The Journal of Addiction Medicine recently published a ground breaking study which revealed a full-blown crisis in the legal field, which can no longer be ignored. Although it has been commonly presumed that the legal profession has a heightened rate of substance abuse problems as compared to the general public and other professionals, no one expected the numbers to rise to this level – As many as 36% of all practicing lawyers suffer from an active alcohol abuse problem.
Attorneys are expected – and obligated - to have clear and robust judgement when working for their clients. The moment one of its lawyers or staff performs services while impaired, the law firm itself, is at risk. Yet, alcohol consumption is often normalized as part of the culture within the legal sector. Legal professionals concerned about their privacy and reputation are often hesitant to seek the treatment they need.
Caron recognizes that legal professionals often resist typical residential treatment. With this in mind, our Pennsylvania facility offers a specialized, residential addiction treatment program for attorneys, judges, law students, and paralegals that addresses their unique addiction and behavioral health issues, and provides tailored services through targeted peer interaction and directed programming. The program’s Executive Director has an extensive background as an attorney and is a licensed addiction clinician. His successful career, his own personal recovery from the disease of addiction, and his education and experience in this field, all contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the issues legal professionals face when struggling with and recovering from an addiction.
Integral components of our Legal Professional Program include:
- Pre-entry services, which include a thorough assessment, discussions amongst the legal professional and/or third parties with the Executive Director of the program, customization of the personalized treatment plan prior to arrival at Caron, and when necessary, intervention strategies and services
- Specialized therapy sessions, including:
- Weekly one-on-one meetings with the Executive Director of the program
- Group therapy sessions facilitated by the Executive Director and others trained in assisting legal professionals
- Exposure to guest speakers on topics relevant to the legal profession and behavioral health
- Coordination between the program’s Executive Director and the patient’s multi-disciplinary treatment team regarding progress in treatment, treatment planning, and aftercare planning.
- Aftercare services, which may include:
- Comprehensive individualized continuing care plans, which may include access to specialized tools; participating in our My First Year of Recovery Program; attending targeted extended care or outpatient treatment; sober living; and/or transitioning into services available at our Regional Recovery Centers
- Ongoing communication between patient and Executive Director
- Fostering relationships with attorney-specific recovery resources. Our program’s staff has robust relationships with state lawyer assistance programs as well as other resources and individuals to support successful recovery and a return to work.