Drug Addiction Affecting Northern Michigan Job Market

As opioid abuse reaches epidemic proportions throughout the country — we’re learning how it’s affecting the job market here in Northern Michigan.

Many employers tell us they hope to help addicts get clean and stay clean, through programs in the workplace.

The rise of opiate abuse is a problem Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City works to combat every single day.

“We serve about 2,500 people a year mostly all from Northern Michigan,” said the CEO of Addiction Treatment Services, Chris Hindbaugh. “We have 100 beds and all those beds are used almost every single night.”

Half of the people they help here in Northern Michigan — abuse opioids.

“Our agency has grown two-fold in just the last 5 years,” he said.

Adding beds, staff and programs to the Addiction Treatment Services organization in Traverse City to keep up with the epidemic.

“We’re starting to work with more employers to help them create drug free workplace policies, to help them put in place policies that allow people to get well and to stay well in employment,” said Hindbaugh.

Working closely with local businesses to maintain employees that Addiction Treatment Services helps guide them toward.

“A business that will help somebody through that journey as long as they are continuing to walk that journey of recovery and maintaining health,” he said.

With positive benefits so far…

“What we’re seeing is lower recidivism,” said Hindbaugh. “We’re seeing folks being able to maintain employment.”

However, drug addiction is still an uphill battle for both people looking for jobs — and looking to fill jobs.

“Even as local businesses are struggling to hire, a lot of folks that are struggling with addictions still aren’t able to find work,” he said.

As both the local and national epidemic continues to spread, Hindbaugh wants to remind the community on both ends of the job application process to remain positive.

“There is hope. There is recovery. This is a vibrant recovery community,” he said.

For more information about how opiate addiction is affecting Northern Michigan — check out David Lyden’s special report detailing the epidemic here.

Categories: Michigan This Morning