Drug and alcohol addiction takes a devastating toll on employability and maintaining a job. Most people addicted to drugs are fired from drugs because of their addiction. Other individuals struggle to find work.
Additionally, the time spent in substance use treatment causes a significant gap on resumes. It also becomes much harder to hide a past today than it was 10 or 20 years ago; the internet is forever. It can be challenging to hide a past from an interview committee. Even if it is successful, the lie could come back.
However, the Americans with Disabilities Act addresses addiction and protects individuals at certain stages of employment. Before an interview, it is a good idea to become familiar with this particular act.
The ADA states the following: “The ADA applies to addiction to alcohol and to the illegal use of drugs differently. Addiction to alcohol is generally considered a disability whether use of alcohol is in the present or in the past. For people with an addiction to opioids and other drugs, the ADA protects a person in recovery who is no longer engaging in the current illegal use of drugs.”
Dealing with Gaps in Employment
When working to rebuild a resume, there will likely be gaps in work history. Initially, it is crucial to build your resume honestly. Here are some tips:
Include as much as possible
Include as much as possible in your resume to fill these gaps, such as work and school history, training, volunteer work, and any qualifications that could demonstrate your fit for the position.
Suppose a potential employer does question your work history. In that case, honesty is always the best approach, and the ADA does provide protection. You are not obligated to disclose information; it is entirely up to you what information you offer. There are ways to disclose personal struggles appropriately, and most employers appreciate a candidate being straightforward and honest.
Highlight your qualities & skills
Fill the gaps in your resume with qualities or skills about yourself that qualify you for the job position. Work history is necessary but not always the only factor employers are searching for.