Returning to Work After Drug Rehab

Returning to Work After Drug Rehab

Work is a big part of many people’s lives, and it can have a drastic impact on a person’s mental health. Going back to work in addiction recovery can be a source of positivity in your journey or a cause for relapse, so it is important that you take it seriously.

Tips for Returning to Work After Rehab

Whether you are going back to your old job or looking to re-enter the workforce, returning to work after drug rehab can be intimidating. There may be a lot of uneasiness and stress, but these tips for returning to work in recovery can help you navigate this uncharted territory and keep your sobriety intact.

Ease Into It

Determining when to return to work after drug rehab is a personal decision. While jobs can keep you productive and give you a much-needed new sense of purpose, they can also be stressful and trigger addiction cravings. Although getting back to work in recovery is important, you want to ease yourself into it. Having a high-stress position, staying late, working long hours, and skipping recovery meetings to work can be overwhelming and cause you to relapse. Especially if you were in a dual diagnosis program and found that your stress or anxiety were tied to your addiction, you want to start slow. Try setting boundaries for yourself like limiting hours and unplugging outside of normal work hours.  If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, you may want to find a less demanding job.

Know Your Rights

Whether you are interviewing for a new job or returning to your old position, you should know your rights. Depending on the state, there are certain questions that are off limits. Find out what they are and have professional answers for anything that isn’t. If your company wants you to complete a return-to-work agreement, make sure you read it carefully.  You could even see if your recovery team could get involved. They likely have more realistic expectations of your recovery and a better understanding of addiction then your company does.

Continue Your Recovery

It can be easy to get caught up on the job, but recovery is a lifelong journey that requires effort. You should continue to attend recovery meetings regularly and stay connected to your addiction recovery teams. Practice the therapies that your learned during holistic addiction treatment and hold yourself accountable. Letting your job take over your life and neglecting your sobriety is a quick path back to addiction.

Be Prepared for Gossip

One of the most overwhelming parts of returning to work after drug rehab may be facing your coworkers. Rumors may be flying about where you were, and although it may be uncomfortable, it may be best to address them. Ignoring them could add fuel to the fire. Decide beforehand what you are ready to tell people. You can be vague or honest. So long as you do not make a big deal about it, most other people will follow your lead. No matter what you tell someone, be prepared for the whole office to find out.

Find Supportive Coworkers

An exciting part of starting a new job is meeting your new coworkers. This is a good opportunity to expand your support system, but it takes time to get to know people. Find the people who will best support your recovery journey and try to avoid those that could put your sobriety in jeopardy.

Change Your Bad Habits

Returning to work after rehab could mean returning to bad habits and eventually relapsing if you are not careful. Before you go back to work, take a moment to think about these bad habits and how you are going to move forward without them. If your coworkers like to go to happy hours, be prepared to skip or offer an alternative activity that doesn’t focus on drinking. If there is alcohol at your workplace, be sure to remove it from your area.

Find Something Fulfilling

If you hated your job before you entered the standard or luxury detox center, take this opportunity to find a new job that will make you happier. Your job should leave you feeling productive, useful, and fulfilled, not stressed, anxious, and on-edge. A job that gives your life more meaning can also help you avoid relapse. While getting your dream job may not be realistic at this moment, try to make sure you are taking steps in the right direction.

Going back to work in recovery can be overwhelming, especially when you are transitioning from doing no work in rehab. At Seaside Palm Beach, we understand that not everyone can step away from their jobs, so we are a luxury executive rehab that allows patients to stay connected to work during treatment. This program allows people to make time for both work and recovery.

If you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem and is ready to get started on the recovery journey, reach out to us today at 561-677-9374.

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