There is a major shortage of drug abuse counselors in the United States. With drug abuse and addiction rates on the rise the demand for counselors is increasing exponentially. One way agencies are combating this is by going into high schools and inspiring students to become drug counselors. The goal is to make people aware of the career opportunities that surround drug and alcohol abuse.
Struggling with the Shortage
Obviously, it is necessary that we to increase the number of people formally educated in this area as drug abuse is a national crisis. It would be nice if the same schools would stop handing out drugs in the first place. Stories of very young children and their parents taking a school to court after the school, in essence, tries to force the child on legal meth are far too abundant. People are often misdiagnosed with ADHD, by some estimates, in excess of 25% of the time. And even if the diagnosis is correct the fact is that children, sometimes very young children, are being handed highly addictive substances and being told that they are not acceptable in school or society unless they are on drugs. The tough answers in life do not come in pill form.
It seems a little baffling that schools are promoting prescription drug use and a career in the drug abuse field simultaneously. National drug prevention is massively overlooking the fact that schools are insisting on and handing out gateway drugs in the first place. Instead of focusing on the distant future and pondering who will provide therapy for people wanting to get their life back together after the devastation of drug addiction, we need to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Potential Occupation Crisis
We need an overhaul in how we approach this crisis that is proportionate to the level of drug use in kids today. One specialist that is making a difference without the use of drugs is Howard Glasser. His Nurtured Heart Approach makes it possible for kids to see that they are good and see their own greatness and as a consequence, they flourish. It is an approach that comes from the heart and is based on love, as opposed to drugging children, which comes from a place of ignorance and fear.
Children often stop acting badly if we show them compassion. Psychologists are now saying that in order to decrease the chance of adolescent school children developing an addiction they should work on strengthening their awareness of how their behavior affects other people. It also helps people who are already struggling with addiction to overcome it. This is a major aspect of all twelve step programs which use helping others as a way to strengthen certain social muscles which atrophy from drug use. This approach helps the mentor and the one being mentored; everyone wins.
Promoting Drug Abuse Counseling
While we definitely need future professionals, we need to promote students to counsel and support their fellow students today more than anything. People are increasingly disconnected from each other as a function of technology. We are a nation controlled by the media. It is no wonder that so many are falling prey to drugs in an attempt to fill a void caused by a lack of individual support and connection to others. The need for counseling is right now. It doesn’t require a college degree to simply listen to a peer.