How Will Recovery Affect My Job?

February 17, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Even if an individual has identified their need for professional treatment to overcome addiction or substance use disorder (SUD), there can still be many barriers that may prevent an individual from pursuing treatment. Experienced commonly among working professionals, the idea that recovery could negatively impact their job is a difficult hurdle to overcome. 

Recovery never has to come at the expense of anyone’s professional career. However, this doesn’t mean that there will not be changes involved. Understanding how recovery can impact a person’s professional career can help each individual set appropriate expectations for balancing their lives in recovery with their continued professional pursuits. 

Treatment Can Work Around Career Life

Both a person’s health and professional career are essential in daily life, and one should never come at the expense of the other. Just as an individual should never sacrifice their physical or emotional well-being for the sake of a job, they should also not have to choose between a job they want to continue and their sobriety. Recovery is always a personalized effort, with each individual being able to create a program based on their needs, goals, and obligations outside of the recovery sphere. 

Establishing a healthy and effective schedule through practiced time management skills and other strategies can ensure that an individual is always able to continue pursuing personal needs in recovery while maintaining gainful employment. 

Understanding the Impacts of Recovery on Career Life

Committing to a professional treatment program is amazing. Understanding its impacts on an individual’s job can ensure that effective strategies are developed to balance these two aspects of each person’s life. These dedicated and transformative programs are also always willing to work alongside an individual to establish the best approach to balancing their life inside the walls of a treatment facility and in their lives in the “real world.” Discussing each person’s needs, goals, and responsibilities throughout the recovery process can ensure the most personalized and effective approach to balancing their recovery and continued employment. 

Utilize Professional Time-Off Resources

One of the most common concerns when it comes to pursuing recovery is the prospect of having to take time away from work to pursue treatment. For many, this time off work can be intimidating, either for financial reasons or if an individual is concerned about losing their job in their absence. However, it is important to remember that time off is a resource that is earned through hard work. 

Contrary to the workplace attitudes prevalent across the United States, working longer hours than scheduled is not a requirement for any individual. Additionally, using vacation time to pursue treatment options or engage in effective self-care can be instrumental for a person’s success in sobriety. 

Others can use other protective resources, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can protect a person from being fired due to disease or while pursuing treatment. These resources can be instrumental in balancing a person’s pursuit of sobriety with their continued gainful employment.

Create an Effective Schedule

There are also a number of programs that can run alongside an individual’s professional schedule. If an individual works in the mornings, there are evening outpatient programs that can be beneficial. Meanwhile, individuals may also develop their work schedules around intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), which can help them balance both aspects of their lives effectively.

Developing effective time management skills and creating new daily routines based on these new sober schedules is paramount, especially as previous routines may have been created around the availability and use of addictive substances. Establishing new morning hygiene routines or nightly rituals can all help to reinforce these new schedules and time management skills, all while helping to maintain a healthy balance of one’s professional life and sober efforts. 

Create New Communities

While an individual may continue their employment at a particular company, it may be necessary to establish new social groups in sobriety. For many, after-work trips to the bar or the normalization of the use of drugs or alcohol can all impact their professional life. Being surrounded by these ideas in a professional setting can be difficult while maintaining sobriety. Distancing oneself from these social groups is necessary, even while continuing to manage professional responsibilities. 

Creating effective boundaries with coworkers may also be necessary, especially if such sober efforts are not necessarily understood or accepted by coworkers. While unfortunate, it may also be necessary to adjust professional ambitions in pursuit of sobriety. If the stresses prevalent at the workplace are difficult to manage or consistently challenge a person’s recovery efforts, a discussion with treatment professionals, peers, and family may be necessary to make the most informed decision regarding an individual’s sobriety and current place of employment.

Making efforts to ingratiate oneself in new communities, such as a dedicated recovery community, new interests or hobby groups, or more actively engaging in familial activities can all help to deconstruct the atmospheres that may not necessarily fit well with a person’s developing sober identity.

Your career and your sobriety are equally as important. We at Buena Vista Recovery understand the need to tend to your personal needs while balancing a healthy and fulfilling professional life. We are prepared to work with you by personalizing your recovery plan as well as incorporating our effective outpatient treatment programs to help you address the challenges of balancing your career with your sobriety. Our dedication to sobriety extends beyond our walls, helping you to cope with the stresses of the workplace while establishing a healthy and sober lifestyle. For more information on how we can support your recovery journey, or if you have any questions about how we can personalize your time with us, call (480) 741-9414 or verify your insurance here.