24/7 Confidential Hotline

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Finding Employment Following Addiction Treatment

Working After Addiction Treatment
Following the completion of addiction treatment, most adult clients or patients return to work. Unemployed workers who are new to recovery are advised to seek job opportunities once their program is stable enough. The kinds of employment such people will gravitate towards depends on one’s level of education or skill set.

Addiction treatment experts and sponsors encourage newcomers, or those on the earlier end of the recovery spectrum, to stay busy. Too much idle time at any point in a person’s sobriety is rarely beneficial. Occupying each day with activities is a useful method for staying out of one’s head; rumination can lead to poor decisions, which can lead to relapse.

Men and women new to recovery can also benefit from finding employment that is, relatively, free from stress. Those fresh at working a program may not have robust coping mechanisms in place to cope with complications at work. Even if a person is overqualified for a particular job, there is something to be said for applying for a less demanding position in early recovery. People in recovery circles sometimes refer to the scenario above as finding a 'get well job.'

There will be plenty of time in the future to utilize one’s full potential and anything a person can do to mitigate stressors is critical. Generally speaking, a get well job is one that is part-time and not overly demanding; typically a position that doesn’t require taking the work home. Simply put, it’s about clocking in, doing the work, and clocking out. Such work positions can go a long way in re-teaching the merits of accountability and responsibility—two vital life skills for achieving long-term recovery.

Working After Addiction Treatment

Each case is different; following treatment some people have more employment options than others. A good many people have their financial situation to think about; money mismanagement accompanies years of active addiction quite frequently.

Clients preparing for discharge must weigh their options carefully and discuss their plans with a case manager or sponsor. Addiction treatment professionals have sufficient knowledge on the subject of working after treatment. When deciding the kind of work that will suit life in early recovery, men and women must ask and answer important questions. Such as:
  • Should I seek part-time or full-time employment?
  • Should I commute to a job or work from home?
  • Can I keep my recovery intact working in a position held previously?
Living in recovery means that the program comes first. Sobriety must be the foundation that supports everything else in life. A barkeep, new to abstinence, may find that bartending will jeopardize his or her hard work. Early recovery demands that people do whatever they can to preempt their exposure to people, places, and things that elicit a relapse.

While stress can severely impact an individual’s mission to achieve long-term recovery, so too can loneliness and isolation. In the 21st Century, there are plenty of jobs one can work from home, on the computer or over the phone. Such tasks may not be the most stressful or put people at risk of being around drugs and alcohol, but they can still impact mental well-being.

Males and females who recently completed treatment or those preparing to discharge should discuss the pros and cons of remote employment. With that in mind, a recent survey sheds some light on how working from home might affect one’s recovery.

Remote Employment Can Affect Wellness

People who undergo addiction treatment for alcohol or substance use disorder learn that they struggle with mental illness. Use disorder is a form of mental disease that is vulnerable to environmental factors. Clients learn that they must protect their sobriety by making choices that are conducive to well-being.

Individuals who are new to recovery and are considering working from home may find the 2019 State of Remote Work survey interesting. Respondents were asked about the struggles they faced from working remotely:
  • 49 percent struggled with wellness.
  • 19 percent with loneliness.
  • 8 percent with motivation.
Dr. Amy Cirbus, Ph.D., LMHC, LPC, and Manager of Clinical Quality at Talkspace, tells Forbes that:

“Remote workers often experience symptoms of anxiety and depression at a higher rate than people commuting into traditional office spaces. Specifically, they report feelings of isolation and loneliness and high rates of worry about job performance and stability. Insomnia and sleep disturbance are common, along with increased fatigue, irritation, sadness and feelings of disconnection. Remote workers report a lack of concentration and focus that can compound and exacerbate these mental health challenges. It can lead to a loss of self-worth and a questioning of one’s abilities. Combined together, these symptoms can have a significant impact on job performance, job satisfaction and the efficiency of productive work.” 

The report does not imply that working from home is an impossibility for people with mental health illness. However, types of work that can result in loneliness, anxiety, and depression should be taken into consideration when finding employment in recovery.

SLO County Addiction Treatment

The Haven at Pismo works with clients to develop a plan to reduce the risk of relapse following addiction treatment. Please contact us today to learn more about our proven continuum of care. We are confident that you will find that our Central Coast addiction treatment is the perfect place to renew to your best today. (805) 202-3440