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Employment support and addiction: What works

People who experience problematic substance use, once unemployed, face multiple barriers to returning to work. As a result, their employment rate is well below
that of the general population. The benefits of work to mental and physical health and
the harmful effects of unemployment are now both widely recognised. Yet support to get or keep work isn’t routinely available for people who are in treatment for addiction or who are using mental health services.
The New Zealand and UK addiction sector have been looking at the employment results that have been achieved for people in contact with mental health services and have been seeking to understand whether
a similar approach could be used for people with problematic substance use. We identified an approach which offers individualised employment support as
part of a London mental health and addictions service. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) is applying research from the mental health
sector to the provision of supported employment for people in treatment for addiction.