Employment Services – For Employers

The Benefits of Hiring and Retaining Employees in Recovery: A Win-Win Approach


Effective Workplace Policies & Practices Can Help Save Money & Save Lives!

  • Individuals in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) are a largely untapped economic resource.
    • As many as 5.5 million U.S. adults living with SUD are currently unemployed. 1
  • Evidence-based workplace policies are worth it!
    • Businesses that invest in providing access to substance use treatment for employees can see as high as a 13 to 1 return on their investment. 2
    • Employees who receive treatment and enter recovery from SUD showed 36% decreases in absenteeism and a 13% decrease in work turnover, all equating to cost savings for the employer. 2
    • Business sponsored and monitored treatment produces better recovery results than treatment sought at the request of friends or family. 2
  • Businesses can be part of the solution. Employment opportunities help improve people’s lives and improve the community.
    • The benefits of work for individuals with substance use disorders include lower rates of recurrence, higher rates of abstinence, less criminal activity, fewer parole violations, improvements in quality of life, and more successful transition from long-term residential treatment back to the community. 3,4,5,6
  • Policies that retain workers, save money.
    • The benefits of work for individuals with substance use disorders include lower rates of recurrence, higher rates of abstinence, less criminal activity, fewer parole violations, improvements in quality of life, and more successful transition from long-term residential treatment back to the community. 3,4,5,6
  • Fair Chance employment pays off.
    • Businesses hiring individuals with substance use and criminal backgrounds may be eligible as a fair chance employer for financial incentives through programs such as the Federal Bonding Program and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Business Resources

Substance Use is a National Crisis

  • Over the past year overdoses have claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans. 7
    • An almost 30% increase from the year before
    • Opioids were responsible for around 75% of the overdose deaths
    • Overdose deaths from methamphetamines and cocaine are also on the rise
  • Around 40.3 million U.S. adults are living with SUD
  • Drug use and overdose deaths in the U.S. have been identified as an “epidemic,” a “crisis,” and a “public health emergency.”
  • The annual costs associated with SUD, including healthcare and employment, exceed $440 billion. 8
    • Much of this burden falls on businesses (estimates for the annual cost of lost productivity in the workplace are as high as $200 billion).

What About in Ohio?

  • Unintentional drug poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes. 9
  • More than 4,250 Ohioans died from overdose over the past year. 10
    • Ohio has the fourth-highest opioid overdose rate in the U.S.
    • More than twice the national average.
  • Around 9% of Ohioans struggle with substance use and addiction issues. 11
  • Drug-related crimes constitute around one-quarter of all felonies resulting in prison sentences in Ohio. 12
    • Marijuana possession exceeded incidents for all other drugs combined.
    • Drug convictions exclude many Ohioans from jobs that could help them in their recovery journey.
    • Around 1 in 4 Ohio jobs is blocked or restricted for those with a conviction.

How Does Substance Use Impact the Workplace?

  • Nationally, around 8.6% of working adults have SUD. That means the likelihood is high that you have a substantial number of individuals in your own workforce either currently dealing with or with a history of SUD. 2
    • The number of employed Americans using illicit substances (15.4 million) is greater than those not in the workplace (7 million). 1
    • A national survey on drug use found as many as one in five survey respondents reported they have used marijuana recreationally at work during work hours. 2
  • Estimates for the annual cost of lost productivity in the workplace are as high as $200 billion. 13
    • The negative impact includes lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, absenteeism, low morale, and increased illnesses.
    • The estimated annual cost of untreated SUD in the workplace can range from $2,600 to $13,000 per employee.

1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Results from the 2013 national survey on drug use and health: Summary of national findings. NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
2. National Safety Council. (2020). Drugs at work: What employers need to know. National Safety Council. https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/drugs-at-work
3. Dunigan, R., Acevedo, A., Campbell, K., Garnick, D. W., Horgan, C. M., Huber, A., … Ritter, G. A. (2014). Engagement in outpatient substance abuse treatment and employment outcomes. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-013-9334-2
4. Kerrigan, A. J., Kaough, J. E., Wilson, B. L., Wilson, J. V., & Bostick, R. (2004). Vocational rehabilitation of participants with severe substance use disorders in a VA veterans industries program. Substance Use & Misuse, 39(14), 2513–2523.
5. Roessler, R. T., & Rumrill, P. (1998). Reducing workplace barriers to enhance job satisfaction: An important post-employment service for employees with chronic illnesses. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 10(3), 219-29.
6. Sprong, M. E., Melvin, A., Dallas, B., & Koch, D. S. (2014). Substance abuse and vocational rehabilitation: A survey of policies & procedures. Journal of Rehabilitation Journal of Rehabilitation, 80(4), 4–9.
7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually. Retrieved from
8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Trends and statistics. Accessed from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics#supplemental-references-for-economic-costs
9. Ohio Department of Health. (2022). Drug overdose. Accessed from https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/violence-injury-prevention-program/drug-overdose/
10. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2022). Opioid Summaries by State. Accessed from https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state
11. Harm Reduction Ohio. (2021). Why does Ohio rank No. 31 in drug use but No. 2 in overdose death? https://www.harmreductionohio.org/why-does-ohio-rank-no-31-in-drug-use-but-no-2-in-overdose-death/
12. Shields, M. (2018). Wasted assets: The cost of excluding Ohioans with a record from work. Policy Matters Ohio. Accessed from https://www.policymattersohio.org/research-policy/fair-economy/work-wages/wasted-assets-the-cost-of-excluding-ohioans-with-a-record-from-work
13. Society for Human Resource Management. SHRM. 2020. Employing and managing people with addictions. Society for Human Resource Management: Better workplaces, better world. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and- samples/toolkits/pages/personswithaddictions.aspx

Interested in Coleman Employment Services?

For more information, email us: EmploymentInfo@colemanservices.org Please call: 330-452-3194

Coleman’s Employment Services are available in the following counties:

Allen,  Auglaize,  Belmont,  Hardin,  Harrison,  Jefferson,  Mahoning,  Monroe,  Portage,  Stark,  Summit,  Trumbull,  Wayne

Someone from Coleman will respond to your request within 24 hours. If this is an emergency, please call 9-1-1. If you are in a crisis, call one of Coleman’s crisis hotlines.

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Coleman Supports Our Veterans

Coleman is proud to provide Mental Health, Crisis, Employment and Social support to those who have served our country and their families. Veterans looking for additional resources can visit MakeTheConnection.net.