping the next generation of students can be monumental.
In a 2018 study done by the Hammill Institute on Disabilities, close to 93% of teachers reported having high levels of stress.
Teaching is one of the most important jobs, and a lot is expected of teachers from many different parties. This includes students, parents of students, co-workers, and school administration.
Another reason that many teachers develop substance use disorders (SUD) is how limited teachers’ personal time is.
Happy hours, social gatherings, and work functions where substances are ingested are convenient ways teachers relieve stress.
This makes it so there’s little time for any constructive, healthy, or productive ways to work on mental health. With high stress and limited personal time, addictions may form.
Addiction Treatment Options For Teachers
We at Spring Hill Recovery Center understand that finding the right treatment option can be daunting. This is especially true for educators, who are constantly busy.
Below are several addiction treatment approaches offered at our rehab facility.
We’ll discuss the benefits and possible hardships that a teacher may face when choosing a certain recovery option.
Alcohol And Drug Detox
Entering a detoxification facility is suitable for teachers who are presently experiencing uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
During the detoxification process, the body is removing toxins that substance abuse brought on. Alcohol, prescription painkillers, and opioid drugs such as heroin often require detox.
Detoxing in a medical facility is the safest way to successfully battle withdrawal symptoms and prevent a relapse.
In a medical detox center, you can expect:
- medication-assisted treatment to curb the severity of withdrawal symptoms
- around-the-clock medical monitoring
- a supportive environment
For a teacher, withdrawing from substances in front of students, staff, or parents may affect work performance and make psychological symptoms worse.
Going to a medically supervised detox program can help educators to come off of substances safely.
Inpatient Drug Rehab
Inpatient programs offer the most comprehensive and well-rounded approach to recovering from an SUD. Clients will live on-site and have 24/7 access to resources for their recovery.
While in an inpatient program, clients will receive medical care, attend therapy, and participate in individual and group counseling.
The inpatient option allows teachers the opportunity to create distance from their stress while they work on their recovery.
Usually, an inpatient program will last about 28 days, but some may run longer depending on the client’s needs.
Outpatient programs (OP) are considered a step down from inpatient because clients do not live on site. Here, clients attend therapy and counseling sessions two to five times a week.
This type of program may benefit teachers who:
- have mild addiction issues
- are not experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms but are still concerned about their substance use
- recently completed an inpatient or detox program
- want to build a stronger foundation in recovery
This option allows clients to participate in facility activities while still tending to their outside life. For teachers, this may offer the most flexible treatment schedule.
Treatment can be scheduled around work hours, PTA meetings, after school tutoring sessions, and other obligations so teachers may continue work.
Possible Concerns For Teachers In Treatment
Many teachers don’t seek addiction treatment because they’re concerned they’ll lose their jobs or may fear what will happen after they return to teaching after attending rehab.
The good news is that there are certain policies in place that protect the confidentiality of teachers seeking treatments, and there are services that can help you transition back to work.
Confidentiality Laws For Teachers
In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted. This makes seeking treatment confidential unless you or someone’s safety are in danger.
Most teachers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This is a benefit that allows employees to find treatment with confidentiality in place.
There is also the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records rule, which keeps patients’ records private unless they give consent for them to be released.
With these laws and policies in place, teachers can rest assured their medical and recovery process will take place privately without school administration or students knowing.
Can I Return To Teaching After Treatment?
If a teacher takes an extended leave for a rehab program, they may worry whether their jobs will still be there waiting for them. The reality is, it’s not a guarantee that your job will be secure.
Organizations like the United Federation of Teachers offer information and help teachers who seek treatment or who want to return to teaching after treatment.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects teachers who receive treatment for addiction.
Even if you take a few weeks of vacation time for treatment and your employer discovers you’re going to rehab, you can’t be fired for seeking help.
However, it may not protect you if you use substances on the job, as most schools have a zero-tolerance policy.
If substance abuse is affecting your work performance or you use substances in the presence of students, the ADA will not protect you.
Recover From Addiction At Spring Hill Recovery Center
An addiction doesn’t have to mean the end of your teaching career. We at Spring Hill Recovery Center want to help you or a loved one find recovery.
If you are unsure if an outpatient or inpatient program is the best option, feel free to contact us and speak to a specialist. We’re here with you every step of the way, call now to get started.
- Employee Assistance Professionals Association – Code Of Ethics https://www.eapassn.org/Portals/11/Docs/About/EAPACodeofEthics0809.pdf
- Hammill Institute On Disabilities – Empirically Derived Profiles Of Teacher Stress, Burnout, Self-Efficacy, And Coping And Associated Student Outcomes https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1173521.pdf
- U.S. Department Of Health And human Services – HIPAA Privacy Rule And Sharing Information Related To Mental Health https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hipaa-privacy-rule-and-sharing-info-related-to-mental-health.pdf