With nearly a decade of experience in addiction treatment, Caitlyn Higgins, LPC, LCADC, received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinician Mental Health Counseling. Caitlyn’s experience in addiction treatment began as a Detox Unit Treatment Associate before moving into other roles, including Primary Counselor, Licensed Therapist and Program Director. As the Director of Outpatient Services at Recovery Centers of America at Raritan Bay, Caitlyn works closely with clinical staff to develop, plan, and implement strategies for our patients. Never one to let a program or service grow stale, Caitlyn stays on top of changes and updates to ensure programs meet each client’s needs.
There is still so much stigma around substance use disorder. Even among patients who are in treatment we hear things like “I’m only drinking alcohol, I’m not like you.” People say such mean things about people who struggle with addiction. They think it’s a choice and that “you did this to yourself.” It’s a lack of awareness, knowledge and education. Let’s look at mental health and instill social emotional learning programs in schools that begin from childhood addressing these issues. I would love to see more of that implemented. So many people make it to adulthood and don’t know how to deal with certain emotions, leading to substance use and mental health disorders. The pandemic for sure brought to light some of these issues. I think in society there needs to be more representation and accurate depictions of what addiction is. You are not a bad person, it’s not who you are, you have been impacted and you are trying to get it under control and move towards recovery. Just because you are suffering from a substance use disorder does not mean you are a monster. Let’s eradicate stigma and accept everyone.