The stigma of drug addiction is tough enough, but what do you when that stigma follows you years into your recovery and no one will hire you? A pilot program in Delaware County is trying to change all that, writes Aubrey Whelan for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Job-seekers with a history of addiction can find themselves explaining gaps in resumés or facing the judgment of potential employers.
In fall of 2017, Jackie Somes was months into recovery from drug addiction, doing well in a Delaware County recovery home. She wanted to rebuild her life and re-enter the workforce.
Half the battle was with herself: When you’re in addiction, “you lose a lot of pride, self-esteem, self-worth,” she said. “It’s hard to believe in yourself.”
Then her recovery house launched a pilot program to help the women it served get meaningful employment.
Two years later, the pilot has expanded to cover all of Delaware County. And Somes, one of its first graduates, is running a similar program in Philadelphia.
Somes and other advocates say addiction treatment must also focus on employment, because a job can contribute to the stability needed to maintain recovery.
Read more about this pilot program here.