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How Do Employers View Those in Addiction Recovery?

Those in recovery often strive not only to build a lifestyle that is conducive to recovery, but to become active and stable in employment. The last few weeks or months leading up to discharge of a recovery treatment program, an individual may work diligently with their treatment center to strengthen interviewing skills, application skills, and job-readiness. A lot of work is done on their part, but where does actual employment fit in? Many businesses have struggled in the past with hiring individuals who have had previous drug-related or criminal charges. Thankfully, more laws have been set in place to help eliminate this issue, but at times it may still exist. One of the best ways to understand the implications of this is to explore the perceptions of employers themselves.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling sought to explore these very perceptions by asking 186 employers from a variety of business industries their thoughts on hiring individuals in recovery. Several themes were derived from these interviews:

  • Employability – many participants noted the importance of skills for the position, especially in comparison to those without a history of substance abuse. Some of them mentioned their concerns for consistent performance from their employee, but they were also aware of the societal stigma that can influence this view as well. Some employers stated they were willing to provide chances to those in addiction recovery, while others mentioned the elevated level of risk they feel comes with doing so.
  • Societal and Personal Biases – some employers mentioned their own personal biases against addiction, and explained their distrust towards those with a history of addiction.
  • Supports and Available Resourcesmany employers mentioned the need for business support when it comes to hiring those in addiction recovery, such as partnering with a counseling center. Rehabilitation was certainly mentioned as a first step that is needed before an employer would consider hiring someone in recovery.
  • Individuality – additionally, employers mentioned the overall importance of a candidate’s experience and knowledge of the workplace in making their hiring decision. Some employers mentioned that productivity from those in recovery are often equal to or better than other employees who were not, which certainly adds a positive element to the discussion.

Many reputable treatment centers assist with job search and preparation solely to help those in addiction recovery get a “leg up” in the workplace. By working on your skills, prepping for interviewing and practicing professional communication, maintaining a clean appearance and being respectful, you can help break the stigma barrier between employers and candidates in recovery.

The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Clinical expertise, a compassionate team, and an outstanding attention to detail ensures each guest’s experience will be customized to their needs. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 1-855-483-7800