Duluth Bethel Executive Director Dennis Cummings provided expertise and perspective for a recent KBJR/KDLH-TV segment about the toll that opioid abuse has taken on the workforce and productivity.
The stations inteviewed Cummings as part of a story that assessed the local impact of opioid abuse and addiction following a national study that found opioids have taken nearly 1 million people out of the U.S. workforce and cost the economy more than $700 billion in lost productivity.
“That’s a high number nationally, but a lot of people don’t want to raise their hand and say, ‘I’m struggling with an opioid addiction,'” Cummings said.
Cummings noted that those who come to the Bethel for inpatient treatment are more likely than those in similar situations across Minnesota to find jobs. But he said there is room for improvement in both numbers. He urged employers to consider giving a second chance to those who are committed to restarting their lives drug-free.
“They show up,” he said. “They work hard. They’re anxious to get their lives back on track. They seem to have a level of gratitude and appreciate things and are looking for ways to give back versus to take.”