Individuals who emerge successfully from drug rehabilitation often exist in a precarious spot during those first few days and weeks outside of treatment, and for many individuals it is necessary to consider rebuilding a career. Due to the destructive influence an addiction may have on a person’s life, it is common to experience job loss with a drug habit that forces someone into treatment for any length of time.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that in the United States alone, there is a loss of over $600 billion due to the issues associated with crime, heath costs, and lower job productivity. Unfortunately, many individuals who exit rehab don’t have a clear path on how to reenter the workforce, and are often only focused on getting out of bed each morning and fighting against relapse.
When rebuilding a career, it’s important to consider the following projects for post-rehabilitation job searches.
Meet With a Job Placement Specialist
There’s no reason that a former addict must do everything on his own upon emerging from treatment. Employment counselors and job placement services offer help in finding employment, and may assist an individual who wants to return to the workforce. The rehabilitation facility in which a person may have spent time might be able to recommend such counselors or specialists.
Decide Upon Career Change or Reaffirmation
Employment after rehabilitation is a difficult subject, because some professions might offer a high amount of stress that would be dangerous to an individual in recovery. Although it’s usually best to wait on a total career change after time spent in rehabilitation due to the shock of a new environment, an eventual change in employment might be required or beneficial. Speaking with a counselor on this subject is important to guide the timeframe for changing jobs.
Consider Something Simple
If an individual was once involved in the legal profession, it might be necessary to spend some time in a different and less stressful industry. Stress is a key factor in causing someone to relapse, so it’s important to maintain a lifestyle that offers as little stress as possible. This might mean considering a job in a completely different industry so as to work in a safe environment.
An individual might find it so satisfying to be back at work that issues of overworking might start to occur. A person in recovery might try to use a job as a substitution for his previous addiction, and this may lead to a relapse. Overworking so as to try and forget the allure of an addiction is unhealthy, and it also disrupts the recovery process wherein someone is able to rebuild a life among family and friends.
See the Job as a Journey
When meeting with a job placement specialist or a counselor, it’s helpful to put some planning into the future as far as a career is concerned. The schedule created doesn’t need to be incredibly complex. A few months or just a year of planning may help an individual in recovery focus on rebuilding a life through work.
Valuable benefits from a life rehabilitated through a job include:
- Success in employment offers a mental boost
- Employment helps a person to feel he has a bright future
- Jobs help a person to rebuild social connections
Making a meaningful effort at rebuilding a life after rehabilitation may offer a former addict a valuable project on which to focus during those difficult weeks and months after rehabilitation. Dealing with a post-rehabilitation life often means that someone might not have the same amount of personal support as he or she would during treatment, so the loss of that safety net makes everything in life incredibly difficult.