The higher education industry of colleges and universities is often overlooked when considering the possibility of the faculty and professors having a problem with drinking or substance abuse. It is expected that the students are consuming alcohol regularly at parties and other social functions. Still, the attitude about their professors is vastly different. College professors, however, can have the same potential for heavy and alcoholic drinking like many of their students do. Although responsible drinking behavior is encouraged by faculty and colleges, generally, it usually doesn’t apply to the staff members. Professors and other faculty may not be getting the help they need. College professors often choose to teach out of love for learning and teaching a particular subject. Therefore, they are respected and regarded as pillars of responsibility and wisdom on the college campus. Yet many professors struggle with drinking. Not unlike other high functioning alcoholics, professors might drink heavily when at home to relieve their stress, anxiety, or depression. Since they are in a position of authority, their workload and responsibilities are more significant. It is no secret that teachers and professors are often overworked and underpaid.
Addiction Struggles as a College Professor
College professors are not superheroes and share the same struggles with finances, family life, or work, as other professionals do. To cope and because alcohol is legal and socially accepted, many professors drink to excess and alcoholically as soon as they leave school. It is not uncommon to hear about professors also drinking at the local university pubs with their students. A situation like this, unfortunately, does not get assessed realistically. Professors may develop a reputation as easy going and well-liked by students and other faculty when the reality is that when they are drinking with students, they are not behaving professionally. College professors who are struggling with alcoholism may also come to class still intoxicated from the night before, or sneak alcohol in their office during work hours. Once a person, regardless of their profession, drinks alcoholically, their bodies require alcohol to function. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, also known as DT’s short for delirium tremors, cause a person to experience many uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms will interfere with a person’s ability to perform and work. They include:
- Shaking and cold sweats
- Severe anxiety
- Insomnia and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion and hallucinations
College professors, like other alcoholics, will require alcohol to ward off these symptoms. Once this happens, and they have become physically dependent on alcohol to alleviate the DT’s, they need to be admitted into a professional alcohol detox program. For professionals who are drinking heavily but do not experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, detox is still necessary. Since tolerance to alcohol develops in most people, especially alcoholics, detoxification will prevent dangerous physical reactions from occurring. Seizures and heart conditions are frequent among heavy and alcoholic drinkers. The medications that we provide at Evoke Wellness at Miramar detox prevent seizures and minimize other symptoms and allow each person to sleep and recover easily.
Alcoholism in College Professors Exists
Fortunately, the statistics about teachers and college professors struggling with alcoholism and or substance abuse are low in numbers but are still present. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the education industry has the second to the lowest rate of alcoholism and addiction. Their most recent evaluation rates educators among various industries found that alcohol abuse and illicit drug abuse by educators was 4.7%. The highest rate of a different sector was 17.5 %, and the lowest rate at 4.4%. Their most recent findings from 2015 indicated that educators have the second-lowest rate for the prevalence of past-month heavy alcohol use, the second-lowest rate of past-month illicit drug use, and have only a 5.5% rate of formal substance use disorders. Although the rates for alcoholism and substance abuse by professors from SAMHSA’s research are on the lower end, the availability of professional addiction and alcoholism treatment for educators is not. Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers alcohol detox programs for educators and college professionals who are ready to end their struggle with drinking. The detox program that we provide to our professional clients, such as college professors, is discreet and emphasizes privacy and anonymity. The detox unit works in tandem with our professional alcohol treatment programs. Although alcohol detoxification is the first and most necessary step that an alcoholic must take to stop drinking, it is not treatment. The treatment we provide for alcoholism sustains its uncompromised success by utilizing evidence-based forms of therapy to treat alcoholism. Our alcohol detox program encourages entry to a treatment program while providing medical care throughout each client’s detoxification.