According to the National Institute of Health, substance misuse and Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are estimated to cost society $442B each year in lost productivity and health care & criminal justice costs. “These data show the urgent need to intervene at every opportunity to reduce SUD and meet people where they are,” said Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Regina LaBelle.
Kevin Hyer, Founder/CEO of The Hyer Calling Foundation, Inc., formed Hyer Calling as part of his own higher calling: to break the stereotypes of addiction that reinforce the stigma which perpetuates it. In doing so, Kevin draws on his background in employment law and HR management to offer the recovery community a second chance at a career. A graduate of Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, Kevin earned his J.D. at The University of Baltimore School of Law where he concentrated in labor/employment law and was a Judicial Intern with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. His legal and professional background prior to establishing the Foundation can be found at KevinHyerEsq.com. Kevin is an active member in good standing in both the New Jersey and District of Columbia Bar Associations and practices law in Pennsylvania pursuant to a pending Rule 302 Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License.
Kevin had no prior history of drug use when he became addicted to methamphetamine at the age of 39 while practicing law in a large Philadelphia law firm. After nearly dying from an overdose in July 2020, Kevin and his family started the Foundation to give men and women recovering from the disease of addiction the purpose and identity which only a career can offer. In telling Kevin’s story, that even lawyers in big cities can battle the demon that is methamphetamine, the Hyer’s aim to open hearts and minds so that other families may be spared the heartbreak they experienced.
The Hyer Calling Foundation, Inc., a Philadelphia-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, strives to transform the stigma around SUD into informed action for the sake of creating a more inclusive and productive workplace. In its mission to destigmatize the disease the Foundation offers training to civic, faith, academic, and business groups around topics such as helping people with a SUD without enabling them, supporting them and their families in the recovery journey and why the recovery experience is so powerfully transformational that the recovery community brings unique strengths to organizations.
As a Clinical Consultant to the Foundation I am part of the team, including outside business partners, that offer these customized seminars. Proceeds from the sale of training are used to support the individualized support & transitional services that clients accepted into the Foundation’s program receive as part of securing and maintaining long term employment. The Foundation believes that the purpose, meaning & gratitude derived from a second chance at a career helps draw down the pull of addiction to a manageable level, with treatment, not only saving lives from this progressive illness, but stabilizing them, helping to break the generational cycle of addiction.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in its publication, “Substance Use Disorders Recovery with a Focus on Employment, ‘Work is one of the best predictors of positive outcomes for individuals with SUD. Individuals who are employed compared to those unemployed are more likely to demonstrate:
- Lower rates of recurrence
- Higher rates of abstinence
- Less criminal activity
- Fewer parole violations
- Improvements in quality of life
- More successful transition from long-term residential treatment back to the community.
A longitudinal study of Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) survey data indicated that clients who are employed while in treatment are significantly more likely to successfully complete treatment than unemployed clients. Regardless of whether work is paid or volunteer, individuals who work are more likely to reduce their substance use and better able to maintain sobriety.”
“Learning experiences are like journeys. The journey starts where the learning is now and ends where the learner is more successful. The end of the journey isn’t knowing more, it’s doing more.” -Julie Dirksen
The Hyer Calling Foundation, Inc: https://hyercalling.org/
Substance Use Disorders Recovery with a Focus on Employment: