Addiction is an equal opportunity disease, striking people from all walks of life. Drug addicts and alcoholics can be found across the socioeconomic spectrum, from homeless shelters to executive boardrooms. Executive addiction treatment programs are designed to fill the needs of professionals whose lives have been devastated by substance abuse.
What sets a rehab program for business professionals apart from other treatment plans? These programs are tailored to the needs of clients who live and work under a high level of pressure. Demanding careers, family conflicts and the need to uphold a professional identity at any cost can be mentally and physically exhausting. For professionals who are struggling with mental illness as well as addiction, the effects of alcoholism or drug abuse can be even more devastating. Integrated treatment plans help you recover from the damage of chemical dependency while focusing simultaneously on your psychological health.
Recovery is challenging for anyone who suffers from addiction. Dual Diagnosis treatment programs encompass a broad range of physical, mental and spiritual needs to maximize your chances of success.
As part of your individualized healing process, you can take advantage of services such as:
- Intensive one-on-one sessions with dedicated therapists
- Peer support groups with professionals like yourself
- Confidential inpatient recovery facilities
- Case management and aftercare services
In recovery, many professionals find that they are able to create more meaningful lives and build stronger bonds with the people they love. If you feel that stress and addiction have undermined your sense of purpose, an executive treatment program may offer the key to rediscovering your energy and vitality.
The Deadly Cost of Stress
It’s no secret that occupational stress is one of the greatest health hazards facing the public today. Corporate managers, physicians, financial consultants, politicians, attorneys and other white-collar professionals are working harder than ever to maintain their status, while facing greater risks and fewer rewards. Concerns about the economy, legal liability and political instability have added to the pressures that executives face.
A certain amount of stress is necessary for job satisfaction. Positive stress can propel us to take on new challenges and reach new heights of performance in the workplace. But when stress becomes relentless and overwhelming, the body and mind begin to break down.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns that occupational stress contributes not only to acute health problems, like headaches, sleep loss, an upset stomach and muscle spasms, but to chronic conditions like the following:
- Heart disease. Job-related anxiety can take a toll on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart failure, heart attack or stroke.
- Cancer. Occupational stress has been associated with higher rates of cancer, especially in developed nations where work is considered to be a higher priority than personal time or family relationships.
- Digestive disease. Stress is linked to chronic gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.
- Mental health problems. There is a strong connection between occupational stress and psychological disorders like depression and generalized anxiety. Job stress has also been linked to higher rates of self-destructive behavior and suicide.
- Substance abuse. Alcohol and drug use are common outlets for professionals in high-visibility, high-stress jobs, where the demands of the position can cause severe conflicts with personal identity and family relationships.
Stress affects everyone in the workplace, even those who are in charge of boardrooms, operating rooms and courtrooms. A survey of occupations published in Forbes Magazine listed “corporate executive” as one of the most stressful jobs. Public relations officers, surgeons, stockbrokers, commercial pilots and real estate agents also made the magazine’s top 10 lists.
For CEOs and other executives, factors like long hours, frequent travel and constant public attention can undermine psychological and physical health. Meanwhile, relationships with spouses, partners and children can suffer. Having a high salary can offset some of the negative effects of stress for executives, but money can’t necessarily buy time with family, better health or greater personal satisfaction.
Because of their public image and the demands of their position, professionals may put off getting treatment for addiction, even when it’s obvious that they need help. They may engage in deep denial about their alcohol or drug use, reassuring themselves that they’ve earned the relief that chemicals provide. They may be unwilling to accept the image of themselves as chemically dependent, when so much of their status depends on remaining in control of themselves and those around them.
A network of enablers may contribute to the problem by helping the professional continue the addiction. Secretaries and personal assistants may hide the executive’s drug abuse from family and the media. They may buy drugs, discard bottles or conceal paraphernalia, all in an effort to keep their boss happy and avoid losing their jobs. Family members may unconsciously support the addiction out of a need to maintain harmony at home or to sustain a source of financial support.
How can executives overcome denial and recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction? The disease affects all of its victims in similar ways. The University of Rochester Medical Center identifies five stages of substance abuse:
- The experimental stage. Drug use is voluntary and infrequent, and the user can usually stop on his own.
- The regular use stage. A pattern of use develops, often in response to social situations or specific stressors. Use is still voluntary, but stopping may be more difficult.
- The problem use stage. Problems begin to develop in the personal, professional or legal realms. Quitting without help may no longer be possible at this stage.
- The dependence stage. The user needs more of the drug of choice in order to get the intended effects and continues drinking or using in spite of the destructive consequences. A physical and/or psychological need for the substance has developed; quitting for any length of time brings on withdrawal symptoms.
- The addiction stage. Use of the drug is no longer within the addict’s control. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms prevent the user from stopping, even if he desperately wants to be clean and sober.
Addiction is a powerful, cunning disease. Even the most well-educated, successful executives can deceive themselves into thinking that they can control their drug use or drinking. Whether you are in need of help, or you’re close to someone who has a problem with addiction, rehabilitation is the only way to ensure a complete recovery.
Why Dual Diagnosis Rehab?
At one time, addiction treatment and mental health services were rarely, if ever, offered as part of the same recovery program. The two fields were considered separate; mental health professionals often did not treat addiction, and addiction specialists steered clear of psychiatric disorders. Today, the mental health community has recognized the need for a Dual Diagnosis treatment model that provides integrated services to those who suffer from co-occurring psychiatric disorders and substance use problems.
White-collar professionals are typically high achievers, striving to be the best in every area of their lives. Their energy and self-confidence may mask the symptoms of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression. Substance abuse is often used as a coping mechanism by people with mental health disorders. In fact, many of the symptoms of substance abuse — fatigue, irritability, self-isolation, mood swings — may mask the signs of an underlying psychological problem.
The goal of Dual Diagnosis rehab is to increase the chances of long-term recovery by integrating treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. Psychology Today notes that co-occurring disorders can increase the risk of a relapse among substance abusers. In addition, recovering addicts with mood disorders or emotional dysfunction are more likely to have a relapse of their psychiatric symptoms if they return to drinking or using. Along with detox and rehab, Dual Diagnosis treatment programs include comprehensive aftercare services to reduce the risk of falling back into addiction or returning to destructive behaviors.
Services for Professionals
What can you expect when you enter a treatment program for executives? Professional rehab facilities offer personal evaluation, individualized care plans and intensive treatment in a confidential, supportive atmosphere. Therapeutic services include individual and family therapy to help you and your loved ones restore damaged relationships. Peer support groups give you the opportunity to talk with other professionals like yourself and to develop new coping strategies for your demanding lifestyle.
At The Oaks at La Paloma, we offer unique recovery solutions for executives. From detox managed by consulting physicians to inpatient treatment, 12-Step programs, trauma resolution and integrative therapies, we provide a comprehensive recovery plan that’s personalized for your needs. Your recovery program will begin with a complete medical and psychological assessment, followed by services that are tailored to your individual situation.
With everything you’ve achieved in life, recovery may still be one of the greatest challenges you’ve ever faced. We’re here to give you the support and hope you need to reach your full potential. Call our admissions coordinators at any time to learn more about our cutting-edge professional treatment programs.