How Unemployment Plays a Factor in Drug Use

Seeing as there is an increase in the percentage of unemployed persons who abuse illicit drugs, and there is an increase in persons who are fortunate enough to receive substance abuse treatment, the argument could be made (and should be made) for the following...

Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities need to facilitate (and /or ally themselves with professionals that facilitate) comprehensive vocational rehabilitation in addition to chemical dependency rehabilitation. Decision Point does that and more!

Figure 2.13 Past Month Illicit Drug Use among Persons Aged 18 or Older, by Employment Status: 2012 and 2013.1

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+ Difference between this estimate and the 2013 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.
1 The Other Employment category includes students, persons keeping the house or caring for children full time, retired or disabled persons, or other persons not in the labor force.

  • …”The rate of current illicit drug use was higher among unemployed persons in 2013 than it was among those who were employed full time” 1….

1.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.

The professionals who provide Academic & Career Counselling well know that increased employability and actual employment are known to increase an individual’s sense of self-worth, and self-esteem. All of which are known antidotes to substance abuse, and relapse. The inverse is certainly true given that so many people are suffering (and dying) from the illicit substance abuse. Furthermore, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration,

….”Order, routine activities, and a rigid schedule counter the characteristically disordered lives of residents and leave little time for negative thinking and boredom-factors that often contribute to relapse.”……. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Therapeutic Community Curriculum: Participants Manual. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 06-4122. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006.

To re-enforce that a client will achieve a long-term successful treatment outcome, Decision Point employs a professional Career / Academic Development Specialist to assure that our clients not only attain gainful employment but do so in a manner in which they do not feel as though they are stuck in a “dead-end job”.

To be clear, Decision Point’s modalities of highly effective substance abuse treatment are primary. These modalities include (but by no means are limited to) abstinence, addiction education,trauma reduction /EMDR,relapse prevention, family therapy, continuous and on-going professional support, outdoor adventure therapy, and on-going community-based peer support. Being newly clean/sober is challenging enough. These challenges are compounded when one is simultaneously contending with the dynamics of unemployment, or for that matter underemployment.

In most cases, it has taken several weeks, or months for the newly recovering person to reestablish their sense of self-worth, purpose, and value. It should be noted that for many, the prospect of successfully acquiring gainful employment challenges (and sometimes erodes) the job seeker’s sense of their self-worth, purpose, and value. At Decision Point, these dynamics are prepared for (and successfully addressed) in alliance with the support of a professional Career / Academic Counselor who is concomitantly providing career facilitation in concert with Decision Point’s highly effective substance abuse treatment. This effective adjunctive counseling helps to mitigate these potentially deleterious components while the clients become re-introduced to, and acclimated to the job market.

There is one statistical outcome that eludes traditional means of being quantified. That outcome is the sense of self-reliance that has long eluded the person who suffers from the disease of addiction or alcoholism. Having participated in Decision Point’s highly effective substance abuse treatment which provides simultaneous effective facilitation of Career / Academic Counseling, the newly clean /sober individual experiences the intangible quality of “job satisfaction” for having done a good day’s work. They can walk away from their workday with the re-enforcing refrain of self-affirmation for a job well done; and with enough time, a life well lived.

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory”.

Mahatma Gandhi

With the participation of professional Career / Academic Counseling in tandem with Decision Point’s comprehensive array of highly effective Substance Abuse Rehabilitation services, the client has successfully overcome substance abuse and a potentially life-ending addiction. In so doing, they successfully transition into a new life of satisfaction, fulfillment, and earning a fulfilling livelihood. All of these factors are not only deterrents to recidivism, they are continued empowering incentives to further perpetuate their success and continually show up for their job, their families, and themselves. Most importantly, they show up for life.

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