Posts Tagged ‘addiction treatment centers’

Addiction Treatment Centers Behaving Badly

A dear friend of mine, who happens to be the best addictions counselor I know, was turned down for a job at a nearby inpatient drug addiction treatment center. They said it was because of his criminal background. He has non-violent felony offenses directly related to his active addiction.

 OK. You’re thinking, “I could see that. He might steal or something.”

 But the felony occurred more than a decade ago. He has had over a decade of stable recovery from the disease of addiction. It astounds me that a drug addiction treatment center – theoretically in business because they believe change is possible for addicts – refuses to hire such a person, who has been able to change his whole life since entering recovery. Is he not more likely to be able to teach addicts how to change and recover than someone who is educated about counseling but has no personal experience?

 I am in favor of having educational standards for addictions counseling. Treatment centers shouldn’t be able to hire people off the street to be counselors if they’ve had no training, even if they are recovering addicts. But my friend isn’t only in recovery; he has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s degree in both Community Counseling and Addictions Counseling. I suspect he’s one of the more qualified applicants they’ll have for the job.

 My friend, though disappointed, isn’t bitter. He knows there are other treatment centers, and he will find the job he’s meant to have. It’s not his loss. It’s the treatment center’s loss. They lose out on his amazing ability to help people with addiction.

 I’ve referred patients to this inpatient program. Should I continue to send patients to that center? I don’t want them to be tainted by the attitude that they won’t be able to overcome what’s happened in the past.

  I know decisions about hiring ex-cons and recovering addicts are made high up in this organization, and not by the people actually working in the trenches. Still, I’d rather patients get help at treatment centers who practice what they are supposedly teaching.