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Is a Career Working with Recovering Addicts Right for You?




A hand reaching out over a lake

For a lot of people, their ideal kind of job is one where they can help other people. There are lots of career paths focused on helping others from healthcare careers, jobs in social work and teaching, through to psychiatry and various forms of therapy work.

One specialism that you may want to consider if you would like to work with people overcoming problems is working with people who are dealing with issues related to alcoholism or drug abuse. There is a lot of demand for people who can help those who have developed addiction issues come out the other side, and it can be a very rewarding thing to spend your working life doing.

Here are some of the things that are involved in working with people seeking recovery from drug and alcohol issues:

Understanding Addiction Psychology

Addiction is a complex medical and psychological condition, that is currently under a lot of research. It is important that people who work with recovering addicts understand the psychology and the current thinking on how addiction develops, and what the best ways to treat it are. There are specific addiction studies jobs that work in the research field and help to discover more about how addiction develops, and what some of the risk factors are.

If you like the idea of working in research as well as working with patients, this may be a good career path for you to choose.  Gaining your degree master’s in addiction studies can deepen your knowledge of the subject area.

Medical Care and Detox

Before someone can begin the long process of fully recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, they first need to go through a detox period where they will experience withdrawal symptoms. With alcoholism especially, this can be a very dangerous time for them physically and is usually recommended to be medically supervised. Jobs working with people going through a detox often involve working in rehab centres and helping ensure patients are safe and comfortable while they are going through this stage. Once patients are through the initial withdrawal phase, the professionals then assist them in moving on to other stages of the recovery with things like therapy sessions.

Ongoing Support

Once someone has gone through detox and is living without a substance that they were addicted to, there is still a very high risk of them relapsing. For many recovering addicts, it is a lifelong battle to remain clean and healthy and so they require ongoing support to help keep them focusing on the positive changes that recovering from their addiction has made to their lives. It can be important for people to have support from other recovering addicts and their friends and family, but many people also rely on professional counselling, social workers and other people in supporting roles.

As you can see, there are lots of jobs that help and support people who have encountered addiction problems. Some people choose to work in these fields because they themselves or someone in their life has suffered from these problems, whereas others simply want to help people who need it. Whether you want to be in research or in treating patients from a medical or psychiatric perspective, there are plenty of different and interesting roles in this sector.




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