Addiction Treatment for Railroad Workers
The Federal Railroad Administration oversees the railroad industry as part of the larger government agency, the Department of Transportation. Safety is a priority for this industry, as is the well-being of the workers. Railroad workers hold positions such as Engineer, Conductor, Yardmaster, Carman, Boilermaker, Mechanics, Track Worker, Welder, Signal Worker, Roadway Mechanic, as well as Clerical and Management positions. Some of these occupations can be dangerous and cause the worker to undergo trauma, stress- usually as a result of long-distance travel and long hours, as well as anxiety or depression and other mental health conditions.
What is Addiction for Railroad Workers Like?
Addiction is a disease that can develop from stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression. Railroad workers often experience trauma from railway accidents, witnessing suicides, and or life-threatening situations that unfortunately occur. The railroad industry is responsible for domestic travel and industries that rely on trains to distribute goods across the county. Since the railroad industry runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year, the workers who sustain this industry are heavily relied on to ensure the safety of passengers and goods and the lives of others not on the train. This level of responsibility causes an extreme amount of stress, which can cause a person to seek relief from substances.
According to an article recently published in Newsweek magazine, railroad workers are often susceptible to mental health conditions, which may lead to addiction. Newsweek site’s data from the National Center for Intermodal Transportation on how many railway employees are diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), from incidents that happen on the job. Railroad accidents that cause death can be mentally and emotionally debilitating to the workers present during the accident.
Transit workers often deal with unique forms of trauma, and railroad operators will likely face three potentially traumatic incidents in their careers… For transit workers, accidents can lead to significant psychological difficulties and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The National Center for Intermodal Transportation found that 43.6 percent of 363 surveyed workers had been involved in at least one critical incident—accidents, near misses, collisions, personal injuries, or contact with people or equipment on the tracks. Of those employees, 12.1 percent reported symptoms consistent with PTSD after the incidents. Employees involved in those incidents also reported higher levels of intrusive thoughts, trouble sleeping and working, and depression. (Newsweek)
How Does One Become Addicted?
Addiction is often a result of PTSD and other mental health conditions. The prevalence of addiction among high stress and dangerous occupations is markedly higher than other professions. Addiction treatment for railroad workers is now available, and the types of programs that we recommend have significant success rates in helping members of the railroad industry overcome their addictions. The types of addictions that are most common among railroad workers include opiates (i.e., heroin, Fentanyl, methadone) amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, prescription pain killers and alcohol. The programs we advocate for railroad workers have treatment programs available for men, women and young adults.
The programs that specialize in addictions most common to railroad workers utilize evidence-based forms of therapy that ensure people with addiction that may stem from PTSD, anxiety, stress, and depression get the quality care they need. Railroad workers have many options for the types of programs that incorporate evidence-based therapy for a treatment program. The programs we connect railroad workers too most often include intensive outpatient program (IOP), inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. The IOP program is especially effective for a person who is still employed. IOP offers day and evening treatment times that cooperate with a person’s work schedule.
We Are Here to Help
If you or a family member or friend is suffering from an addiction and is ready for professional help, the programs that we support are tailored to the individual needs of each client. Since addiction is different for each person, an individual’s treatment program must address their specific challenges, mental health conditions as well as childhood histories, genetics, and all current employment or past employment trauma- that is prevalent in many railroad workers’ stories of addiction.
To reach one of our treatment program specialists, please call one of our representatives at (631) 887-3234 and they will immediately locate the best treatment center for you or your loved one within 24 hours or less.