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How To Deal With Addiction When You’re In A Blue Collar Career

The affliction of addiction and all its forms is one of the most difficult conditions to overcome in anyone’s lifetime, and its impact is felt equally regardless of what walks of life, careers, employment, race or status you might carry. LICR is an inpatient addiction treatment center based in Long Island, NY and helps these unique and diverse individuals day in and day out, but a common group which seems to be more afflicted than most is the Blue Collar population.

We can all attest that, while as individuals we all work hard and put forth effort in our daily lives, but the life a Blue Collar worker is one of the most taxing strained professions in the country. Whether you’re a construction worker, work within the trade unions, a police office, a firefighter, or any other number of Blue Collar professions the stressors within these careers is extreme, and to accept this fact also leads us to accepting another. Blue Collar workers face a higher rate of addiction than most other professions.

What Makes Employees In Blue Collar Careers So Prone To Addiction?

The numbers associated with addiction rates in the blue collar employees are astounding, but these higher rates do not occur on their own and they are certainly not a result of anything fundamentally wrong with the individual.

  • Stress: Blue Collar careers place added stressors on their employees not experienced or to the same degree as other professions. Deadlines are set with aggressive timelines. It easy for some groups to relate, and put in the extra hours to accommodate but additional hours for blue workers leads to poor sleep schedules and physically demanding work in droves. These stressors can lead to addictive substance use such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana to relax through these stressful times, or cocaine use to help with focus and energy while on the job.
  • Pain/Injury: The stress is one area, but these physically demanding jobs can take a toll on the body as well as the mind, leading many workers to sustain injuries. The likelihood of such injuries is not experienced across other fields. Some of the previously mentioned substances can be used to cope with the daily pain experienced in a Blue Collar career, however, a serious injury is a gateway to opioid abuse. Once injured and prescribed these highly addictive medications, a pathway to addiction has already started.
  • Peer Pressure: It’s sad to say, but sometimes our peers can be our worst enemy without even knowing it. For those in Blue Collar careers, this is often an issue because of how much influence peers have on each other. The job structure for most fields include a junior level apprentice learning from an experienced professional. Their job is to learn the tricks of the trade, and with a high percentage of Blue Collar professionals afflicted by addiction, those experience professionals may pass on addictive behaviors without realizing what might happen next. After work happy hours, on the job drinks, cigarette breaks, and access to potential prescribed medications are all added challenges faced within these unique careers.

These factors lead to addiction beyond drug and alcohol abuse. Many Blue Collar professionals face sex, gambling, eating, gaming, and Internet addiction as well or in tandem with drug and alcohol abuse. So, what are the options on how to deal with addiction in a blue collar career?

Treatment Options On How To Deal With Addiction For Blue Collar Professionals

The challenges are clear but the solutions are available. For those wondering how to deal with addiction within a Blue Collar career, the first place each individual should seek out immediately is your employers Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many individuals are too proud, or think they can face their addiction on their own, or ignore the signs of a problem. This is a common reaction but a helpful fact with most EAP programs, they are entirely confidential and should help you to seek assistance in a private manner. Life is stressful enough, but as we just discovered, blue collar careers are exceeding stressful, so please, don’t add another burden on your plate.

EAP assistance can teach you how to deal with your addiction; setting up assessments, counseling and referrals to treatment facilities such as Long Island Center For Recovery (LICR). If you happen to be in the Long Island area, LICR would love to assist in your addiction recovery journey. At LICR, we acknowledge all individuals facing addiction and treat them at the root cause, but we also acknowledge the precursors associated with a Blue Collar career. Our addiction treatment and detox facility has tailored programs for Blue Collared individuals and support stemming from individual and group therapy to relapse prevention and specific union workers group which meets twice a week to help deal with the complicating factors of addiction.

We hope the information in this article was of help, but if you have further questions about you or your loved ones addiction, or questions about the specific inpatient rehab program offered by Long Island Center for Recovery please call us at 631-728-3100, and we’d be happy to assist you in any way possible.

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