Conference shows changing business approach to addiction, recovery

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Central Kentucky recovery and career centers are working together to fill hiring gaps for companies.

By doing so, they’re also giving recovering addicts a chance at a new life. For about four years, Krystal Spickare Grimes has been recovering from the drug addiction that claimed eight years of her life.

She says it started at a young age after family members abused her. When Grimes was 14, she started taking a drug prescribed after jaw surgery.

“I was trying to numb all the pain and I didn’t want to feel anything I didn’t want to feel the memories I didn’t want to feel anything in life,” says Grimes.

She says after going through detox , she met rock bottom once more after a family member sexually assaulted her.  It was this incident that undid all her work towards recovery.

“It broke me. I was 24. I had already been in addiction for about two years and I was trying to get clean for my children,” says Grimes.

Grimes eventually got clean thanks to recovery and career agencies.  Workforce Development Consultant Alisher Burikhanov says companies are now more accepting of recovering addicts like Grimes.  Kentucky Career Centers all over the state provide coaching to help people get hired.  Specialized training is also provided to companies so that they can use to better understand recovering addicts.  It’s a two pronged approach with the goal of getting people back to work.

“You don’t want to write off any talent pool. So if you can overlook some of the issues and background issues and invest with your time and training you will have a dedicated employee,” says Burikhanov.

Grimes says that she understand that its a risk for everyone but it’s also a necessary one for recovering addicts and for employers.  Without it, she may have never been motivated to get clean and wouldn’t have become the beacon of hope she is today for those who feel hopeless.

“In addiction a lot of us don’t know how to rise we don’t know what a normal and stable life looks like so to see that from our employers or people in recovery is a wonderful thing,” says Grimes.

To learn more about a Kentucky Career Center near you click the link here.

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