Early addiction recovery is marked with cravings and urges that may be stronger and more dangerous than normal. This fact means that decisions you make during this time must be thought out so that they benefit your recovery instead of making it difficult.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence states that recovery encompasses all positive benefits from trying to acquire mental, physical and social health. In the aspect of social help, recovering users should participate in activities outside the household to support healthy living and productive occupations.
The UK’s esteemed University of Birmingham found that, even after powerful addictions, patients who find rewarding jobs were among the most successful people in long-term wellness and recovery. One of the best ways to feel better about life and to maintain your goals is to find employment after addiction treatment ends. Making it a goal to find an adequate job after addiction treatment ends is important not only to develop a productive life as soon as possible, but also to stay busy and have a sense of purpose. When combined, these acts greatly decrease the possibility of relapse.
However, some jobs could damage addiction recovery in spite of its benefits. Make good decisions to avoid jobs that may end up ruining your hard fought recovery.
Examples of Dangerous Jobs During Addiction Recovery
Since each addiction is different and circumstances vary from person to person, each individual must determine if a certain job could trigger a relapse or with situations that develop cravings and urges. For example, a recovering alcoholic should avoid being a bartender or working somewhere that alcohol is constantly handled. This limitation could include jobs like waiting tables or working at a store that sells alcohol.
Also consider someone who is recovering from prescription drug addiction: she will most likely want to avoid working near habit-forming medications, such as in pharmacies or doctor’s offices. However, it would be wise to avoid other, more subtle situations, such as taking care of an elderly person who is currently under prescription medications.
If someone’s stress levels contributed to his addiction, then it would be useful to avoid occupations that elicit stress. For example, working in an environment of heavy workloads and tight deadlines could be a source of stress, which means relapse may be more likely in that environment. A recovering addict could avoid some work at least in the early stages of recovery to learn first how to manage stress in healthy ways.
According to WebMD, former opioid addicts are at a particular risk when it comes to dealing with stress during recovery, mainly because stress becomes a major stimulus for drug cravings. Also, opioid addicts tend to develop overactive responses to stress that persist even after years of finishing a treatment program. People in recovery are encouraged to rely on the advice of their counselors and therapists when looking for jobs after addiction treatment ends. Such help from these health professionals is often trustworthy due to their years of experience on life after addiction. Other people may help you, including career counselors, certified life-coaches or even community career centers.
A Positive Attitude While Finding Employment after Addiction
It is important to stay positive when looking for employment after addiction treatment ends. Although some stigmas and false notions about former addicts endure among employers, some employers have realized that individuals in recovery are just as much (if not more) valuable to the career field.
An article published by Psych Central regarding former addicts in the work force supports the idea that people in recovery can be valuable workers for several reasons. For example, the article points out that people in addiction recovery are often highly motivated and ready to give their best, because they know that a job is an opportunity to get their lives back on track.
Remember, it is always up to you to decide if you would like to share your recovery experience with any future employer. Unless you have a past arrest history, there is no need to share your testimony in full. If you do have an arrest record, then consider telling your employer more about your journey through addiction and into recovery. Every case is different, so speak with a recovery or career expert to make the best decision for you.
Advice for Life after Addiction
We understand how difficult it can be to make good decisions when you or someone you love is struggling to recover from addiction. But you are not alone. Give us a call on our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to talk with our admissions coordinators. They can offer confidential advice about the right treatment program for your unique needs. Our staff can inform you about a number of recovery resources and contacts that may help you succeed; they can even help you find quality recovery programs while they research your health insurance policy for coverage. Right now is a good time to call, so reach out to recovery as soon as possible.