The road to recovery has been bumpy for one Kingston woman after she says she has been turned down by numerous employers because of her past drug use.
Amanda Guigue began using narcotics at 19 years old and carried her addiction through her early and mid-20s until her heart stopped in 2016 and she nearly died.
Guigue says after her near-death experience, she was required to undergo open heart surgery, which was the final “straw” in her drug use and shortly after, began seeking help to tackle her addiction.
Over the past year-and-a-half, Guigue says she has defeated her demons and is sober, but because of an arrest in 2015 for possession of stolen goods, she has been turned away from countless employers.
“I’m fully clean and no one will hire me. Just getting my foot in the door with an employer is difficult because they google my name and my past pops up,” said Guigue.
Addiction and Mental Health Services for Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFLA) offer employment training for people recovering from addiction in order for them to be successful in the workplace post-recovery.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Program for KFLA has job developers who take time with those recovering from addiction to discuss the challenges they face in the job market and to extract their strengths and find a suitable match for their abilities, said Kim Fraser, manager of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Over the past decade, Guigue says she has taken her weaknesses and turned them into strengths which she hopes to one day use to help others recovering from drug addiction.
Guigue told Global News she was hired by Fort Fright as a scare actor but because it is a seasonal position, she hopes a local business will ignore her past and give her a future.