Substance abuse does not discriminate. Professionals such as lawyers, politicians, businessmen and women, doctors, and others in healthcare may find themselves struggling with drugs and/or alcohol. Drug and alcohol rehab programs tailored to professionals provide a higher level of care in a setting that is separate from people in treatment who aren’t professionals.

Drug And Alcohol Treatment For Professionals

Addiction and substance use disorders can affect many different kinds of people, as substance abuse does not discriminate. Each year, millions of adults in the U.S. are affected by addiction or substance abuse, with more than one-third of those individuals also struggling with a co-occurring mental disorder.

Professionals, or people in professional positions in the workplace, are not exempt from addiction. The disease does not take into account a person’s social or work status, financial standing or other economic factors, but impacts the lives of many people for a number of reasons.

People in professional positions, like those in the medical field or in higher business positions, who have a lot of responsibilities and who may endure quite a bit of stress on a daily basis may have increased risk for substance misuse.

Repeated abuse of substances often leads to addiction, especially if the drug is one that is already highly addicting. Once a professional becomes addicted, quitting use of a substance without the help of a formal treatment program can be difficult, particularly because professionals may not be able to leave their position for an extended period of time to enter treatment.

Fortunately, there are many addiction treatment programs available, including executive rehab programs, or drug and alcohol treatment programs for professionals.

Addiction Treatment Programs For Professionals

Inpatient executive programs allow professionals to seek treatment in a private, secure environment, while still working online or by phone as needed, yet receiving the highest level of care in addiction treatment. Outpatient programs allow professionals to discreetly continue treatment after completing an inpatient program to ensure continued recovery success.


While there are many options for addiction treatment programs for professionals, the best will provide a number of components which are key to success in recovery, such as:

  • privacy
  • access to online work interaction
  • medication-assisted treatment
  • treatment from highly trained medical professionals
  • cooperation with a person’s workplace
  • intensive, highly focused short-term treatment

While the needs of each professional in addiction treatment may differ from those of the next, it’s important that every person be equipped with the skills and resources necessary to enter recovery.

Standard Addiction Treatment Vs. Executive Addiction Treatment

Standard, inpatient addiction treatment programs are private by nature, with individuals attending treatment for a specified length of time, remaining on-site at the drug and alcohol rehab center for the duration of treatment and having limited access to friends, family members, and personal items.

Inpatient executive treatment programs tend to be even more private, as professionals not only need the insurance of an exclusive healing location, but also the secluded healing environment that allows for full immersion into addiction treatment.

Also, many people entering an executive rehab program cannot simply walk away from their position for 30 days or more (the standard length of a short-term inpatient program). Executive treatment allows professionals to log in online to participate in work duties when necessary while keeping the person remote so they can still focus the majority of their attention on healing.

Typically, rehab centers will allow access to work participation but encourage individuals to limit this participation so they can direct their attention to recovery. Such cooperation with a person’s workplace is not usually allowed in inpatient addiction treatment programs.

Most addiction treatment programs are intensive, but those for professionals may be even more laser-focused. Professionals must accomplish the most comprehensive form of healing in a short time, so programs reflect this goal.

What Happens In An Executive Rehab Program?

Executive rehab programs often begin with detoxification. Some professionals may need medically supervised detoxification, as many have access to highly addictive drugs (particularly those professionals in the medical field).

Doctors may have access to some of the most addicting drugs in the industry, including benzodiazepines (Xanax) and prescription opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin). Times of high stress and workplace triggers may lead these individuals to recreationally abuse these drugs, which can quickly lead to dependence.

For those who need it, executive detoxification programs can help individuals taper off the use of such drugs and prepare for inpatient treatment where they will learn the skills and stress management techniques to manage addiction long-term. Medically supervised detox treats the physical aspects of addiction, and should always be followed by a formal addiction treatment program.


Inpatient executive rehab programs vary in length. The amount of time a professional will spend on treatment will usually be decided prior to treatment by a team of medical professionals, clinicians, and the individual.

Due to the higher level of treatment standards, seclusion and numerous treatments offered, drug and alcohol treatment for professionals may be more costly than a standard inpatient program. However, there are many resources in place to help a person secure treatment, including personal loans, private scholarships, and grants.

While some people may not be able to step away from work for longer than a few weeks, others may need long-term treatment to ensure a lasting recovery. This is why executive rehab programs exist: to help individuals get the treatment they need, at the pace they need, without sacrificing their personal lives in the process.

Once a person has completed detox and nears the end of their inpatient program, most drug rehab centers will provide them with local resources for aftercare, such as outpatient programs, access to alumni activities and connections to foster a life of sobriety.

Which Treatments Are Used In An Executive Rehab Program?

In addition to access to work-related needs, such as phones, fax machines, and computers, people in executive rehab programs have access to a multitude of treatments for a comprehensive approach to recovery.

The exact types of treatments offered will vary by rehab center, but some include:

  • adventure therapy
  • counseling
  • dual diagnosis care
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • life-skills courses
  • holistic treatments
  • family therapy
  • stress management techniques
  • trauma therapy
  • wilderness therapy

Medications can be offered to help individuals taper off the use of drugs or to manage long-term withdrawal symptoms during treatment. This method is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and is always paired alongside behavioral and other therapies for a well-rounded start to recovery.

Ultimately, an executive rehab program should result in the following: the individual overcomes withdrawal symptoms, learns to manage addiction and acquires the skills needed to remain substance-free. Treatments used to accomplish these goals will depend on the individual and the rehab center they choose.

Keeping Your Job While Seeking Addiction Treatment

It may be appealing to a person in a professional position to look into outpatient programs or those which do not require them to leave home or work for treatment. These programs take place in community health centers, hospitals, and other locations and the person attends treatment for a specified number of hours, certain days of the week for a number of weeks or months.

This arrangement may seem like the perfect fit for some, but may not offer the structure and environment necessary to help an individual overcome physical dependence and learn to manage addiction. Addiction is a disease known to be plagued by relapse, which means treatment must be intense and focused, and outpatient programs do not always offer this level of intensity.

Some may be worried that they will lose their job while seeking addiction treatment, but there are ways to ensure you can keep your position and still get the help you need. Many workplaces have programs in place to ensure employees get the help they need for treatment of problems like substance abuse and addiction.

Sometimes, these programs are called Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). EAPs are confidential and can provide treatment services or refer employees to treatment programs to both help them heal and help them in the treatment process while keeping their position secure.

If the professional is worried they may lose their job because they have to leave for treatment, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act may protect them. This Act states that employees are entitled, “to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.” One of these reasons includes serious health conditions, such as addiction, which keep a person from being able to perform their job duties.