Each March, the nation turns its attention to our strong workforce of social workers, and that includes those at Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center. Sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, National Professional Social Work Month is celebrated each March, with this year’s theme being “Social Workers: Leaders, Advocates, Champions.”

The U.S. has more than 650,000 social workers, according to NASW, each of them with the courage to aid in some of life’s most pressing challenges and help individuals, families, children and the community.

“Social workers play a key role in working with those affected by drug and alcohol addiction – from client treatment and recovery to working with the family of the addicted person,” said Tim Tunner, Ph.D., MSW, senior policy associate for behavioral health at the National Association of Social Workers to Boston University’s School of Social Work. “Social workers are the largest providers of mental health services, so it is natural that they would be directly involved in treatment and recovery of addictions.”

Social workers have the training and knowledge to treat people who have used a range of substances, from alcohol to opioids. They understand how substance-use disorders affect all aspects of a person’s life, including their mental health and friends and family.

At the New England Recovery Center, our team of licensed social workers and clinicians help each client create a treatment plan catered to their specific needs. There is no “one size fits all” approach to treating addiction and social workers are adept at identifying the unique needs of clients.

We often say that addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the disease affects the whole family unit. In our Family Renewal Program at NERC, social workers are aware of the impact addiction has on relationships and they work to help mend those bridges with education.

“Leaders, advocates and champions” only begins to describe the tenacity of our nation’s social workers. This month, thank a social worker for their part in combating the opioid epidemic and helping our clients find their new life of health and happiness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the New England Recovery Center can help. Please call (844) 233-6372.