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Substance use disorders in restaurant industry impact 'one in 10'

Beer sampler photo
Wikimedia | Paul Joseph

When working in the service and hospitality industry, alcohol can become like a coworker according to Nanc McGorman, founder of the nonprofit Beer City Recovery.

“One in 10 people in the restaurant industry are suffering from substance use disorders. It’s really prevalent and unfortunately, very underrepresented in the recovery community.”

For McGorman, it was a long road to recovery, and in her early days of sobriety, she felt there was an outside pressure to quit her career.

“It was really frustrating. I have worked in a bar and restaurant for 15 years. I love doing it. The people there are my family, and I didn’t want to leave. I thought that there had to be another option, other than just leaving the industry.”

Aware that she was not the only one in this position, McGorman started Beer City Recovery as a support system for hospitality workers struggling with substance use disorders.

“Just having those people to call and people who know what you’re going through. A lot of people, nine-to-fivers who don’t work around alcohol and have to smell, serve, and look at it every day can sympathize with you, but it’s not something you can fully appreciate unless you’re in that situation.”

Support group meetings convene on the first and third Mondays of the month at Promises of Hope in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Megan Sarnacki, WGVU News