How Rehabs are Overcoming Language Barriers to Fight Addiction

Unfortunately, addiction is a condition that is affecting those of all races, ages, and nationalities.  Nationality and native language can create barriers to receiving addiction treatment in certain circumstances. For instance, a Latin American that speaks very little or no English struggling with an addiction in the United States may find it difficult to find a treatment center that will be able to understand and communicate with them.

While there are bilingual treatment centers or ones that at least have a couple bilingual staff members, they tend to be few and far between.  But with a large number of individuals in the US who may have trouble with English, it is critical that there are treatment centers that can assist these individuals as well.  Language barriers can make receiving comprehensive and proper treatment quite difficult.

Fortunately, there are rehab centers that are working toward a resolution of this problem.  Many centers have begun to hire more bilingual staff members that can help the problem.  But there are also some that are taking an alternative route of training individuals in bilingual communications.  For instance, the Mahoning County Mental Health Recovery Board in Ohio provided free bilingual communications training for 14 counselor assistants.  The program consisted of a rigorous layout that included bilingual training, as well as education upon addiction.  Role playing scenarios were employed to help the assistants learn how to handle situations appropriately.  This small group of now trained counselor assistants may be the pioneers of a new successful method of addressing the language barrier.  If this education program was more widely implemented, it could begin to help staff more treatment centers with trained individuals that can resolve the language barrier.

How Language Barriers Can Make Treatment Difficult

There very well may be a multitude of individuals out there struggling who are unable to ask for help and be understood, much less participate in English focused treatments.  For instance, if an individual who cannot speak English finds themselves in a primarily English treatment center or meeting, they cannot really participate in group meetings or counseling because they do not understand what is being communicated or asked.  Our country has been called the “melting pot” in the past because of the large variety of different individuals that reside here.  This is why it is time that more focus is placed on making help available for those with foreign language barriers as well.  As more rehab centers begin to implement plans to be able to treat those of other native languages, we may very well begin to see the overall numbers of addiction decrease now that these people could be helped as well.

When Seeking Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Addiction continues to be a growing problem within our society.  There are a massive amount of individuals out there struggling and attempting to overcome their addictions, though it can be difficult to do on their own.  But with the right treatment center, addiction is never impossible to overcome.  There can be great disparities in the different offerings of treatment centers.  Our organization is familiar and knowledgeable about the different types of treatment and treatment facilities across the country.  We are expert at finding the center that will be the perfect fit for you or your loved one.  Give us a call today, and one of our staff will help to find the facility that fits your needs and wants.

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