Work can help solve the opioid crisis. Robert Doar writes:
On Wednesday afternoon, by a vote of 98-1, the Senate passed a bill containing several measures meant to combat the opioid crisis, a public health epidemic that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans over the past few years. [...]
Perhaps most important of all is the bill’s provision for a grant program that would provide job training, housing, and health care to those attempting to overcome their addiction. People with substance abuse disorders need care and temporarily comprehensive assistance, but they also benefit from getting back into regular work. Work provides a routine, a sense of purpose, camaraderie with coworkers, and can keep recovering substance abusers from relapsing. As Dr. Scott Wetzler recently wrote:
Studies show that unemployment following substance-use treatment is strongly associated with relapse. Work, by contrast, can enhance self-esteem and pride through accomplishment, provide a routine that can serve as a distraction from internal preoccupations, and, since most employment settings involve other people, also help develop important social skills. Employment can remove a substance user from problematic social circles that might enable relapse and instead create new pro-social peer groups to support abstinence.
[Robert Doar, “A Bipartisan Achievement on Opioids: Congress Recognizes Employment as a Crucial Component of Recovery,” American Enterprise Institute, October 4]