It can be difficult to admit to yourself that you are dealing with addiction. Telling others about your situation can be an even greater challenge for some. First responders, law enforcement, veterans, and other public service workers may be apprehensive about seeking services for substance use disorder (SUD) because of their position within the community.
It can be intimidating to seek help out of seeing other members of the community that you serve or informing your employer of your needs. However, there are many ways to overcome this fear and respect your anonymity.
Face Your Fear
You may find that you fear seeking treatment because of the potential of seeing a client or the word getting around about your SUD affecting your career status. There is a potential of seeing someone you arrested for drug use in recovery, quickly demeaning the status of your position.
These are valid fears as a professional. However, overcoming this fear and the potential consequences involved are much less than the severity of issues that may occur from failing to seek help. Allow yourself to create connections within the recovery community rather than isolate yourself.
If you allow your addiction to continue and do not seek help, the conditions of your SUD will likely worsen. This could lead to the potential of driving while intoxicated or making a mistake on the job while intoxicated. Not only could these actions cause you to lose your job, but they could put the life of someone else in danger. Uphold your responsibility as a social public service worker and keep the community safe by allowing yourself to get help.
A core value within the social work field is confidentiality. Creating a safe and trusting environment for clients to seek help requires confidentiality.
When you engage in services at our facility, your information is kept confidential within our team. Your information will only be released to third parties with your consent and for a validated reason. While you may see other clients within our facility, your information is not shared with them unless you disclose the information.
The status of your treatment and state of addiction is not required to be disclosed to your employer or cohorts. Understanding the confidentiality rules that are in place can help you to feel more comfortable in disclosing your information and state of addiction to receive the appropriate services to help you overcome this barrier.
Focus on the Benefits
Many benefits can be acquired by reaching out for help. It can be easy to fall under the assumption that your SUD will fix itself over time. However, typically, it tends to worsen. Putting off treatment can only make it more difficult to overcome. It is important to follow your path in recovery and your life overall. If you need treatment, it is okay to utilize those resources and follow that path, regardless of your profession.
Write a list of the pros and cons involved with seeking help. There will be a strong list within both categories, but listing these effects on paper can help you decide the best option. You will likely find that the benefits of seeking help greatly outweigh the potential harm. By focusing on the benefits, you are allowing yourself to internally justify seeking treatment rather than making excuses for the reasons not to.
Communicate Your Concerns
It is okay to have concerns about your anonymity and confidentiality when seeking recovery services. At any moment that you encounter fears or concerns, reach out to our team to discuss your worries. We can help you find an effective solution and create an environment that you feel safe in. As we specialize in treating individuals working in the public service field, we have experience in handling these matters. We can provide you with advice and assistance to deal with these conflicts and help you overcome your worries.
Do Not Feel Ashamed
It can be easy to feel ashamed about your state of addiction as a professional. We often develop a societal perception that professionals do not encounter mental health disorders or SUDs, but that is far from true.
Due to the potential hardships you are witnessing within your career, there is a high potential of developing SUD. You are not alone in this. Don’t allow yourself to feel ashamed of your situation or isolate yourself, perceiving that something is wrong with you. After the experiences you have encountered, it is okay to be dealing with this.
Do not isolate yourself due to the potential risks involved with seeking help. Allowing yourself to keep an open mind about treatment, being honest regarding your condition, and seeking help when needed are all important aspects to uphold your commitment as a public service professional.
Just as you strive to help others in the community and provide the best for them, take the time to do the same for yourself. By accepting your needs and asking for help, you can develop a healthy relationship with the recovery process.
Remaining anonymous as a public service worker with substance use disorder (SUD) is a common concern. It can be intimidating to engage in treatment due to the potential chance of seeing someone you have worked with in society or out of fear of being in recovery and affecting your work status. While these concerns are valid, it is important to understand the risks involved with failing to seek help when needed. There are various ways to help balance these fears and ensure your anonymity for you to feel more comfortable in recovery. To learn about our anonymity and confidentiality practices and how to overcome this fear, reach out to Destiny Recovery Center at (909) 413-4304.