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Society, Stereotypes, Second Chances: Addicts and the Challenge of Employment

For those seeking treatment for addiction, they may find many obstacles that make it difficult to return to a sense of normalcy. In the work place, addiction can result in termination of employment. It can also be incredibly difficult to find employment while in recovery when employers learn of a potential candidate’s history of addiction. However, even with the many stereotypes and struggles that society can present to those recovering from addiction, there are instances of second chances.

Addiction and the Workplace

For some, an addiction can have a severe impact on their performance in the workplace. According to NCADD, addiction in the workplace can lead to four major problems: fatal accidents, injuries, loss of production, and absenteeism. There can be devastating consequences in the workplace when someone has an addiction.

Unfortunately, there are some employers that have a low tolerance for addiction in the workplace, or have a poor understanding of what addiction actually is. This may lead to firing for those with addictions in the workplace.

However, the workplace can be an essential location to help address issues of addiction and promote recovery. Many businesses and employers are offering programs to educate on addiction and assist employees with addictions.

These companies can make it easier for those under their employ to seek treatment and keep their jobs. They also tend to be more comfortable to hire those with a history of addiction.

The Impact of Stereotypes in Society

Challenge of Employment

In certain businesses, having an addiction will get you fired.

A large portion of what people know about addiction comes from media and any programs they may have had during their education. Addiction is quite complex and more information is being found about it every year, so the information out there can be inaccurate.

Sometimes, it is this outdated information that can affect society’s perception of addiction and create harmful stereotypes that can affect an addict’s relationship with their employer and co-workers.

One way to help an employer or co-worker understand your addiction is by helping dispel some of the harmful stereotypes. Talk with them and point them in the right direction if they want more information. Be honest with them about your addiction; co-workers can be huge part of a recovering addict’s support system.

Second Chances

Second chances in employment with addiction are possible, but it can seem like they are hard to find. Looking for businesses that run programs for employees with addiction are usually a good way to find employment during recovery.

Being honest about your addiction during the hiring process, while it may seem like it may do more harm than good, can be a way to show that you are recovering.

According to the USCCR, an employer or business’s option of extending a second chance may be impacted by laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, a section of which allows employers to do whatever they can to ensure a workplace free of illegal drugs and alcohol usage. The ADA prevents discrimination against potential employees with a history of addiction.

If you or a loved one has an addiction, please contact us through our website or at 800-481-6320 to learn about the options and resources we can provide.

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