National Suicide Prevention:
 Dial 988  •

Showing posts from: When You Care Enough To Call

What if I know someone who might need help?

You have this friend/co-worker/boss who is acting strangely.  Maybe you have smelled alcohol, or suspect they are under the influence of something but you’re just not sure.  Perhaps they just seem angry or distracted more now than they used to.  Maybe other people in your office have noticed it too, and you are all working together to compensate for this person’s work behavior.   The longer the behavior goes on, the more it will progress.  What you may be experiencing is dysfunctional family dynamics in the workplace, and your friend needs someone to be strong enough to make a tough call.  If you are not sure of the signs, call us and we can discuss them with you.

Can I remain anonymous?

Normally callers remain unknown to the person needing help.  To take a call seriously, however, we will have to have somebody’s name.  You can either provide your name and relationship to the professional needing help, or the name of a person whom we can contact who has first-hand knowledge about the situation and would be willing to discuss.  It is also helpful if there is at least one other person who is willing to discuss this situation.

Am I really helping my friend (or family member) or throwing him/her under the bus?

If your friend is suffering from addiction or alcoholism, this will not resolve itself on its own.  People with this disease are initially not happy to be confronted, but proactively involving the NC Caring Dental Professionals (NCCDP) is the best way to get much needed help.  NCCDP is an advocacy organization.  Our goal is to get Dental Professionals the help they need while preventing a career from being destroyed or a professional reputation being damaged.

What information do I need to provide if I call?

When you take the critical first step to secure help for your friend or co-worker, you will need to be prepared to provide some information.  As obvious as it may seem, sometimes callers are hesitant to provide the name of the person they are calling about, but we can’t move forward getting your friend the help they need unless we first have his/her name.  Please be prepared to give examples of why this person appears to need assistance.    As stated before, you will also need to provide your relationship to this person and if possible referral to another person who can corroborate or elaborate upon your information.   As much information as you can give is helpful for us to assess the urgency of your friend’s situation.

What will happen after I call?

Once we have the information we need, we will assess the urgency of the situation for your friend/co-worker.  We will contact them and discuss the concerns that have been shared with us.  We will then determine the next steps needed to start your friend on the road to health and recovery.

In many situations the professional must go for a professional assessment and treatment.  There are several options to assist the practice in continuing with business as usual until the individual is able to return from treatment.  We know many NC Dental Professionals who have experience in this area who would be willing to share their knowledge to assist in a smooth transition.

Couldn’t I just help my friend myself?

Addiction is a disease that generally requires professional treatment.  Even if the professional is able to temporarily suppress the symptoms of the disease, remaining well can be a monumental challenge.  The underlying causes and issues need to be addressed for long-term health and well-being.  The kind of help your friend/co-worker needs requires a great commitment, and crossing those boundaries could jeopardize your current relationship with your friend/co-worker.  The best help you can give would be to make the call, then be a strong support to your friend.

Does the NCCDP only work with addictions?

The NCCDP promotes overall well-being for Dental Professionals in the state of North Carolina.  In addition to drug and alcohol problems, we have helped Dental Professionals get assistance with emotional and mental health issues such as career burnout, co-dependence, anger management, depression and personality disorders.

What if I don’t call?

This disease does not cure itself.  It is a progressive disease that spirals out of control if not treated.  It is also important to note that long term exposure to certain drugs can cause irreparable brain damage.  We have encountered professionals who were referred to us for assistance, only to find that the help came too late to save a career.  What if someone had made the call sooner rather than later?