The Lack of Addiction Counselors Could Hamper The Emotional and Spiritual Recovery of Desperate Addicted Patients

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Whether you agree with the changes President Obama made to the healthcare system south of our border or not, it has provided millions of Americans with care that they did not previously have access to due to the system they are a part of. Hundreds of thousands of Americans now have access to mental health care as well as treatment for addiction issues that they were, for many years, not able to receive, but despite these solid and well thought out amendments to their system there is now a very serious lack of addiction counselors who are the backbone of substance abuse treatment. There are many people involved in someone’s recovery from alcohol and drugs: Doctors, therapists, people at group meetings and of course counselors who perhaps are among the most important people in the lives of people trying to attain lasting sobriety. It’s a scary thought to try and imagine how the lives of recovering addicts would be without the wellness and motivation that addiction counselors provide to their clients and patients. In fact, while this statement may be on the bold side, it’s possible that thousands of addicts ready to make the changes needed in their lives could simply fail their endeavor all together without the specially trained and supportive people that are addiction counselors. Experts in the American healthcare system are reporting that the shortage of addiction counselors has reached “crisis levels” which can only spell trouble for those who are most in need of lasting recovery and specialized treatment.

“We have a shortage all across the country. I can’t point to a state where it’s not a problem,” said Becky Vaughn, vice president of addictions at the National Council for Behavioral Health.
The problem could be particularly acute in Arizona, which had just 20 substance abuse professionals per 1,000 adults with addictions, the sixth-lowest rate in the nation, according to a new analysis. The national average is 32 per 1,000. Neal Cash, CEO of the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, said the workforce shortage is getting “more severe and more critical.”
“As more people have health care that includes mental health and substance abuse benefits, that’s compounding a situation that was already there,” Cash said.

So while the “Obamacare” system may be helping many people that were previously forgotten about in the vastness of the American healthcare system, it seems that addiction treatment is still a challenging area that requires more study and focus, especially since they serve as motivational speakers, friends and spiritual advisers to their clients and patients. A role that is not capable of being played by doctors whether medicinal or psychiatric who often do not have the time to act as advisers in the lives and well-being of their patients who so desperately need it.

Experts believe that the sector of mental health and addiction in the current healthcare system are not treated the same way as other physical diseases. Seeing as how the DSM manual used by those in the fields of mental health and addiction issues states that addiction can be classified as an illness, it begs the question why more attention isn’t being paid to that area of medicine. The role of counselors and addiction therapists are paramount to someone’s physical and mental recovery because of their job as both experts and long-term care providers and without a serious influx of funding and training that many addicts will not receive the best care possible which could lead to problems in their emotional recovery.

 

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The Lack of Addiction Counselors Could Hamper The Emotional and Spiritual Recovery of Desperate Addicted Patients

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