How to Handle Your Career in Addiction Recovery

How to Handle Your Career in Addiction Recovery

Graduating from a recovery program means you have stayed sober for three months or longer. You have received counseling, therapy, relapse prevention training, and many other beneficial services intended to help you avoid using again as you transition from inpatient or outpatient treatment to your previous career. For some recovering addicts, handling this transition from treatment to the real world may be more difficult than completing their treatment program.

Planning ahead of returning to the workplace is the best way to streamline your return to the workplace. Preparing in advance about how you will respond to expected and unexpected problems will make you feel more self-confident and optimistic. You won’t have to struggle to find the right words to say and you will also present a strong, enthusiastic impression to your co-workers.

5 Tips for Successfully Managing Your Career in Addiction Recovery

Have Answers to Predictable Questions

It’s inevitable that curious co-workers will ask questions like, “What’s it like in a treatment program?” or “I’ve heard it’s hard to detox. Was it?”. Some co-workers will be well-meaning; others not so well-meaning. Decide how much personal information you are willing to share with certain people and have answers ready to questions like these.

Talk to Your Employer Before Your First Day Back

Have a heart-to-heart discussion with your employer about his or her expectations and concerns at least a few days prior to clocking in for the first time in a while. Explain the general details of recovery and inform them of certain times you may need off to continue aftercare support (if applicable). Your employer can also tell you of any changes made to the workplace during your absence.

Develop a Plan to Cope with Stress in the Workplace

Nobody can escape daily workplace stress, whether it’s tight deadlines, unhappy customers, trouble-making co-workers, or a broken coffee maker. Use the coping tools you learned in your treatment program and rely on the anti-stress techniques that work best for you. Visualize different stressful scenarios and practice your coping skills in your mind to improve your ability to react rationally and calmly.

Don’t Stop Taking Medications

Nearly all recovering addicts take some type of medication to help with stabilizing mood and alleviating depression and anxiety. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications for people in recovery. Naltrexone for alcohol abuse disorder and Suboxone for opioid addiction are also medications that must be taken to reduce cravings and support a successful recovery.

Take Advantage of Your Time Away from the Workplace

Teach yourself a new language, take a class on journal writing, do volunteer work in your city, and socialize as much as possible. Stay in touch with family members by calling relatives who live too far to visit. Practice staying mindful and “in the present” every day, eat a balanced diet, and never hesitate to call aftercare services if you feel like you need help.

Handling your career or starting a new career during recovery can be one of the most exhilarating times of your life. Hickory Treatment Centers offers comprehensive aftercare support services that have helped our addiction program graduates stay sober, independent, and goal-oriented. Contact us today for more information about our residential treatment centers.

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If you have tried to stop using alcohol or drugs on your own, you may feel that sobriety and clean living seem far away. However, with the help of caring staff members and a safe, structured environment, you can receive the guidance you need to fight cravings and regain control of your life.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our admission staff or learn more about our healing programs.