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Author: Justin Mckibben
Think about this for a minute… according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
- Over 23 million American adults have reported using illicit drugs within the past year
- More than 2/3 of individuals who report using or abusing drugs and alcohol are without work
When we talk about overcoming the drug problem in America, it means more than just reducing the amount of overdose and drug-related deaths. National recovery from the issue of widespread addiction is about more than getting drugs off the streets or cutting back on the financial strain on communities. Recovery is about rebuilding and reinventing; not only for the individual but for all those around them. Part of truly turning things around isn’t just getting addicts into recovery; it’s about getting recovering addicts back to work and back to helping build up their communities. So why is having jobs for recovering addicts good for the economy?
Recovery is Better for Business
For many, the idea of hiring someone who has admittedly struggled with drugs or alcohol is counterintuitive. Many employers still see substance use through the lenses of stigma, and so they fear the worst. Some employers may still think being addict makes someone a thief, or simply untrustworthy. Others may be worried the addict will bring unprofessional or even dangerous behavior with them to work. There are so many stereotypes attached to addiction, it is understandable why many are still hesitant. Some may even have had a bad experience themselves.
At the same time, professionals actually suffer more commonly from substance use disorder than most might expect.
Either way, many business owners will tell you that someone recovering from drug or alcohol abuse also has incredible potential to become one of the most valued members of your workforce. Many professionals believe that employing people in recovery has benefits that greatly outweigh the risks.
Some find when providing jobs for recovering addicts, these employees turn out to be some of the most grateful and hardworking. Because it is so hard to find work for some they are just happy to have an opportunity to restart their lives. Some business owners find that because many recovering addicts follow abstinence-based programs, they don’t have to worry about them going out partying all night and not showing up for work, or coming in late and hung over. The attitude of gratitude does an especially great job of boosting work-force morale, and others say that providing jobs for recovering addicts has given them some of the most loyal and committed members of their workforce.
Addiction Impacting the Economy
It is crucial for all of us to be aware of the economic impact of substance use disorder. Now, in the midst of an opioid crisis and overdose epidemic, it isn’t too hard to notice.
The abuse of alcohol and drugs in the workplace and the effects of chemical addiction on the workplace have emerged as the major health concern, eclipsing AIDS as the primary workplace concern of the decade.
According to information provided by the University of Pennsylvania Health System:
- It is estimated that drug and alcohol abuse, including smoking, costs the nation $562 billion per year or almost 10% of the gross domestic product.
- 3/4 of lost costs in industry are due to lost employment and reduced productivity
- 25% is due to medical costs and the cost of treatment for addiction
Experts believe that between 10% and 23% of all workers use drugs on the job. Data collected through a survey on the cocaine hotline reported that 75% of the callers to the hotline had used drugs on the job.
That’s not even getting into the tens of billions of dollars a pop spent on things connected to substance abuse such as:
Turning it Around
When we play with the numbers, we can also see how once recovering addicts get back to work, not only to they contribute to the workforce, but they put more money back into the economy.
For example- in 2006 estimates show Americans spent:
With just these four drugs alone, the billions of dollars being put back into the economy would transform the financial landscape of the nation. So if even half of these people were given effective treatment to get off drugs, and then received jobs for recovering addicts, the amount of money and productivity flowing back into the economy would make an enormous footprint, not to mention the billions saved on those same services like criminal justice.
Ways to Find Jobs for Recovering Addicts
While many find that early on there are jobs for recovering addicts that may be less stressful and more flexible, like working in coffee shops or at restaurants, there are also some great career opportunities out there. Some companies even have programs specifically to offer jobs for recovering addicts.
If you’re having difficulty finding work as a recovering addict, there are many programs out there to help you. No matter where you live, it is likely there are organizations that can help transition back into the workforce.
America in Recovery
Patent engineer, founder, and CEO Larry Keast started Venturetech Drilling Technologies in his garage in 1980 to design and manufacture new drilling technologies for the oil business. The Houston-based company is now a well-respected international business.
A former Venturetech general manager who was in recovery from addiction first gave Larry Keast the idea to specifically recruit recovering addicts. According to Keast, it has paid off.
Keast was so inspired by his experience working with recovering addicts that he founded the nonprofit America in Recovery. This venture has also been good for business since people want to support the company’s mission. Keast says,
“We have a number of customers and vendors that donate to our non-profit and wholeheartedly agree with our hiring policies,”
America in Recovery runs several job sites for recovering addicts, ex-offenders, and older workers. Employers post vacancies on the site expecting applications from people with past drug and alcohol problems, so hopefully, it can eliminate the anxiety recovering addicts may feel about being denied for work.
Some states provide recovery support services that offer careers advice to former addicts. The support available from these programs can range from job search assistance and placements to help with paying for transportation to interviews. Some even run training and education programs for recovering substance abusers.
