Many people think of teenagers and college students when they hear of amphetamine abuse. These club drugs have are not only in the clubs. Although according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teenagers and college students are most likely to abuse amphetamines, they are not the only population vulnerable to the dangers of these drugs. Amphetamines come in both illegal and prescription varieties. Yes, there is amphetamine abuse among law enforcement officers. To understand why this is it is important to study why law enforcement officers are vulnerable to amphetamine abuse, the risks associated with abuse as law enforcement, and the obstacles they face when seeking help.
Truthfully everyone is vulnerable to amphetamine abuse this includes law enforcement officers. They work long hours in a high stress environment. Many officers start using because both the hours and the stress exhaust them. Many officers work 12 hour rotating shifts. This causes a constant interruption in the sleep/wake cycles. This interruption creates a need for the chemical adjustment of amphetamines to function.
Dealing with the criminal element all day every day is an additional stressor that leads to substance abuse. Law enforcement officers routinely interact with people who sell, use, and traffic amphetamines. It is not uncommon for people who are around illegal substances to start using them.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, amphetamine abuse has a long list of side effects. The majority of these side effects are negative in nature. The short term effects of amphetamine abuse are:
Although these effects do not all seem bad, when placed in the context of doing a job, they get considerably more dangerous. In addition to the short term, effects there are also the effects of withdrawal. If an officer misses a regular amphetamine dose, the effects that may appear are:
Again when combined with the responsibilities of a job, these effects are compounded.
The risks associated with amphetamine abuse among law enforcement officers are specialized. They are in a position of trust, which makes the risks even greater. Some of these risks are:
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why law enforcement officers do not get help with their addiction. When seeking amphetamine abuse treatment, law enforcement officers must overcome a variety of obstacles. Although many of these obstacles are the same for ordinary citizens, they are more detrimental to law enforcement officers. These obstacles are:
Law enforcement officers can overcome these obstacles with help from their department and a sincere desire to get help on the part of the officer. There are programs within a police department as well as those offered by the state to help police with addiction issues.
The simple answer to, is the amphetamine abuse among law enforcement officers, is yes. To understand this answer, you have to look at the factors associated with being a law enforcement officer. Many law enforcement officers are in tiring stressful situations and amphetamines are an easy fix for these conditions. Unfortunately, the side effects of amphetamine use and the job do not mix well. Although there are substance abuse treatment programs offered by various police departments, there are obstacles to taking advantage of them. Not only does their choice of career make them more likely to abuse amphetamines, they have difficulty seeking help. All of these factors are what makes law enforcement officers vulnerable to the dangers of amphetamine abuse.