Overcoming Adversity in Oklahoma

Tulsa currently has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, according to a report issued last week. Though the American economy is at a low point, there is at least one “business” that continues to make money off the citizens of this great country; that is the legal and illicit drug trade. With approximately 170,000 individuals in Oklahoma alone that reportedly abuse or are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the supply will continue to meet the demand and havoc will continue to be wreaked on individuals and families. But how does this have anything to do with employment?
For starters, more than 70 percent of drug users are employed, and with that comes decreased production as well as increased costs and liabilities to businesses. Alcohol and drug abuse has been estimated to cost American businesses roughly 81 billion dollars in lost productivity in just one year—37 billion due to premature death and 44 billion due to illness. This has a direct correlation here in the state.
Methamphetamine is the greatest drug threat to Oklahoma and is available throughout the state. From 1997 to 2001 the number of methamphetamine lab busts increased exponentially across the state of Oklahoma and now total well over 1,000 annually. Tulsa and Oklahoma City are greatly affected by meth labs, and in the first six months of 2002 there were 131 meth lab seizures in Oklahoma City alone.
The easily obtained ingredients in meth manufacturing and the mobility of the labs make it difficult for law enforcement officials to track down a high percentage of potential busts. Even when these labs are tracked down and the manufacturers arrested, the toxic chemicals used in the process are hazardous and cost thousands to be properly disposed of.
Repeat offenders may be the most disturbing situation though, as it’s not uncommon for someone to get arrested for manufacturing or for possession with intent to sell several times before finally being prosecuted on the first charge. This frequent occurrence has left some lawmakers and district attorneys baffled as to whether or not they could be stopped. It is also a tremendous financial strain on our law enforcement and judicial system. Apathy often sets in for law enforcement and prosecutors and many feel that meth addicts cannot be rehabilitated, but that’s not the case as there are workable solutions available.
Many companies now have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s), which are designed to handle situations such as drug addiction by finding adequate solutions. EAP’s for both large and small corporations continue to look for the most effective solution to such a problem and have turned to an organization called Narconon Arrowhead, which is a non-traditional drug rehabilitation and education center. It is also one of the largest and most successful residential rehabilitation programs in the country.
Common sense and basic management knows that if a company is in normal operation then it should be expanding. Along with simple expansion comes making more money and hiring more employees. A business is like any other thing in that it is always in some type of condition and can never stay exactly the same. It is either getting better or worse from week to week based on the production statistics, gross income, number of employees and value of services delivered. So how can an organization improve its condition? One way is to increase productivity and efficiency by getting a handle on the drug use of employees. This, in turn, creates more jobs, higher pay and a better overall society with less adversity.
One Oklahoman who was addicted to meth but capitalized on an opportunity to try the Narconon program was Bobby Newman. Before Narconon, he too thought that he couldn’t overcome the meth addiction and lifestyle. “I just lost all motivation to do anything,” Bobby recounts of his past. He was able to eliminate the physical cravings for the drugs through the sauna detoxification portion of the program and handled the underlying issues that led to his drug use to start with as well. “I couldn’t believe how much control over my life I was able to get back after going through it,” recalls Newman, “So many of my friends had gone to traditional treatment centers for a month or so and I’d wind up seeing them cooking [meth] right after they got out.”
Bobby has been a productive member of society again for well over two years now, and helps to educate others about the dangers of drugs and combat the misinformation about them that led him to his addiction 15 years ago.

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