Drug-related deaths have seen a rise in statistics in the United States and as addiction-related treatments are needed, America is faced with the problem on the shortage of addiction counselors.
Recent findings on research for substance-abuse treatment facilities concluded that one of every four staff members quit their jobs every year to seek better job and pay opportunities in the same field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average salary for addiction counselors is only about $40,000 a year, which poses as a big factor for the shortfall.
In a 2006 report released by the Institute of Medicine, they documented a long –standing shortage in the number of substance and drug- addiction treatment workers for a couple of decades, notwithstanding the fact that the demand for these workers continue to increase year after year.
Federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act, continue to give out insurance claims to millions of people to pay for treatment and rehabilitation services, but have to be turned down by institutions due to the lack of addiction counselors and health workers to attend to them.
One former counselor, who worked as a social worker for 10 years and a Master’s degree holder, said that the main reason she quit the job was due to burnout, stating that the stress ‘just got too heavy.’
Among the major factors that contribute to this burnout situation is that they always take in the pains of their patients and without the proper support structures or outlets, they get too difficult to burden.
Another concern raised by health experts is the lack of capability-building support like institutionalized education and training for addiction counselors, as well as proper funding and support from the health and public sectors.
Statistical data from the National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) that the impacts of substance abuse have proven to be very costly for the United States.
In a recent report, NIDA claimed that more than $700 billion is lost annually in relation to crime, health care and productivity, broken down as follows;
Experts agree that with the proper funding and support, there still is a great opportunity to fill the demand to address the shortage of addiction counselors in the U.S.
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