24/7 Support Line

(954) 526-5776
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

Why Many Drug Rehab Clinicians Are Also Recovering Addicts

When it comes to drug rehab programs there are so many misconceptions and myths that it’s difficult for some people to understand exactly what happens to addicts and alcoholics when they attend a treatment program. And while it makes perfect sense to most that a former cyclist might become a bike mechanic or a farmer a supermarket owner, it doesn’t occur to many that a former active drug addict might become a professional substance abuse treatment counselor. However, this is actually quite common in the industry and in reality is sometimes considered to be a primary reason that other addicts are ultimately successful at achieving sobriety.

For some addicts that began their recovery at a drug rehab center, a move into a career in the substance abuse treatment field is only natural because, in their case, addiction was literally all they knew. Scores of adults spend years – even decades – in active addiction or alcoholism, and by the time they finally clean up they realize that the subject they know the best is drug abuse. This can motivate such individuals to receive training to become a technician, an intake specialist or even a clinician.

A number of recovering addicts become involved in the substance abuse treatment field in an effort to stay connected to the recovery community. This follows the old adage of:

“We teach best what we most need to learn.”

Wisdom such as this is an integral part of recovery from addiction, and treatment communities are the best place to find like-minded individuals.

But for most recovering addicts that return to work in the substance abuse treatment field, it’s all about passion. Some people that today are powerhouses in the recovery community were at one time desperate addicts capable of anything in their quest for the drugs that gripped them. By the time they finally got help, most were near death. Most were lucky to survive.

After treatment and the move to a sober lifestyle, some of these people feel compelled to return to what they know by helping others fight the disease of addiction. In many recovery communities there are top-level clinicians, counselors and technicians that have a significant impact on the lives of the addicts and alcoholics they help.

However, whether these individuals are any more or less effective at their jobs is a question many have asked, including Dirk Hanson in his 2009 article The Changing Face of Addiction Counseling:

“For years, addiction therapists and counselors tended to be people who had been addicts themselves. These days, not so much. Drug and alcohol counselors who have experienced addiction firsthand represent a dwindling slice of the addiction therapy community. But does it matter?” (1)

According to some – including a reputable study mentioned in Hanson’s article – there is little difference in the effectiveness of former-addict versus non former addict treatment counselors.

For those interested in a career in substance abuse treatment, The Association for Addiction Professionals is a valuable resource. But if you’re struggling with a drug problem right now, the first step is to reach out for help. Widely considered one of the most successful drug addiction treatment centers in the country, we have addiction professionals waiting for your call 24 hours per day. We can help no matter where you are or how bad your problem is – but we can’t do anything if you don’t call.

(1) Hanson, Dirk The Changing Face of Addiction Counseling Addiction Inbox 07/19/2009

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More