How Business Owners Can Seek Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Business owners and other high-powered professionals face extraordinary pressure in their everyday lives. Their families and employees depend on them, they work day and night with little to no time off in order to maximize their companies’ success and they often have to push themselves to the physical and emotional limit to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, one of the ways business owners cope with this inordinate amount of pressure is through the excessive use of drugs and alcohol.Recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that entrepreneurs are over 12 percent more likely to experience addiction than the general population. They also face significantly higher risk of mental health issues that can lead to addiction, including depression, anxiety, and trauma. 

Just as the issues that trigger their substance abuse are often unique, so are the obstacles they face when seeking help.

Common Barriers to Addiction Treatment for Business Owners Denial

Denial is one of the most common impediments to entering treatment, and this factor can be especially compounded by those who have accomplished so much in their lives. The pride of a business owner can make it very hard for them to admit they’ve jeopardized their health, their livelihood, and everything they’ve worked for in the wake of their substance use. Unfortunately, however, these signs become impossible to ignore and start impacting not only their business, but also their personal lives and health.

Inability to Step Away from Their Business

It can be very hard, or even impossible, for business owners to extricate themselves even temporarily from their company’s operations without it directly impacting its financial and organizational health. Many entrepreneurs, especially new business owners, are operating on their own or with very small staff. Their absence can mean significant loss of productivity and even irreversible damage to financial stability. It’s important to realize, however, that these also may be inevitable if substance use persists untreated.

Lack of Financial Resources

While the common perception of business owners is that they’re wealthy and prosperous, it’s often the case that their personal finances are tied up in their business. They very often make personal financial sacrifices to invest in the growth of their organization and prioritize their own health insurance needs. Although there are multiple health insurance options for business owners and other self-employed professionals, these can be hard to navigate and many people see them as ineffective or cost-prohibitive. 

Signs That You Need Help for Alcohol or Drug Addiction

The reality is that work and business are often the most immediate casualties of addiction. Whether it’s you, a loved one, or a colleague who needs help, trouble at work can be among the earliest signs. In the unique case of entrepreneurs some of these signs can include:

● Peculiar movement or shifting of funds

● Missing meetings or deadlines

● Prolonged periods of absenteeism

● Questionable decision making

● High-risk financial maneuvers

● Legal issues related to substance use

If you’re a business owner or are directly alongside a business owner and are noticing these or any other peculiar physical or behavioral issues, it may be time to seek treatment.

What to Look for In Rehab for Business Owners

Once a business owner realizes they need help, it’s imperative that they find a facility that is equipped to serve their care needs. The reality is that, while it’s important to get help, not all rehab programs can deliver the care that business owners need to reap the full benefits of their treatment experience.

There are, however, many executive rehab programs or options for working professionals that allow business owners to stay connected to their companies (within reason) while in treatment. Some of the most viable rehab options of for business owners may include:

Outpatient programs that allow patients to return home or work after daily treatment sessions.

● Rehabs that allow cell phones and internet access to help you stay connected even when you’re in an inpatient program.

● Rehabs that accept private and public insurance to make it easier and more affordable to get care.

It’s important to realize that every rehab center will offer their own care approach, based on resources, philosophy, personnel, and other factors. For example, even programs that offer cell phones laptops may not offer unfettered access, and will likely limit use to when you’re not in treatment.

You Don’t Have to Choose between Your Career and Your Care

Many business owners are resigned to the idea that they have to de-prioritize their own health for the sake of their company. Whether they don’t see another or if it’s out of pride, they often sacrifice themselves on the altar of their companies’ success. In the context of substance abuse, however, it’s only a matter of time before business owners’ personal health and the health of their business suffers potentially irreversible damage.

If you’re a business owner who needs help for addiction, you have to help yourself before you can help others, whether it’s your loved ones, your colleagues or the employees who depend on you. Get help today so you can stay present in your personal and professional life.