Substance Abuse in the Oil Sands

oil sands substance abuseThe addiction and substance abuse problems that plague Fort MacMurray jobs are resulting in lives destroyed, particularly for men, who come to Fort MacMurray with the honest intention of working hard and making a living. But after arrival, they are pulled into a vortex of alcohol and drug misuse, and mental problems run rampant because of the extreme living conditions.

Drug traffic is really prevalent near the oil sands due to the amazing amount of money that employees invest in drugs. Drug gangs and individual dealers have a booming market of their very own in areas like Fort MacMurray, which is the closest city to the Athabasca oil sands. The accessibility of substances is limitless, with cocaine being the most lucrative drug sale for dealers. It is approximated that a majority of the mental problems among oil employees could be connected to drug usage.

However, the addictive substance that is most mistreated among oil employees is a legal sale: alcoholic beverages. Alcohol sales in Alberta are privatized, and the availability of alcohol is rising along with the statistics on alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Regretfully, alcohol addiction is the most under-resourced one when it comes to treatment, with government rehabs being heavily depleted and extended beyond their resources. Usually, alcoholics will only gain access to basic outpatient support group treatment, which is no where near intensive enough for a severe alcoholic.

Oil employees affected with addiction to alcohol and drugs need to find treatment for their condition, even if they need to find it outside of Alberta. There are a number of rehabilitation programs and addiction treatment facilities in neighboring provinces that can assist the oil sector with its extreme substance abuse and addiction problems. A high paycheck is not worth damaging a worker’s life. Abusers and loved ones of abusers are encouraged to reach out for help before it is too late.

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