Being a police officer is one of the most emotionally and physically draining professions. They have to deal with disorderly conduct, fatal car accidents, and shootings. Police officers need to understand how important it is not to deal with the stress through substance abuse but through talking out your problems with a professional to find it easier to function at work.
Police officers have mandatory rotating shifts and work over time which makes it hard for them to spend time with their family or rest. Police officers are risking their lives with arrests, drug busts, and hostage situations. In 2014, the FBI said that 51 police officers died on duty. They work 10-12 hour shifts with multiple days off. This can cause fatigue and affect their critical thinking. Police officers also deal with the stress from society in criticism from citizens in the newspapers and on the news. All of the stress turns them to addiction. Police officers even take side jobs to pay for their addiction which worsens their sleep schedule and overall health.
Common drugs that police officers use are marijuana, benzodiazepines, and meth. Alcohol and opioids are also a popular choice among officers. Many officers consume alcohol to relax, socialize, and help with any physical or traumatizing pain they are going through. The Journal of Law Enforcement said that 15% of attempted suicides were from officers with a history of alcohol abuse. Painkillers are also popular for officers when they get hurt on duty. Other officers turn to steroids to build muscle but they also get high blood pressure, heart problems, and anger problems. They may feel the need to use steroids so they are more of a threat to bigger criminals.
It is important for police officers to learn about their own addiction and how to heal. Officers need to speak to a psychiatrist about the difficulties they face and the challenges they go through whether it is the long hours or the dangers on duty. Police officers should not be afraid to get help as rehab visits and the conversations you have with your psychiatrist are confidential. You will learn how to discuss your feelings, thoughts, and concerns. 12 step programs are also important to hear stories of others and what you have learned about yourself. By learning about healthier habits, you will not only be a healthier officer but a human being as well.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.