Dealing with Substance Abuse & Employment of Homeless Veterans
Substance abuse and dependence can create or exacerbate problems for homeless veterans looking for work or starting new jobs. On the other hand, employment can provide a powerful motivator for people to re-examine their behaviors related to substances. Sherry Ceperich, Ph.D., a psychologist with the McGuire VA Medical Center, will share information about substance abuse that can be applied to homeless veterans looking for or starting new work. She will provide a brief background on substance abuse treatments and basic strategies for helping veterans consider their substance use or, if relevant, recovery process, in the context of their quest for employment. Specific topics will include:
- using motivational strategies to discuss readiness to make changes in substance using behaviors;
- using a strengths-based approach to meet veterans where they are functionally in terms of housing, employment and substance abuse status;
- discussing how employment history has been affected by substance abuse;
- examining other stressors that can affect substance abuse and employment such as finances, legal issues, and support systems; and,
- accessing and utilizing VA and community vocational and substance abuse services.