Oil workers truly create their own demographic out of their lifestyles. Oil workers everywhere are known for their plentiful wages and their questionable purchases. Oil work is a male dominated field that does not require a high education. It also pays a pretty penny. This is the recipe for debauchery, and many oil workers end up needing addiction treatment in order to take back control of their lives. When they do, it is important that they know what to look for in addiction treatment to have the best possible experience. Some of the things they should require from the rehab they choose are as follows:
Flexibility. Any rehab program that treats oil workers will need to be respectful of their work schedule. Oil workers typically do not quit their jobs in order to receive treatment, which means the rehab they enter will have to work around their days off. Most oil workers have extended periods of work and extended time off, rather than the usual five day work week, which means their days off can be devoted to treatment at a rehab that accommodates shift work schedules.
Familiarity. Any rehab program that treats addicted oil workers should be well aware of the life an oil worker leads. They cannot counsel them or help them unless they know about the harsh living conditions, the lack of privacy, the male, group mentality and the lack of recreation in camps. All of these things influence the individual’s addiction tendencies. There are rehab programs that are created specifically for oil workers for good reason: there is no other group that fully understand the lifestyle of an oil worker.
Personalized Treatment. Apart from belonging to a particular industry, oil workers are also completely unique as people. Some of them are musicians, some are poets and some are technology gurus. Every addict is far more than dysfunctional. They are also gifted and carry a unique perspective that can inform important matters. Addiction treatment should always aim to understand every client on a personal level so that their recovery plan can be just as unique as they are.
Everyone knows that prospering oil boom towns are places of debauchery. Every oil boom town in history has been a haven of prostitution, drug use and alcohol consumption. It is simply human nature to spend money on vices when a surplus of money is available, and oil workers are the epitome of this lifestyle. This is why it is unanimously agreed upon that oil workers should relocate in order to attend rehab. Going to rehab or any other form of addiction treatment while still being surrounded by the same environment will not be effective for oil workers. They must make a clean separation from the environment that has been toxic to them.
Relocating in order to attend rehab gets an addict far away from the things that trigger them Every addict has triggers. They take the form of driving past favorite bars, seeing someone else indulging in what they are addicted to, or even hearing a certain song on the radio. Essentially, anything can be a trigger because everyone’s relationship with their addiction is unique. Triggers are everywhere in an addict’s environment, underneath the surfaces of experiences, waiting like landmines. Relocating in order to receive addiction treatment moves the addict far from these familiar stumbling blocks.
Relocating also separates a person from any destructive relationships that they have close by. Most struggling addicts have destructive relationships in their lives somewhere. It comes with the territory, as most addicts naturally keep other addicts close by, either in their families or in their friendships. Some of these relationships can be addressed and healed in time, but others must be severed for the addict’s own safety. Relocating and receiving treatment does a lot to shed perspective on this matter.
And lastly, relocating an oil worker in order for them to attend rehab simply puts them into a neutral, safe environment where they can focus on their recovery without distractions. A change of scenery is good for anyone looking to make big changes in their life. The breathing room that a new location provides can do a lot for an oil worker who is ready to recover from addiction.
Addiction is hard to confront in any walk of life, but a particularly concentrated addiction problem is found in the Alberta oil industry. The availability of drugs and alcohol combined with uniquely harsh working conditions has created an addiction culture of epic proportions. Fort McMurray’s network of substance abuse treatment facilities have done all they can with the resources they have, but they are not plentiful enough to eradicate the problem. Fort McMurray addiction treatment centers are overflowing with addicts and substance abusers. It is essential that proper inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs be made available to oil workers.
When substance abuse is consuming a person’s life, often to the point of physical dependence on the substance, they need professional intervention in order to confront their problem and permanently end it. This means that professional intervention services should be employed to approach the addict about their problem, as well as the provision of an inpatient medical facility to monitor the person through their detoxification, a live in treatment center to safely separate the person from the substance they are addicted to, in depth group and individual counselling sessions to address the underlying problems that cause addiction, as well as the opportunity for therapeutic activities and ongoing after care to ensure continued sobriety.
There is no reason an oil industry employee should have to forego addiction treatment and suffer in silence. If the rehabilitation services of Alberta cannot meet the needs of addicted persons within the oil industry, then oil workers should look outside of Alberta. Most oil companies permit time off for substance abuse recovery, and even in the rare instances they don’t, recovery should be prioritized above all else. Addiction is taking the lives of oil workers through physical complications, overdose and suicide at alarming rates, and preventitive measures should be taken as soon as someone becomes aware of their substance abuse problem.
Canada’s oil industry is highly lucrative, but is fighting a losing battle to keep their employees in a healthy working condition. Substance abuse has an unprecendented hold on oil workers that is creating hardships for workers and companies alike. While the throws of addiction wreak havoc on the personal lives of oil field workers, oil companies become afflicted with workplace accidents, high employee turnover and absentee pay. It is clear that the solution for everyone is proper substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation for employees.
A common misconception is that an addict will be easy to spot in the work place. Those who are unfamliar with addiction may assume that an addict will have characteristics such as an unkempt appearance, slurred words and poor coordination, and will not be able to function on the level of a non-addict. While all these things can be true, an addict can also be a fully functional person on the job; someone that would never be suspected of substance abuse problems. Addiction wears many masks, but does the same internal damage to anyone it affects. Eventually, a physical, mental and spiritual tole will be taken on the addict if they do not receive treatment.
One major lesson that oil companies have learned from this substance abuse phenomenon is that the discovery of substance abuse in an employee should not lead directly to termination. The employee may have a good relationship with the company and a successful work history, proving to benefit the workplace. It is often in the company’s best interest to connect the employee with rehabilitation services and substance abuse treatment rather than replace them. This promotes a healthy, functional workplace and makes the employee feel secure that reaching out for help will not lead to the loss of their job. This means it is in the company’s best interest to see that its workers have access to quality drug and alcohol substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.