Sunday, October 22, 2017

Let DOT Supervisors Understand How Treatment Works to Prevent Sabotage By Their Provocative Statements

Addiction is a highly treatable illness. But there is a lot more to this success than just sobering up a patient. Five elements are critical or you can forget it. 2) is treatment after 1) detox. Treatment is not psychotherapy. It is education about staying sober and not picking up a drink. There is a lot to this this process.

The most important skill is awareness of defense mechanism and how they operate to

Train supervisors to be effective in identifying possibly intoxicated employees
destroy sobriety. Then there is 3)  aftercare--more education. And then their is 4) Alcoholics Anonymous participation--yes for every patient. Why? Because it is the best path to sustained recovery. It works best for most. The argument that AA is not needed because it is too "religious" is totally BS. AA is flat out the only way to go in my 33 year history of working with addicts. And I am not alcoholic. I have worked in five addiction treatment settings.

I can argue against anyone's idea that AA is not the best way to go. I have every argument ever posed against AA. AA is flat out absolutely the best path for recovery. Success rates consistently approach 70-80% with good follow up by EAPs and providers post treatment. A short relapse is possible with any addict, but people can climb right back into sobriety with aggressive follow up that catches it early. DOT reasonable suspicion training should educate supervisors about the treatment process to de-mystify it. If this does not happen, they are at risk for provocative statements that can undermine recovery.

 Employees general recover well, and frequently become better than well.  Some drug addictions are tougher to treat, like cocaine addiction. 5) Is telephone follow up to identify diminishing recovery behaviors early. The phone call should be once per month for two years. When the patient reports moving from 4-5 AA meetings per week to 2-3, a personal interview with the recovering alcoholic is immediately needed as a intervention step prior to the first drink.

Early action by DOT supervisors in response to job performance problems increases the rate by which addicts are helped due to earlier referral to employee assistance programs.  Symptoms of addiction that the average untrained individual may easily associate with a drinking or drug problem may not appear in the workplace until 15-20 years after the diagnosis exists. Experience  a full preview our DOT Supervisor training here.

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