Sunday, May 26, 2024

How To Work In Addiction Recovery

Employment Guide For Recovering Addicts & Alcoholics

Understanding addiction to support recovery (:60)

Jobs in recovery

If youre recently out of treatment or are looking to make a fresh start, taking that first step into finding a new job while in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction can be a big one. Where to start? How to address those gaps of employment? Do you have to disclose past substance use?

Outside of the obvious, there are plenty of benefits that come along with having a job. In fact, having a job can help you maintain recovery. According to a prominent study, successfully finding jobs in recovery is associated with lower rates of relapse.

And often, employers want to hire people who are in recovery for good reason, too. People who are in recovery frequently give back to their community at a rate about double than the general population. Employers know youll be dedicated, thankful, grateful, and a hard worker. Who wouldnt want to hire someone like that?

Of course, its up to you to decide if you want to disclose your substance use history to a potential employer. Just remember: Employers and potential employers cannot legally ask if a recovering addict or alcoholic.

Heres how you can overcome barriers and fears while maximizing your job opportunities.

Expand your network

Adjust your expectations

One of many, many things you likely learned in addiction treatment is the need to adjust your expectations. The same rules adjusting or even letting go of your expectations apply when it comes to searching for jobs in recovery from alcohol or drugs.

Legal Use Of Drugs And Addiction

Scenario: Alex became addicted to Percocet while taking the medication in a prescribed manner and in prescribed amounts.

Is Alex protected under the ADA? Yes, Alex is a person with a disability under the ADA because she is legally using a drug as prescribed for an underlying condition. However, if she takes more than prescribed , she may not be covered under the ADA.

Ethics Of Working Hard

Work therapy can also instill the sense of pride that comes along with hard work and dedication. Understanding how work therapy helps addictions recovery and your work ethic can put you on the right path professionally.

This is not a complete list of how work therapy helps addiction recovery. However, it gives a great overview of the rewards that can come from this intervention.

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Neuroplasticity And Addiction Recovery

Q: How does neuroplasticity work in addiction recovery?

A: By changing our existing brain activity, we can make healthy behaviors and positive emotions easier to access. We know that the brain is malleable, neuroplastic, and influenced by ones social environment. This means therapeutic and other interventions can enhance mental health functioning and recovery.

Enriching ones environment increases neuronal connections and neuroplasticity. Remember again, though, that neuroplasticity is a double-edged sword. Exposure to social deprivation, neglect, and stress negatively influences the brain and changes and inhibits brain processes .

Supportive and enriched social environments can lead to adaptive neuroplasticity, on the other hand. The principles of neuroplasticity underlie many cognitive behavioral interventionsrestoring and enhancing neural connections through repeated practice of cognitive exercises in a supportive social environment. In terms of mental health, neuroplasticity means that the brain can become happier, healthier, and better-adjusted in the face of life stressors and underlying mental health symptoms.

Lesson #2 Different Strokes For Different Folks

The Addiction Recovery Workbook: A 7

Although genetics seems to play the largest role, there are many causal factors that can influence whether or not a person is at risk for addiction

  • Personal habits and coping skills
  • The substance of choice

Because there are so many influences, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment that is always 100% successful. I learned that the disease of addiction must be addressed on multiple levels medical, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, nutritional, etc. in order for the chances of a successful recovery to be maximized. This is especially true in the case of any co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. If a person is suffering from any of these and the condition remains untreated, any attempts at recovery from addiction are virtually doomed to failure. One of the most valuable lessons I learned as an addiction specialist is to know when to refer my client to other services. When I work in cooperation with other health professionals, Im able to offer the best treatment for my clients.

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What Role Do Family Members Play In Recovery

Addiction doesnt just affect individuals addiction is a family affliction. The uncertainty of a persons behavior tests family bonds, creates considerable shame, and give rise to great amounts of anxiety. Because families are interactive systems, everyone is affected, usually in ways they are not even aware of. When a person goes into treatment, it isnt just a case of fixing the problem person. The change destabilizes the adaptation the family has madeand while the person in recovery is learning to do things differently, so must the rest of the family learn to do things differently. Otherwise, their behavior is at risk of cementing the problem in place.

For starters, family members need to learn what the risk factors for addiction are and the internal and external struggles an individual faces in recovering from addiction, and they need to understand their own complex emotional reactions to the entire experience. Because recovery involves growth, families need to learn and practice new patterns of interaction.

What Did Your Career Trajectory Look Like After You Graduated How Did You End Up In Your Current Position

After I graduated with a BA in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, I went on to West Chester University to get a master’s degree in criminal justice because I was interested in studying the criminal mind and how it works. After that, I went back to clinical psychology to get my Ph.D. because I wanted to focus on therapy and life coaching in the addiction arena.

