What Can Police Officers Do When They Struggle with Addiction?

Addiction in law enforcement is a problem that needs to be addressed. One in four officers is struggling with alcohol and substance abuse issues. The main reasons police officers struggle vary, but they often deal with high-stress situations where they feel their lives are at stake, sometimes every day. The long hours and culture of work they are involved with making it less likely they will relax and have stress-free days. Recovery is faster when treatment integrates into their lives.

Dealing with the Job

Every day, police officers put themselves on the line. They fight with other people physically to the ground, wrestling them into handcuffs, running after them, chasing people into alleyways, and driving fast into domestic violence situations. Most are people are craving adrenaline rushes from helping others, but they burn out quickly from stress quite often. To add to the pressure, they may feel judged while watching the news from the comfort of home and feel guilty. Officers may fight fatigue and lack the ability to work the way they want to so they feel less stressed. Mental health issues and addiction can become rampant for officers on the job.

Treatment for Law Enforcement

Members of law enforcement require knowledge of the work environment and what is causing stress. They may want to isolate themselves but they should find hope in the community. When a cop is sent away for treatment, they may be isolated from their living environment and no matter what happens, there is no certainty of coming back on the job. If the same stressors are there, they may be triggers. It depends on the individual. Family involvement can often help facilitate dialogue so they feel less alone. If they don’t want to admit a problem exists, they are less likely to receive the necessary Learning to cope with pressure on the job is key for law enforcement in recovery. They must learn how to cope with stress and avoid relapse. Emphasis should be on relaxation techniques, exercise they can do like martial arts or yoga or some release of physical stress. Yoga and acupuncture are also helpful for work-related stress issues. Every cop should be evaluated for mental health issues when going into treatment as part of the routine assessment. They may struggle with PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues that require unique therapy to help them navigate recovery effectively. Law enforcement personnel can overcome addiction, it just takes a unique approach and focused intention on helping them heal.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We have unique programs designed to help law enforcement and other professionals heal from addiction. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.