Supporting employees in recovery from a substance use disorder can have substantial benefits in the long term — both for you and your employee. By choosing to support an employee throughout addiction treatment and recovery, you are investing in their potential for sobriety and showing that you value them as a member of your team.

When a workplace chooses to embrace employees in recovery, rather than stigmatizing and isolating them, their chances of recovery substantially improve.

The Benefits of Employment During Recovery: A List

1. Increased Chance of Recovery & Reduced Costs for Employers

Not only do the chances of successful recovery significantly improve with consistent employment and support, it can also cost significantly less to support an employee through this journey rather than recruit, re-train, and grow the skills of a new hire within a team.

Choosing to offer your support as an employer also offers benefits to your entire team — employee engagement, job satisfaction, and even loyalty can all be positively influenced by this show of genuine support towards your people.

It goes without saying that employees who experience a high degree of job satisfaction, and feel supported, have been found to work harder, show more engagement at work, have better attendance records and stay with the company longer than those with low job satisfaction.

2. Avoiding The Cost of Termination

Drug and alcohol use is one of the top reasons when an employee makes a severe error in actions or judgment, that leads to their termination in the workplace.

Many companies include policies specific to substance abuse in their codes of conduct to directly address this, but the cost of terminating that contract should not be ignored. Termination of an employee for reasons related to a possible substance use disorder typically costs businesses around one-fifth of the employee’s entire annual salary, according to the Center for American Progress. This is on top of the costs of hiring and retraining staff to cover a loss.

It’s no surprise that many employers are now considering the financial and ethical question that comes with supporting long-term recovery of an employee. For many, it is a no-brainer to support their staff through their recovery — they are helping their employees while saving the financial cost associated with losing them.

3. Recovering New Hires

Despite various legal protections for employees in recovery, many people struggle to get their lives and careers back on track after leaving treatment due to stigma. There are employee assistance programs available to help you offset the risks of investing in those in recovery and offering them the opportunity to re-enter the workforce, and overcome the challenges associated with recovery.

Supported employment programs often supplement the first-year salary of a participating candidate who might otherwise be at a disadvantage in securing work. These programs also continue to work with candidates after they are hired to help them keep their jobs and to thrive in their new workplace. By partnering with a supported employment program, you just might land a dream candidate while also saving money and receiving valuable training services from an outside organization.

For a more in-depth look at this topic, we invite you to read our free guide on addiction in the workplace below:


Reach Out for Help for Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Just as an employee is not alone in their journey to recovery, you are not alone when it comes to supporting an employee. Referring an employee to the right treatment program can make a world of difference when it comes to their recovery.

If you, or someone you know, needs help for drug or alcohol addiction don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team is here to help.

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