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Teachers and Prescription Drug Addiction

Teachers and Prescription Drug AddictionPrescription drug addiction is often viewed as a problem that results from a lack of willpower. However, despite misconceptions, addiction is a disease without boundaries, and any person in any line of work is susceptible. Even school teachers are not immune to this disease. When a teacher suffers from addiction, his or her students also suffer. Parents should be able to rest assured that school is a safe place for their children and teenagers, but when a teacher abuses prescription drugs, classroom safety may be compromised.

Three Reasons Teachers May Abuse Prescription Drugs

How do responsible people with successful careers develop drug addiction? There are many causes of prescription drug addiction among teachers. Taking a drug in greater quantities or for a longer period of time than recommended can lead to addiction. Certain conditions may also gradually lead to addiction. Listed below are three conditions that may lead to prescription drug misuse and eventually addiction:

  • Chronic pain. In the case of severe pain, users may increase their dosage without a doctor’s consent. Also, for those who have a genetic predisposition to addiction, taking painkillers can quickly cause an intoxicating rush that leads to drug cravings.
  • Stress and anxiety. Teaching is a difficult job, and some teachers may find relief from the daily stresses of the classroom by abusing prescription drugs. Eventually, this abuse may spiral out of control.
  • Depression. Like anyone, teachers are vulnerable to depression. People who suffer from depression may misuse prescription drugs to mask their negative feelings and cope with daily life. Unfortunately, drug abuse only provides short-term relief and eventually exacerbates mental health issues, such as depression.

Self-medicating any type of disorder or condition by abusing prescription drugs ultimately leads to addiction, which manifests as an obsession with drug use. Teachers who suffer from addiction will gradually lose interest in providing a quality education to their students. They will abuse drugs more and more frequently, and they may begin to make negative decisions while under the influence.

How a Teacher’s Prescription Drug Addiction Affects Students

Drug addiction changes a person’s behavior. At first, teachers who abuse prescription drugs may do so only when they know they will be sober in time for school the next morning. However, controlling the urge to use becomes more difficult as addiction progresses, and teachers may begin to teach while under the influence. They may even hide pills in the classroom, putting students at risk for discovering the stash and misusing prescription drugs.

When a teacher is under the influence of prescription drug abuse, he or she may behave inappropriately. One specific example is gym teacher Stacy Schuler who was convicted of sexual battery and providing alcohol to minors. During her trial, Schuler claimed that a mixture of the prescription drug Zoloft and alcohol blinded her to the seriousness of her actions when she engaged in sexual conduct with five of her male students. Schuler was sentenced to four years in prison. Not all teachers who abuse drugs directly harm their students, but drug addiction is a condition that escalates with time, and there is no way to predict how devastating the effects will be.

Drug Addiction Treatment for Teachers

Teachers who abuse drugs should seek treatment as soon as possible in order to achieve recovery and prevent the possibility of making choices that could damage the lives of their students. Drug addiction treatment combines several methods that treat both the physical and psychological components of addiction. Treating all aspects of an addiction provides the greatest chance for recovery. Teachers may consider joining a residential treatment program in the summer or an outpatient program during the school year. Outpatient treatment allows teachers to continue working. Depending on the severity of the addiction, inpatient treatment may be necessary.

What Happens in Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction?

Treatment begins with detoxification, the medically supervised process that allows the body to empty itself of toxins that accumulated due to prescription drug abuse. After detox, patients attend various types of counseling sessions. Other treatment methods include holistic therapy, which may include activities such as yoga and acupuncture. After treatment, patients maintain their recovery through outpatient services known as aftercare.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction?

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, we can help. Please call our toll-free number today to speak with a rehab admissions coordinator who can connect you to a high quality treatment program. We are available 24 hours a day to take your call and offer you the help you need. Don’t hesitate to call us now.

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