AUSTIN, TX – Wesley Balmer, president and founder of Austin-based nonprofit COMEBACK, believes he can address the elephant in the break room, and also save lives, by bringing awareness about addiction and recovery into company culture.
Typically, addiction conjures images of homelessness, crime, and despair from the margins of society. COMEBACK, however, paints a different picture – that addiction and alcoholism permeate all levels of industry and hold no prejudice, and that successful professionals are not immune from the grasp of addiction. The problem, as Wes sees it, is that the stigma associated with addiction and recovery causes those affected, who actively abuse substances and who are engaged in recovery, to remain hidden covered by a cloud of guilt and shame.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports 70% of the 14.8 million Americans who suffer from a substance use disorder are currently employed. Addiction is a progressive illness, and those employees lose their family and friends five years before they ultimately lose their job. In 2020, employers in the United States will squander more than $80 billion in lost revenue due to increased absenteeism, theft, decreased productivity and high-turnover(1). Conversely, employers investing in treatment see a 12 to 1 return on their investment, as workers who are active in their recovery are present more often than any other population of workers and have the lowest turnover rate(2).
COMEBACK’s approach is noble and completely new – to advocate for change in all areas where the community of addicts and alcoholics interact with employment, while supporting employees who struggle with substance abuse. The mid-functioning addict/alcoholic who has an established career and is still employed will almost always avoid treatment, until everything is destroyed before entering into any such facility. COMEBACK’s advantage is that they meet the professional outside of normal work hours wherever is most convenient, on their schedule, no matter the circumstances. COMEBACK’s programs allow employers to provide this valuable resource to all of their employees by providing a struggling employee, who has a moment of clarity, with the opportunity to reach out for assistance, rather than further perpetuate their sickness by consuming drugs or alcohol to numb their pain.
For more information about COMEBACK, please visit www.COMEBACKinc.com.
About the Company
COMEBACK is a Texas Non-Profit, founded in January 2020, by Recovering Professionals who have successfully experienced this breakthrough and want to save lives through this discovery. COMEBACK’s mission is to destigmatize addiction in the workplace and build a population of recovering professionals. The immediate focus is in the Austin Area with future plans for expansion.