Just recently the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine introduced “Recovery Ohio” plan. In his outline, he includes an initiative to provide incentives and reduced risks to business owners willing to offer a job for recovering addicts.
Different states all over the country have unique programs designed to promote the re-entry of former drug users into the workplace. You can look online to find resources in your area.
Why it Matters
It is understandable why many people are still going to be hesitant about hiring former drug users. It doesn’t always work out when hiring people who have struggled with substances, especially when they relapse. However, if any business owner is honest with themselves, even the non-recovering addicts don’t always work out. It is realistic enough to come across an underperforming employee without worrying about issues concerning addiction.
So why does it matter?
Well, because we are fighting such a serious drug problem in America. At the moment, we are struggling to curb the rising rates of overdose and death across the country. If we want to be able to win this fight, we have to be willing to train and work hard for it. Also, we have to have compassion for those who just want another chance. This is partially why so many recovering addicts end up getting jobs in the treatment industry; it provides a compassionate and enthusiastic atmosphere for those in recovery to give back while learning skills that will help them create career goals and build strong work ethics.
But besides compassion and commitment, we have to understand that for those recovering from addiction, recovery means more than just quitting the alcohol or the drugs. Recovery means creating a life worth having. Quality of life and adding hope through the opportunity to grow and contribute to the world gives someone a reason to work harder in recovery.
With that commitment, compassion, hope and hard work, the nation could see a moment uplifting not just for the economy, but for the society as a whole.
Before getting a job, building a future in recovery begins with doing the work to better yourself. Someone recovering from drug or alcohol use deserves the opportunity to build a foundation that can transform their life and help them succeed. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
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Author: Shernide Delva
From the outside looking in, it can be hard to accept that many people who struggle with addiction resist getting treatment. The reason behind this is complex and varies from person to person. Addiction is everywhere. The prescription painkiller abuse and heroin epidemic have gotten to a point where everyone, from all walks of life, knows someone who is suffering from an addiction to drugs. Chances are, you know someone with a drug/alcohol problem that also has a mental health issue. With all that being said, surely everyone needing help would be seeking treatment, right?
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. There are common reasons why drug addicts resist the treatment. Some reasons are considered more valid than others, however almost everyone can find options if they open their mind and look into the resources.
Here are 3 Common Reasons Addicts Resist Treatment
- Denial: I Can Beat This on My Own
It is hard enough in life to ask for help for everyday problems. Asking for help to overcome an addiction can be even harder. Addicts tend to believe that they have their disease under control. They feel like they can fight their addiction without the help of others. Sadly, after multiple failed attempts, most are unable to overcome their addiction. If you have tried multiple times and failed, what makes you think this time will be different?
If you are in this position, the time is now to embrace help. Talk to a counselor or a trusted friend about wanting to get treatment. Support is one of the best tools for overcoming addiction. Doing it on your own sets you up for failure. Many people who try to quit on their own simply lack the professional care and support they desperately need. Seek treatment and have a team of support by your side.
- Age: Feeling Too Young or Too Old
It never is too early or too late to start. Often, at a young age, addicts believe they are having fun, or it is “just a phase” so they resist treatment. On the other hand, those who are older may feel it is “too late” to change old habits. Either way, young or old, anyone struggling with addiction needs to get help.
You deserve to live a good and meaningful life. Excuses hinder you from enjoying a sober life in recovery. Saying you are too young for recovery hinders you from taking advantage of the years of life you have ahead of you. Saying you are too old hinders you from enjoying the years that you have to live in the present instead of the past.
If you are young: It is time. Addiction always has the same end result: heartache, rejection, pain, destruction and, death. Save yourself and your loved ones the trouble before it is too late.
If you are older: With age, life becomes more meaningful. You may have a career, children, even grandchildren. These are precious times that should be experienced in sobriety. Also, with age come more responsibilities, which mean it is more important than ever to be sober and alert. It is never too late to change. Stop letting age be a factor.
- Financial Reasons: Feeling Unable to Afford Treatment
Finally, the biggest concern many people have when it comes to going to rehab is cost. Affordability is a major factor in the decision to go to treatment. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options available to those in need.
Many health insurance companies will cover drug treatment at little or no out of pocket cost. Every insurance plan is different, but those that cover substance abuse treatment will usually have different allocations for different parts of drug rehabilitation. Even if insurance covers drug rehabilitation, there is likely a portion of treatment that they won’t pay for. Whether it is co-pays, deductibles, or simply additional costs while you are in treatment, there is usually a portion that you will have to pay yourself. Research your coverage before going to treatment and figure out what your cost will be. Many times, the facility will be able to work with you.
