For many industries, addiction is a real and serious problem. From construction and manufacturing to hospitality and service industries, the misuse of drugs and alcohol can be an issue—and the oil and gas industry is no different. With long shifts and grueling conditions, oil and gas workers may rely on substances to get through their days, become dependent on them, and eventually, battle addiction.
These individuals are dealing with a difficult problem, and it can be even more challenging to find a recovery path that meets their needs and allows them to stay in their industry. Taking into account their unique circumstances, there is still a path forward to overcoming addiction and returning to a healthy life.
The first step in the recovery process for anyone battling an addiction is understanding the problem and recognizing the need for help. For oil and gas workers, this can be especially overwhelming as they may feel ashamed of the situation and fear for their job and livelihood.
The good news is that there are resources out there to provide support and understanding of the unique circumstances. These may include online support groups, an oil and gas worker crisis hotline, as well as addiction treatment facilities specifically designed to meet the needs of those in the industry.
Once individuals in the oil and gas industry have taken those first steps and are engaging in some form of addiction treatment, it’s important to ensure that they are being treated in a safe and healthy atmosphere. This may mean gaining access to a recovery plan tailored specifically to their work and lifestyle.
For example, a recovery plan may include assistance from an addiction specialist onsite to provide counseling, support, and monitoring of medication usage. Additionally, some employers have taken steps to provide on-the-job support for oil and gas workers who are in recovery, including offering resources to help with schedules, providing transportation to treatment, and offering flexible work hours when needed.
Also, while in treatment, oil and gas workers should be aware of the legal repercussions of using substances while on the job. Depending on the circumstances, they may face disciplinary actions or even criminal charges if found to be using or in possession of drugs or alcohol while on duty, and these repercussions should be discussed with a professional before returning to work.
Finally, when returning to work, it’s important for oil and gas workers to be aware of their surroundings and to remain committed to recovery. This may include avoiding triggering situations, abstaining from drugs or alcohol, staying connected to the support and resources available, and understanding the long-term implications of relapse.
On the whole, the road to recovery can be a challenging one for oil and gas workers, and patience is key. With the right resources and understanding, however, it’s possible to find success and return to a healthy life.