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The Outlook For Careers In Addiction Recovery

The landscape of the addiction treatment industry is promising. Currently, 327,500 substance abuse counselors are employed in the United States, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Substance abuse counselor jobs are expected to grow 23 percent from 2020 to 2030 and are projected to employ $402,600 counselors by 2030. This growth is likely to result in approximately 41,000 open positions for substance abuse and behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors expected each year!

Hold Your Head Up High

Exploring Triggers and Urges – Friends in Recovery Podcast

Addiction is a disease, not a sign of moral failure. Always remember this.

While in rehab, you will doubtless have done some inner work. You will also have had a break from work and colleagues.

Being open and candid about why youve been away may be intimidating, but by doing so youre owning your recovery and inspiring others in a similar situation. After all, its highly likely youre not the only one in recovery at your workplace, and that means you have allies.

As you stay strong in your recovery and start to thrive in your job, fresh opportunities will open up to you.

Dont forget either that when you demonstrate that you can overcome addiction and turn your life around, you are helping to shape attitudes in others. When any judgmental colleagues witness your success in recovery and work, they will start to learn and understand more about others with addiction.

Your candidness is a vital part of healing the community in this tragic crisis.

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Complaining To The Boss

Complaining to the boss is not something that people should rush into. This is because the employer may develop the impression that the complainer is not able to handle the work place environment. If the individual is always complaining about their work colleagues to the boss it can harm their reputation they will often be viewed as a malcontent and somebody who is difficult to work with this will not do their career any favors. Sometimes it will be necessary to take the problem to the boss but only after other solutions have been attempted.

The Right Choice In The Long Run

It may be difficult to see the bright side, heres the good news: people who enter treatment are actually more likely to keep their jobs than those who dont. In fact, you may even get a better job because your energy and attention are no longer focused on getting or using drugs or alcohol theyre focused on doing a good job.

Once you get sober, good things start to happen. Your thinking becomes clearer, you become more confident, and you start to regain your sense of self a new and improved one. You become more focused and your productivity increases.

Thats something both you and your employers want: the best version of you.

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Ego And Addiction Recovery

An inflated sense of ego is very powerful and it can prove to be one of the worst poisons for your addiction recovery. It has the power to make you perceive things differently, damaging your sense of reality.

With a big ego, you are likely to think less of people around you, disregard and devalue their opinions, and become critical of them. Ego simply makes you push people away and leaves you trapped in your own selfish desires with a closed mind.

When you are full of pride, it is easy to see why you may find it difficult to accept that you have a problem, let alone ask for help from others. This is the reason why most drug addicts do not find it in them to show up for a meeting or a therapy session during recovery. After all, doing so would shatter all that ego they have built up by abusing a substance of their choice.

A concept known as ego fatigue is popular in the recovery community. Drug addicts know that recovery would bring them long-term sobriety and relief but then there is this temptation of immediate relief by getting high. Even though they are aware of the benefits of becoming sober for good and the possible consequences of abusing a substance, they still find it hard to resist the temptation.

Ego plays a crucial role in addiction recovery, such that it can serve as a huge stumbling block to hold back your recovery.

Talk To Your Employer: Dont Wait

Drug and Alcohol Counseling Services

Your employer can fire you if your addiction affects your work performance. Thats why its important to be up front and honest with your employers about your addiction if it starts to cause problems before they decide to take disciplinary action.

If you plan to enter inpatient or residential treatment, tell your employers how long you expect to be away from work. The same goes if plan to enter outpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization treatment. Your employer needs to know if you require certain accommodations such as changes in your work schedule, extra time during lunch to go to meetings, or administrative support navigating your employee health plan.

Once youve informed your employer, the law prevents you from being fired because you plan to enter treatment. It also protects you from penalties for addiction-related problems you caused or errors you made in the past.

Its also important to note that your employer is legally required to maintain confidentiality regarding your medical issues, including treatment for addiction. If you dont feel comfortable talking to your boss or supervisor, speak to your human resources representative.

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Will The Cravings Ever Stop

Cravings are the intense desire for alcohol or drugs given formidable force by neural circuitry honed over time into single-minded pursuit of the outsize neurochemical reward such substances deliver. Cravings vary in duration and intensity, and they are typically triggered by people, places, paraphernalia, and passing thoughts in some way related to previous drug use. But cravings dont last forever, and they tend to lessen in intensity over time.

Studies show that craving has a distinct timetablethere is a rise and fall of craving. In the absence of triggers, or cues, cravings are on a pathway to extinction soon after quitting. But some triggers cant be avoided, and, further, the human brain, with its magnificent powers of association and thinking, can generate its own. Studies show that craving for alcohol peaks at 60 days of abstinence. For methamphetamine, it peaks at three months.

