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Recovering addicts share their struggles trying to find a job

Recovering addicts share their struggles trying to find a job (WKEF/WRGT)

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Montgomery County overdose death numbers are trending downward since May, according to a report published by the coroner's office.

Sheriff Phil Plummer says the daily overdose calls number of 13, is also trending down.

But, for those getting recovery, the hardest battle now is finding a job.

FOX 45's Kelly May spoke with two recovering addicts who said they want more education for employers, to understand what addiction did to them doesn't change their work ethic.

"I was in a coma for about five days, and I spent another month and a half in the hospital," said Jason Conley about his overdose.

"I did overdose, yeah, I almost had my leg amputated at one point too," said Jason's brother Joshua. Joshua said his leg was badly infected from where he was injecting drugs.

For both brothers, hitting bottom was easy, pulling themselves out of a decade of opiate addiction is much harder.

"I got the job, did the orientation, and then the next day she calls me and says sorry we can't hire you we got your background back," Jason said.

He added, that's wat's happened to him with at least seven jobs in the last three years he has been clean from drugs.

"You keep getting beat back down even though you're trying to build yourself back up," Jason said.

The crimes happened while both brothers were suffering from addiction.

Jason was charged with felony theft, and Joshua charged with misdemeanor drug and theft charges.

"Before it was I couldn't pass drug tests, now I can pass the drug test but I can't pass background checks," said Joshua Conley.

"We're asking these people to get treatment, get out of the cycle of addiction, but when they do, they're gunna need gainful employment," said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.

As the Miami Valley tries to recover from the opioid epidemic, Plummer is urging, "Take a risk and employ these people, if not they're going to go back into the same old cycle they came from."

In December 2016, Montgomery County was chosen to pilot a 'Drug Free Workforce Initiative" to connect small and medium sized businesses with drug free workers, but the program is still being rolled out.

"I think a lot of employers need more education on it, I think they need to learn a little more background on the person," said Jason Conley.

It's a cycle both brothers are trying to break, while keeping their heads up.

"My background says one thing but my personality says another thing," Conley continued.

The last update from the Drug Free Workforce Initiative was a survey to gather information from potential employers.

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