If you are unable to afford treatment through your health insurance, try looking into acquiring rehab scholarships. Many rehabs have a specific amount of money allotted for rehab scholarships per year. As long as that money is not used up, they may be able to help you. Start out calling rehabs that you want to attend and discuss your options.
Believe it or not, there are programs that are available for low/no cost to those who need it most. Programs like these target individuals are who unemployed and struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial cost of addiction. While they may not be able to provide the same resources, they still are a viable option for those who need treatment. There are two types of facilities that offer options like these: state-funded rehabs and faith-based rehabs.
State-funded rehabs work through verifying need. They look for information like:
- Official residence in the state
- Lack of income and insurance
- Legal residence in the US
- Addiction status and need for intervention
Faith-based programs provide drug and alcohol recovery programs based on specific religious traditions. Programs like the Salvation Army are faith-based. Not all faith-based programs are free of charge, but many of them are. Ask questions and confirm before getting involved.Ultimately, the first place to start is going through your insurance to see if you are covered.
The journey to recovery is necessary one. Let go of the excuses and take advantage of all the resources available to get you back to a meaningful life. Invest your time and energy in finding a treatment center that is run by professionals who want to support you. We can help you in the process. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
The fact I am writing this article is funny to say the least. I have been active in recovery and broke for some decent periods of time, and still work on developing new strategies for managing my finances the best I can. Recovery affects different people in different ways, especially when it comes to money. Some people find themselves able to fill a new type of job opportunity, advance quickly and make a little more money. Others stay humble and work a simple job (or 2), and a lot of us find new ways to handle the money we’re making. Some find that while clean and sober they are actually able to hold onto more of their money for the first time in a long time. Others find that they develop new spending habits that don’t exactly afford them much growth or stability.
I am very familiar with being clean, sober, and broke! I have worked 2 jobs for months to afford my rent and life-style, and I have worked 1 very simple job just stay humble, get by and focus on sobriety, and now I work a wonderful job and stay active in recovery and still find myself broke.
No joke I still have to remind myself of a few dangers of spending in sobriety. To manage your finances in sobriety you need to remember to focus on the necessities. You should do things like:
- Set goals- keep track of your progress
- Buy Groceries- learn to cook (still working on that)
- Cut back on expensive activities
Do NOT waste your money!
There are a lot of things that happen when we get sober. I can offer some good experience on what NOT to do (because I did it). One thing is we waste money on things that aren’t exactly going to help us in recovery or building a life we can manage. Sometimes we do deserve to give ourselves a gift, but we can also develop shopping and spending addictions. There are some strategies to avoid wasting money:
Don’t go too crazy with new Tattoos/Piercings…
I’m so guilty of this in my first few months it is not even funny. I spent a good $1,000 in one month alone after 2 out of treatment on new ink. I looked back after a month and realized I could have easily invested in so many things that would have contributed to my future instead. I love my ink no lie, but I’m reminded every time I ride the bus of the car I could have!
Don’t blow money on new clothes…
Clothes that we don’t need can be a way we treat ourselves and try to change our presentation, but when they are not necessary we should be able to step back and stay humble. Sure once you have changed as a person it’s nice to dress the part, but you have to change the behavior.
No need to stock-pile shoes…
Shoes are awesome! New Nike’s go a long way, but to say that building my collection of kicks is more important than paying my bills on time is no way to manage my finances.
Learn where to get cheap coffee…
Being young in recovery means (just taking a WILD guess) you’re probably well informed where the closest Starbucks or Duncan Donuts is, and the hours of operation. Sobriety makes some people, myself included, coffee snobs. Be sure you’re not spending too much on your intake. I know my Venti White-Mocha with 4 shots of expresso and whipped cream is a luxury, not a necessity…. well, sometimes.
Going out for dinner can eat up your wallet…
Eating out is another luxury we can afford to take advantage of sometimes. But before going to the fanciest place in town and buying the steak and lobster special 4 times a week, make sure that you’re taking care of your responsibilities at home. Maybe try that ‘cooking’ thing I keep hearing about.
Vapes and Vape Accessories…
The newest renovations in ‘vapor smoking technology’ are making a huge influence on our culture today, and people in recovery seem to love buying up ‘mods’ and ‘flavors’ to build their vape-game. No harm done, unless you have no money for food because you had to get that custom tank and new ‘Juicy-Fruit/Apple-Pie/Strawberry-Shortcake/Banana-Smoothie/Mucho-Menthol-’ mix.
Try not to chain-smoke cigarettes…
Smokers, don’t get me wrong I know it can be tough. When I first got sober I smoked much more than usual, the struggle is REAL! However, if you can consider the fact that a large chunk of you change is going to pay for that habit, it may be a way to help you get ahead of your finances if you try to cut back on cigarettes, or even switch to a cheaper brand.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135