The addiction recovery community is constantly looking for creative ways to help those in need overcome drugs, alcohol, or behavioural disorders. There is no shortage of counselling therapies and 12-step programmes that are combined with detox and other treatments. It is all good, when it works. However, some people continue to struggle despite being given a myriad of treatment options. Could a job be the answer?

The Guardian recently profiled a London-based jewellery company that helps women recovering from addiction or eating disorders by providing them with jobs. The company is supported through funds from charities, so it is able to remain in business even though it does not sell enough product to support itself.

The owners of Sweet Cavanagh hope their line of jewellery will one day stand on its own. Until then they are content to combine donations with retail sales in order to provide free support for women in trouble. The business currently supports five paid employees and a number of volunteers, including owner Florence Norman.

Norman told The Guardian that the concept of structure is probably the most important benefit of the programme. Although the women are allowed to set their own schedules, they are required to be faithful to their choices. Furthermore, they must work in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the company. Norman believes the structure of a regular job is helpful in the recovery process. Nevertheless, commitment is also required.

Sweet Cavanagh apparently has a high turnover rate because many of the women passing through are afraid to commit. This same problem is frequently seen throughout the dozens of rehab clinics in Britain. Without the full commitment of the recovering addict, the chances of success are limited.

Jobs for Recovery

In the ongoing push to find the most effective treatments for substance abusers and addicts, perhaps the concept of jobs for recovery is something that needs to be looked at more closely. Perhaps some research would be appropriate in cooperation with organisations like Sweet Cavanagh and others.

One way to measure the benefits of working for recovery is to tie both public and private rehab programmes to community service. For example, participants in an NHS rehab programme could be put to work in a municipal cleaning project that would provide both structure and a sense of accomplishment. There are probably dozens of public projects that could benefit from the labour. Meanwhile, therapists could observe and study the results of putting recovering addicts to work.

We suspect jobs programmes would benefit at least some of those in recovery. Maybe not all of them, but at least enough to make investigating further opportunities worthwhile. Providing a job to an addict gives him or her something to work on while he or she also works toward recovery. It is a goal that can be accomplished above and beyond just getting well – a goal that provides a reason for continuing to fight addictive behaviours.

Recovery Help Available

Even as the addiction recovery community works on new strategies to help clients succeed, it is important for us to continue reminding our communities that recovery help is available. We must never stop putting out the message that rehab is the best option for permanently overcoming substance abuse and addiction.

Addiction Helper is here to get that message across while providing assessments and referrals to those in need. We know rehab is your best hope for overcoming your problems with drugs or alcohol. We are here to help you by way of our 24-hour addiction recovery helpline. The helpline is free and confidential.

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