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Returning to Work After Addiction Treatment

When sick with addiction, the addict focuses on one thing only: drugs or alcohol. Their whole day consists of either being high or getting the next high. Addiction takes everything from a person. Addicts forget how to do normal things that adults do, like taking care of themselves, working, managing a bank account, paying bills, taking care of their family, etc. After successfully completing addiction treatment you can return to work, but not always right away because it can lead to workplace stressors. Some people can still work while in addiction treatment, it just depends on your level of addiction. When Should You Return To Work After Receiving Treatment for Addiction?

Dealing With Stress in the Workplace After Rehab

It’s a big step for a person, and it is complicated to rebuild their life after treatment. After conquering the withdrawal symptoms and getting through treatment, there is the potential for cravings for months or years to come. So, returning to the real world and staying sober can be challenging. Transitioning back to normal life, including going back to work, will require several steps. Addicts don’t know how to cope; we are used to self-medicating to deal with stress. When returning to work, it’s important to have healthy coping skills at hand to deal with workplace stress. Knowing what triggers you and trying to avoid them will help prevent a relapse. Also, if you encounter a time where you are feeling frustrated or overly stressed, utilizing your cognitive-behavioral therapy skills can help. If that isn’t working, rely on your support system to help you get through the difficult period. And it’s important to try to avoid too much stress, make sure you are getting adequate sleep, avoid isolation, and stay away from anyone, including coworkers, who are using any substances recreationally.

Going Back to Work After Completing Drug Treatment

Some people can hold down a job through their addiction, but some haven’t worked in years. Whether getting back into the workforce after years of being unemployed or returning to a current job, going back to work after addiction treatment can be difficult. Some individuals may be eager to get back, but it’s best to ease back into the workforce. Creating a plan is vital for going back to work after the treatment. One can work on a plan by themselves or work with a therapist or trusted loved one. Customizing the plan to fit your unique situation and addressing things like:

  • Handling unexpected situations or possible triggers.
  • If you return to a job, be prepared if coworkers ask about your recovery.
  • If you are returning to a job, be prepared to explain why you have been gone or explain your extended absence.
  • For example, explaining an extended period off of work to a new potential employer.

Knowing how to handle any issues that may arise in advance will give you a sense of control, so you aren’t caught off guard. In addition, being as specific as possible in your plan will help you achieve your goals more likely.

Building a Healthy Work Schedule After Treatment

The next step for getting ready to go back to work after rehab is developing new routines. It may take some time to get used to being on a strict schedule (from rehab) to having freedom and your whole day open. Make sure you keep yourself busy. Any openings in your schedule like before and after work or days you are scheduled off should be filled with productive things. Having any idle time can create temptation. To start your day, you could plan a morning routine such as:

  • Eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Meditation, prayer, reading, or stretching exercises.
  • Having coffee.
  • Spending some time with your pets or maybe talking to a close friend.

If you are off on the weekends, make plans to do something you enjoy. Something that will make you feel happy supported, and loved.

Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

Evoke Wellness provides a safe and comfortable environment for medical detoxification. Our patients are treated extensively so that minimal discomfort is experienced during the detox process. We provide residential treatment and then provide you with aftercare support. Evoke Wellness is here to help you get on the road to long-term recovery.