NJ Resident Shares Story of His Opioid Use Disorder

In this insightful article written by Stuart Kemp for nj.com, readers learn about the daily struggles of living with a substance use disorder (SUD). Michael (not his real name) lives in New Jersey and works as a fisherman, and he talks about both his “love” for heroin and “how it ruined my life.” He is honest and forthright about the obstacles he faces, the support he receives from others, and how, in a very real way like many others, his job provides a great sense of freedom when he is working.

As with other fields of work, such as construction, the restaurant and the hospitality industries, those in the fishing industry experience considerable higher rates of addiction than other types of employment. Factors include the physical labor and pain that comes with the job and long periods of time being isolated from friends and family. I hope you find his story as engaging as I did, and I encourage you to share it with others to raise awareness and reduce the stigma exists of addiction.

Employers looking for more information on how to be a “recovery friendly” workplace can contact Bill Lillis, CPS, PDFNJ’s drug-free workplace coordinator at bill@drugfreenj.org.

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