Your well-being

Tackling addiction

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Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is the inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug — from more socially acceptable drugs such as nicotine, alcohol and marijuana, to hard-core drugs such as heroin, crack and methamphetamine.

This medical issue calls for support and psychosocial and even spiritual intervention. But while addiction can be devastating, it is also highly treatable. Addiction affects a school community on many levels. A person struggling with addiction may increase overall workplace stress, logging frequent absences and even working while intoxicated.

Many resources are available if you or someone you know has questions about substance misuse. The sooner you seek help for yourself or for a loved one, the better. The top three forms of treatment, all of which can be accessed through your health insurance, are:

Detox: If you have been using a substance for a significant amount of time and want to stop, your body will react. You should contact a medical professional or a facility to supervise you during the initial stage of recovery.

Rehab: There are many inpatient treatment facilities where you can voluntarily go for support. Expect intensive individual and group counseling to help you on your journey to sobriety.

Intensive outpatient treatment: You can go to a convenient local facility a number of times a week for group and individual counseling sessions, either before or after work.

The UFT Member Assistance Program (MAP) is a free resource that can help assess the level of care you or a family member needs and help find the best treatment resource. MAP also supports members with medical leave information, discharge planning, reclamation into school and pre-authorization for insurance approval. Contact Mickey Correa, a trained counselor, for confidential conversations about substance use via email at mapinfo@uft.org or by phone at 212-701-9260. MAP also provides support for family members of someone struggling with addiction.

Support groups for the families of people with substance use issues, such as Al-Anon, are widely available throughout the city

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