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February 28, 2023

10 Tips For Returning To Work After Rehab

As part of the addiction treatment process, there will come a time when residential patients will need to leave rehab and resume living their lives on the outside. It's a time for the addiction sufferer to be proud, but it's also a time that many addiction sufferers view as stressful. To make sure things go as smoothly as possible for newly recovering addiction sufferers, there are a few aftercare resources available to help them through the recovery process.

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February 28, 2023

Navigating Work After Rehab

Returning to normal life after rehab includes returning to work, which can be an intimidating and difficult task. It is important that your work environment is one in which you can continue on your path to recovery. Working in a bar, club, or any other facility that not only condones or promotes the consumption of drugs and alcohol can be triggering and pose a risk to your recovery so it is incredibly important that you ensure your work life isn't a high risk situation for relapse. If you were working in an industry like that prior to rehab, there are opportunities to seek employment elsewhere with the help of your sponsor, counselor, or program direction from the rehab facility you attended.

Work is an important aspect of recovery, simply because we spend so many hours of the day in this environment. When returning to work, or starting a new job after recovery there are certain things to keep in mind. Seeking support during those first few months can make all the difference in your success. Things to consider while making the transition from rehab to daily life in society include some of the following:

Aftercare Resources to Consider When Returning to Work

• Continuation of treatment through outpatient therapy

• Participation in a 12-Step Program

• Taking up residence in a sober living home

• Taking part in alumni programs and events sponsored by the rehab facility

Returning to Work

From our experiences as addiction treatment professionals, we can assure you that getting back to a normal way of living is an important part of the recovery process. That includes going back to work as soon as possible. After all, you probably have bills to pay and maybe family members to feed.

We understand there might be some trepidation on your part about going back to work. That would be especially true if key people in the organization are aware of the reason behind your recent absence. Recommendation: Hold your head high and return to work knowing you are fighting the good fight and your intent is to exceed. It's important that you try not to be intimidated by what others might be thinking.

The best way we can help your deal with the logistics of returning to work after rehab would be to offer you some tips about the process. It's our hope that these 10 tips or suggestions will put you in the right mindset from the very beginning.

1. Stay Focused on Recovery

No matter where you go or what you do, you have to stay focused on your recovery. Your recovery has to come first. If you let your recovery guard down for even a moment, it opens the door for your addiction to come alive and retake your life. Staying focused on your recovery includes you continuing to do what you did to recover.

2. Mentally Prepare for the Return to Work

As you contemplate your return to work, you need to spend some time mentally preparing yourself for the process. First and foremost, it's that first day of work that stands to create the most stress. It's the day when you would likely feel most uncomfortable and get hit with the most questions regarding your absence. Focus on that first day then the next day. Remember, "One Day at a Time."

3. Know Your Rights

Whether you are returning to a prior job or searching for a new one, you have rights as a person who is suffering from a disease, the disease of addiction. Your rights could include the right to special considerations related to needing time off for additional treatment. However, you have no obligation to disclose the presence of your addiction illness.

4. Focus on the Job Not Your Co-Workers

When you return to your prior job, there is a good chance you have some catching up to do. The best way to get caught up is to put your head down and throw yourself into the work. Hint: While working hard, be sure to raise your head for a moment to breathe and relax.

5. Make Rules to Govern Your Worktime Behavior

After rehab, you will likely need to change some things about how you live your day-to-day life. To navigate the workday, you should create rules to guide your behaviors. With a mindset on discipline, you might want to focus on things like arriving at a standard time, taking scheduled breaks to relax, avoiding lunches where drinking could be involved, and staying closer to co-workers who are supportive of your circumstances.

6. Communicate Your Circumstances With Co-Workers When Appropriate

There will come a time when co-workers will ask you to join them for a drink or ask why you have to leave for special appointments. You don't have to disclose serious mental/health issues, but you can carefully navigate towards information about your addiction and treatment history.

7. Avoid High-Risk Situations

It's a reality of life that companies will have meetings, outings, and company parties. There is nothing wrong with you taking a pass until later in your recovery. Remember, the first year of recovery is where you will be most vulnerable.

8. Ask for Help

If you feel your recovery slipping away, be prepared to ask key officials within the organization for help. Good employers will always be there with a helping hand if you ask for help.

9. Prepare Answers

Before you start encountering co-workers and bosses, you should invest some time preparing answer you might get about your addiction and recovery. By preparing answers ahead of time, you will be empowered to deliver the answers with more confidence.

10. Never Forget You Are Not Alone

Everyone has issues in their lives. Knowing that should give you confidence that you are not alone in your struggles. Some of the people with which you are working might well have addiction issues as well.

Keeping Work Life and Personal Life Separate

It is easy to feel judged in your work environment, especially after rehab. Whether or not you choose to open up to your co-workers is a personal choice but it doesn't mean you are any less deserving of earning an income than your peers. This is something many recovering addicts feel when returning to work after rehab and it is driven by shame. Seeking support from people outside of your rehab programs and work environment is helpful for finding that middle ground which allows you to share your outside life with others without complexity. This is the role of friends and family, or peers in support groups.

Finding friends outside of work can be incredibly helpful for maintaining your sense of independence and autonomy. Work relationships can blossom into wonderful friendships, however, it's important not to put all of our eggs in one basket and leaving some room between your personal and professional life.

We're Here to Help

At Hollywood Hills Recovery, we understand what it's like to walk in your shoes. We've gone through this personally, and have navigated the steps that follow after rehab. We know that work is a necessary evil in the world we live in which is why we offer help re-entering the work force and support in developing the skills to succeed. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you take that next step in your recovery journey and rebuild your life in a sustainable way.

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