People can learn to resist or outsmart the cravings until they become manageable. There are strategies of distraction and action people can learn to keep them from interrupting recovery. One is to shift thinking immediately as a craving arises. Another is to carefully plan days so that they are filled with healthy, absorbing activities that give little time for rumination to run wild. Exercise, listening to music, getting sufficient restall can have a role in taking the focus off cravings.

The Americans With Disabilities Act: Know Your Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act , passed in 1990, prohibits employers from any type of discrimination based on a disability, including addiction.

As noted above, you cant be fired for reasons associated with treatment for addiction once you decide to enter treatment. Your employer is also required to make reasonable accommodations, which may include a leave of absence for inpatient treatment, or adjustments to your schedule for outpatient treatment.

However, there are certain stipulations in place. For instance, your employer has the right to terminate you if treatment is unsuccessful and your addiction interferes with the function of your job, or if you resume the use of drugs or alcohol. In other words, you must be in recovery and no longer using the addictive substance.

If you feel you are the victim of discrimination due to your addiction, you have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Commission. You can file a complaint by mail, or at ADAs website here.

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Take Advantage Of Job

Looking to an existing network to help you find employment, or building a network, is only one resource that can be helpful in searching for a job.

There are a number of job-searching resources and job-related assistance programs that exist to help people find gainful employment in early recovery from addiction.

The National HIRE Network, for instance, can be an invaluable resource for people in early addiction recovery who have a criminal record. This program recognizes the many barriers and challenges people with a criminal record can face in the job-searching process. It works to expand available job opportunities for this population and advocate for policies that support their re-entry into the workforce.

Additional job-related resources and assistance programs for people in recovery from drug addiction include:

  • The Department of Labor One Stop Career Center
  • America in Recovery
  • Jobs for Felons Hub
  • Local unemployment offices or government job search assistance programs
  • Online job boards created by local and state health agencies
  • Springwires Community Voicemail service

These resources serve to: expand access to workforce training for people in recovery from substance misuse, increase job opportunities, and promote recovery-friendly policies in the workplace.

Turn Off Tech Devices

Addiction Topics – Getting Back to Work in Recovery

While it may seem anathema to the constantly-connected among us who feel compelled, literally, to check for updates, one of the best ways to restore balance to your life is to turn off all tech devices. No, this doesnt mean you have to get rid of them completely, just turn them off for an hour or so each day. And this also includes computers, so dont think that you can still sneak a peek at emails and IMs coming in. Whats the point? Life will go on perfectly well without being tied to tech devices. While they are definitely convenient and have saved a lot of time in certain areas of our life, they have also contributed to a tremendous time-suck as weve become obsessive users.

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Be Honest With Your Employer

Its important to make sure that you and your boss are on the same page, meaning you might have to be a bit vulnerable with them about your history of substance abuse. Especially if you might feel the need to reorganize your schedule or adjust your workload, its important for your boss to be aware that youre in addiction recovery.

Many supervisors are willing to accommodate their employees to ensure that theyre as comfortable, happy, and productive as possible. While you dont have to go into detail, this is an important step in returning to the work field and balancing addiction recovery and employment.

Resources For Addiction And Recovery Majors

The lists below detail a variety of professional and educational resources to help you grow and find increasing success in the field of addiction and recovery. These include professional organizations, industry publications, and open courseware that can build your skills and knowledge in this challenging field.

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What Is So Valuable About Earning A Degree In This Field Right Now

A degree in psychology can be used in any field. Psychology is the understanding of human behavior and why people do the things they do, which can even be applied while walking through Walmart. If you want to become successful in any career, you really need to know how to talk to people and what their patterns of behavior and thought processes look like. Whether you’re in sales, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a janitor, you still need to have those skills and be able to read people — psychology does that.

Can Addiction Be Cured

Recovery from Addiction Is Possible With Your Help

The answer depends on which model of addiction you subscribe to. Those who believe that addiction is a brain disease do not use the word cure. Nevertheless, clinical experience and research studies document that the majority of those addicted eventually regain control of their life and reverse the disruptive effects of drug use on the brain and behavior.

Brains are plasticthey adapt to experienceand people can change and grow, develop an array of strategies for coping with lifes challenges and stressors, find new means of satisfaction and reward, and negotiate life ahead. Millions of people do, whether they were once compulsive users of opiates, alcohol, or gambling. There is enduring resolution of what once was problem behavior. Successfully overcoming the compulsion to use drugs usually requires building strengthslearning to understand the feelings that trigger the desire, finding more adaptive, more rewarding ways to manage or resolve them when they arise, and developing interests that provide meaning in life.

But those who subscribe to the view of addiction as a disease focus on the eternal vulnerability of human nature no matter ones changed circumstances. In this view, not only is addiction incurable, but work is constantly required to avoid a slip-up, which is always waiting in the wings.

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