It’s been known for a while now that substance use disorder or addiction is a chronic health condition like diabetes. Yet despite this, the belief that addiction is somehow a moral failing or a criminal issue persists. 

This creates stigma and stereotypes about those struggling with addiction which in turn prevents them from coming forward and seeking help. These attitudes are so pervasive that they may even affect job opportunities not only for those dealing with addiction but also for those in recovery or treatment.

How Addiction Stigma Affects Employment

Addiction in the workplace can have disastrous consequences including creating an unsafe work environment. While this can’t be disputed, the stigma around addiction can end up leading to discrimination and rejection of those struggling with substance abuse, keeping them from attaining gainful employment and limiting their job opportunities.

The stereotype that people dealing with addiction have impaired judgment, mental illness, poor self-control, or unpredictable behavior can lead to workplaces enacting certain laws and policies that may target these individuals. 

For instance, drug testing requirements can be used to screen out people who have a history of addiction even though they may be in recovery or living sober for a while. This may happen more prevalently in sectors with mandatory drug testing such as law enforcement or education.

Furthermore, individuals with a history of substance abuse often have a harder time securing employment thanks to the belief that they are dangerous, unreliable, and unproductive. Again, this affects those with active addiction as well as those in recovery or addiction treatment who may be afraid of revealing their status fearing repercussions including stigma or dismissal from their workplace.

It may also be more difficult for those with a history of addiction to get licenses or certificates to advance their careers. This ends up limiting their career growth and prospects, keeping them from advancing careerwise or even securing stable employment.

Overall, societal stigmas surrounding addiction can adversely affect the job opportunities of individuals with histories of addiction, whether they are in treatment and recovery or not. This ends up limiting their potential, affecting their income, and perpetuating the destructive cycle of addiction and poverty.

Rebuild Your Life with Evolve Indy

As the premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment center in Indiana, our ultimate goal is to help people conquer addiction. A huge part of this involves confronting and dismantling the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding addiction. 

All our addiction treatment programs including partial hospitalization treatment, intensive outpatient rehab program, family therapy program, and outpatient treatment involve an education component. This is to help people understand how substance use disorders come about while offering them the tools needed to overcome them. At Evolve Indy, we believe that recovery is possible with evidence-based, individualized treatment and compassionate care. Our focus isn’t only on helping individuals achieve sobriety but also on assisting them to rebuild their lives better than before. Contact us today to learn more about the addiction treatment programs and services we offer.


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