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Working Recovery, a Virtual Symposium on Why Employment is Pivotal to Sustained Addiction Recovery

September 14, 2021

The symposium, WORKING RECOVERY, is sponsored by Massachusetts Access to Recovery (ATR), a project of Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)/Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS). This virtual symposium will explore employment as an essential tool for recovery from substance use. It is geared toward introducing a national audience to opportunities for using employment as a key support to sustaining long-term recovery.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh will open the day as the keynote speaker. The event presents world-renowned experts from the fields of substance use recovery, workforce development, and community colleges, and includes experts from AHP’s Massachusetts Access to Recovery (ATR) program who will moderate panel discussions around concepts that have allowed ATR to successfully serve 30,000 individuals with substance use disorder across five cities in Massachusetts since its inception in 2010.

The primary goal of this symposium is to inform and inspire the field about both the importance of employment to one’s recovery, and to showcase how a proven successful program in Massachusetts has successfully addressed this head-on and can be modeled by other states.

Addiction is more prevalent among unemployed individuals. In addition, substance misuse increases the likelihood of unemployment and decreases the chance of finding and holding down a job. Add to that the fact that the vast majority of working-age adults with substance use disorder continue to face structural and attitudinal barriers that block their access to steady employment and economic security, and you’ve got an untenable situation. This symposium will focus on best practices that can be put into place to make positive changes in this cycle.

The symposium features a series of panel discussions that highlight a range of voices and experiences from all areas of the employment and recovery continuum, including workforce development specialists; individuals in recovery; and international, national, and regional leaders.

Participants will leave with concrete ideas, resources, and examples to help them begin the work of using employment as a recovery tool and building a high-quality, recovery-oriented workforce development program.

There is no charge for participating, but registration is required.

This event has been approved for the following continuing education credits/hours:
LADC, by the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS)/Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA/DPH)
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals

An application for continuing education credits is being reviewed by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Information forthcoming. A certificate of attendance will be made available to all participants.


September 14, 2021
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