By: GayLynn Grigas, MA. Psy. CAP, Intern LMHC, Education and Training Department Director
We are in a battle against addiction, and the carnage that occurs daily is real. There are foot soldiers on the very front line of this battle; they are the men and women who are our Behavioral Health Techs. More often than not, the Tech is the first one present when someone in treatment starts to get anxious and filled with doubt and wants to run. These amazing men and women have a sixth sense about these things because in that client they see themselves, they know the internal battle that is raging in the client and the fight to stay in treatment and make the next best choice is fading.
Patiently and with great finesse, the Tech will talk them through their fears and help bring their anxiety down to a more manageable level, get them back into making better choices. I remember one Tech that was able to comfort a client who was afraid of being away from home for the first time and was terrified to tell others that he was badly homesick. This Tech had also left home to get clean and sober, so he could relate to the fears of revealing secrets and weaknesses and gave care and comfort when it was least expected. This young man stayed in treatment and as a result, that young man’s family has their son back, on the front line, battling another day to save one more life.
The field of addiction recovery owes a debt of gratitude and thanks to these men and women who put on the khaki shorts and shirts every day, clipboard in hand, and put themselves on the battlefield. Each day they take that extra time to sit, to listen, to pray, to read the Big Book, to empathize, to share their own story in hope that it will ignite the passion for recovery in another human being. They cry when they see their brothers and sisters die of this disease. They are our heroes in the battle, sometimes making modest wages, but they have the highest return on their efforts. They are the lowest in corporate power but are the uppermost with Higher Power, the unsung heroes in recovery, our Behavioral Health Techs. Thank one today for doing their job.