Long-term recovery from substance use disorder is deeply intertwined with sustained employment.
Substance use disorder is a disease that slowly erodes a person’s ability to go to work every day, hold a job, and become financially independent. Substance abuse ultimately creates a domino effect of negative consequences that can consume a person’s life, and recovery takes much more than simply removing the substance.
When our clients enter one of our treatment facilities, they undergo an assessment with a case manager and create a series of goals to achieve during treatment. Finding employment is a top goal on nearly every list. Just as much as treatment for their substance use disorder, our clients need us to teach them the skills necessary to find stable employment so they can rebuild their lives.
That’s where James comes in.
Meet James, Our New Employment Specialist
James Ivery is the newest addition to The GateHouse serving in our newly formed role of Employment Specialist. He spent the past five years working with other recovery programs in Central Pennsylvania in a number of roles. Not only does he bring a great deal of experience to The GateHouse, but he also brings empathy and understanding to the clients he supports.
“I came out to this area in 2013 from western Pennsylvania with nothing but a trash bag with some clothes in it and without a dollar to my name,” James said. “I’ve experienced what it’s like to be unemployed, to be at the bottom. I found an addiction recovery treatment center in York, and they helped me find a job. It literally saved my life.”
He was most recently employed as the lead coordinator of medication-assisted recovery services for a Central Pennsylvania treatment center. He’s created connections throughout the addiction services community, partnered with businesses and other organizations dedicated to addiction recovery support, and helped countless people live healthy, productive, purposeful lives free of addiction.
Employment Provides a Sense of Purpose, a Key Element of Long-Term Recovery
When a client’s goal after treatment is to enter the workforce, James goes in and surrounds them with support. Sometimes they need writing skills, computer skills, or to develop a strong work ethic. Whatever skills or support they need to land a job and maintain employment, he finds it for them.
At The GateHouse, our employment support is client-driven. James isn’t finding them just any job. He’s working with each client to understand what it is they want to do so they can go out and build a career. This leads some clients to enter the job market immediately following treatment, while others get training through a trade school to prepare for the career they want.
James is Creating Connections Between Clients and Employers Where Everyone Benefits
Our employment services are focused on creating stronger connections between our clients and employers across our community. Our clients need employers who believe in second chances. They also need flexible employers willing to schedule work around their treatment schedule.
“We have some great partnerships with employers right now who are working with us to help our clients find a career path,” James said. “What we also see is how much employers benefit from this program. Our clients want to work and they want to succeed. These businesses are hiring dedicated, reliable employees which is good for everyone.”
The Road to Life-Long Recovery
During his time in treatment, James saw a lot of people get discouraged when they couldn’t find employment. The fear of leaving treatment without a job or any way to support yourself afterward can be terrifying for clients; a feeling he’s experienced firsthand.
“After going through treatment, having a job is what gave me a sense of purpose. It lifted a weight off my shoulders,” he said. “I had been homeless for a long time. Getting a job boosted my confidence which boosted my recovery.”
Employment is directly linked to long-term recovery, which is why our employment service is so important for our clients during and after treatment. By helping our clients reenter the workforce and sustain employment with our new employment specialist, we’re teaching them how to take back control of their lives.
“Learning to live life without drugs, positively cope, to go work every day, be committed, take responsibility – this is what we’re here to help our clients achieve,” James said.
The GateHouse also offers gender-specific transitional recovery facilities at separate locations, as well as gender-specific residential community-based treatment services. This is in addition to our general and intensive outpatient treatment services and Partial Hospitalization program that includes a housing component if needed Our amazing team would love to help you with the next step in your recovery. Reach out to us today!