Recognizing the reality of the opioid epidemic and its effects on the population of Washington County enables employers to take an important role: helping the community recover by supporting individuals who are themselves in recovery. As part of its ongoing HR Thursdays series, Washington County Community College (WCCC) is hosting Becoming a Recovery Friendly Workplace with guest speaker Abby Frutchey, Substance Use Response Coordinator with Community Caring Collaborative, on Thursday, December 12th.
“As we all know, Washington County has been significantly impacted by the opioid crisis, along with other substance use,” Frutchey said, describing the impact as widespread throughout families and institutions alike. “We also have a very vibrant recovery community here in Washington County.”
The recovery community includes men and women of various backgrounds who experienced Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and who are now working to reestablish their lives at each level, Frutchey explains. “This recovery and rebuilding includes the seeking of and maintenance of stable employment, among other things.”
Often times, individuals who have experienced SUD are affected by poor work history or criminal backgrounds, and that creates barriers to gainful employment. “Our community has an opportunity to both support recovery efforts and build economic capacity by creating a bridge between the recovery population into our workforce,” Frutchey emphasized.
An individual in recovery herself, Frutchey has worked for the past ten years as a licensed substance use treatment provider specializing in the criminal justice system. “I see firsthand how much of an impact employment has on their recovery as well as our community.”
Frutchey points out that SUD “does not discriminate based on race, religion, education, gender, or socioeconomic status.” Current statistics show that 22.4 million Americans are actively affected by SUD while another 23 million are in recovery. “They are intelligent, skilled, motivated, and creative,” she said of those in recovery. “Providing opportunities to harness those strengths and move individuals into our workforce is a win for all!”
To find out how your workplace can proactively become substance use informed, register for Becoming a Recovery Friendly Workplace on December 12th from 1-2 p.m. by going to https://form.jotform.com/93245322448154. Future HR Thursday workshops include Onboarding New Hires: Maximizing Success and Preparing for Successful Negotiations. For more information, contact Nichole Sawyer, Dean of Workforce & Professional Development at 214-7988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.