The Fight Against Addiction in Canada’s Oil Industry

Addiction and Oil Workers

Addiction in the Oil Field

shift workers, oil field worker, oil field worker addiction, oil patch worker addiction, alcoholism, drug addiction,  prescription abuse, high functioning addict, residential treatment programWith Canada’s largest oil companies in the news for drug testing controversies, the public has become aware of the addiction problem in Canada’s oil industry. The worker’s camps are isolated, the job is heavily demanding and the pay is lucrative, leading workers to recklessly overindulge in alcohol and drugs to entertain themselves. So what steps need to be taken to alleviate this problem?

Oil Worker Addiction Program at Valiant Recovery 1.877.618.6464

“The oil companies do promote quality rehabilitation services, but I don’t think the workers tend to seek treatment voluntarily because it reflects badly on them as employees. Most would just prefer not to get caught,” said a source who worked in the Alberta oil sands for two years (who preferred to remain anonymous). “When someone tests positive for drugs, many companies give them the option of being fired or undergoing rehabilitation. Many of these guys have families and expensive mortgages, so naturally, they choose rehab.”

Many of the oil companies have drug and alcohol test policies in place, both random and prompted by workplace incidents, but it has been argued by those opposed to these policies that they are instated to protect the companies from lawsuits, not out of human interest. Because treatment for addiction targets the underlying psychological problems of the people who are affected by it, it would seem that human interest should be placed as the first priority in battling addiction.

D.J., a recovered alcoholic and former oil worker, said in a 2009 interview with Marketwire L.P., “The pressures out there are like nowhere else, and the work setting is like nowhere else. The key, I feel, is continually working on your sobriety when you are at work for long stretches, knowing who to call or how to access support when you need it and knowing what to do when you leave for a break.”

D.J. turned to a Residential Treatment program for help, a treatment facility that has developed a program specifically for oil workers. The program was designed from input from recovered addicts and alcoholics who had worked in the oil industry, and by input from oil company representatives. Working in the oil patch for any amount of time and you will witness first hand the overwhelming need for a program tailored to the lifestyle of an oil worker.

Individuals enrolled in the program at Valiant Recovery have the option of completing it in one-week increments so as not to disrupt their work schedule. The program is complete with progress reports upon return to work, Drug and Alcohol testing, support meetings for the worker’s family, stress and money management training and fitness routines designed specifically for the small living space a worker is allotted in an oil camp.

Provincial health services connect oil workers with a large number of addiction and substance abuse resources, which according to a 2009 study by workplace health and productivity solutions provider Shepell-fgi, are utilized more heavily with each passing year. In 2006, oil and gas industry workers accessed their Employee Assistance Programs at a rate 34 percent higher than the Canadian norm, and 40 percent higher in 2007 and 2008. Specialized treatment and outreach for oil workers will become more and more critical as the oil and gas industry continues to expand throughout Canada.

At Valiant Recovery we have Developed a Specialized Program for Oil Field Workers, Call Now to Find out More.1.877.618.6464