Gareth Evans, about 4 years ago
There are many types of addiction and, in its way, it can be a great equaliser. From the obvious addictions like drink, drugs and gambling to more obscure ones like video games, even social media or energy drinks, there is no one type of person that is infallible to habitual behaviour and those behaviours becoming problematic or even consuming.
A large percentage of ex-offenders have experienced the onus of addiction, but there are an incredible range of agencies and charities dedicated to helping people with addiction issues overcome them. In this series of blogs, we will shine a light on the amazing work being done by service workers and clients alike.
The assumption that an addiction is something insurmountable and enduring is well documented in popular culture, media and art and the battles to be fought against dependency should not be underestimated. But there are triumphs to be heard from every corner of society- whether rich or poor, educated or not; the convicted and the healers.
The agencies and individuals we are going to introduce will share their trials and tribulations, familiar to anyone with an addiction. The innovation and the extent of support offered, not just in prison but often for life, will demonstrate how robust and sustainable abstinence can be. Many organisations use people with personal experience as volunteers and employees to ensure that the understanding one must have to deliver this important work is sustained. As a by-product of this effort, these organisations demonstrate the important role people who have overcome dependency can hold within our society.
There are more subtle skills gleaned from a person who has survived addiction. A deep understanding into how they think and respond to situations, a conscious insight, as well as a sensitivity to those around them, are useful qualities in almost any working environment. Combined with the strength, resilience and discipline needed to tackle addiction makes them invaluable members of any team. Finally, the gratitude with which the stability of employment is received and honoured by an 'ex-addict', means loyalty and respect are often synonymous with employing them.
Over the next few weeks you will see the power it takes to overcome dependence and how this is a precious resource to have in your business. We hope you will be as inspired as we are by the commitment and determination from those facing their addiction and the people who support them through their long-term recovery.