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The War Room December 2013

You are an agent of change. You may not know it, but you are. In fact, as a part of the field of addiction recovery you have the ability, opportunity and even responsibility to effectuate change, both in yourself and others. And it doesn’t matter what your day-to-day job is – you are powerful. We work in a special field; a field that treats and helps those who are in the very deepest throes of life’s problems. The solution is not simple, and there is no cure for what we’re fighting. And it’s easy to just give up.

Or, we can wield our considerable personal power to bring change – a little at a time – to make our jobs and the work of those around us that much more effective – small victories to win the battle and ultimately, the war.

To become a change agent, you must first realize the power that you have. As a human being, you have the ability to inspire – not just yourself, but your co-workers and your clients. As a mother, father, son or daughter you have the opportunity to spread a message of hope and love. As a member of our circle of professionals you have the responsibility to help others. Never underestimate what you can offer those around you.

An effective change agent understands that they must lead by example. In our organization, job descriptions represent only the bare minimum of our responsibilities. Going above and beyond to connect with our co-workers, volunteer for less glamorous tasks, and making those around us feel like they matter are just a few of the traits that make a good employee a great agent of change. Those who embrace these qualities very often lead a fuller work, and even, personal life.

To be sure, not everyone is willing or even able to become an agent of change. It is hard. However, I invite you to believe in yourself, to believe in others, and to believe in what we do to help those who have hit rock bottom. I invite you to become an agent of change.

Ben Brafman, LMHC, CAP
Founder, The Academy for Addiction Professionals