Can I Work While Recovering from Drug Addiction?

It’s a difficult decision for recovering addicts: to hold down a job or not? You likely have many questions about whether you’re fit to work, and maybe the complexity of navigating work life and the recovery process at the same time seems like it would be too much of a struggle. At the same time, you may not be able to work, whether by choice or otherwise. Others continue working, even if they would rather not because they need a steady income.

The answer to whether you should work isn’t black or white. It’s best to take into account all the things that come along with the options of working or not working by taking many factors into account. For example, instead of framing your question as “should I work while I recover from addiction?” you can ask yourself about what your choices are and how well they suit you.

It’s also important to know that a period of non-work might be useful, if not necessary, to regain your footing, keep focused, and stay sober. On the other hand, working gives you structure and expectations, and that can help you stay focused on other things than the temptation to use drugs again.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Working?

You have many options if you cannot or do not wish to work as you focus on recovery from drug addiction. You’ll want to ensure you’re doing things that give you a sense of purpose, enjoyment, and encouragement to stay on a path to success with your sobriety.

Steady, team-oriented activities are good for meeting new friends and keeping you busy, so you have less time to brood. You may choose to:

  • Return to school for a diploma or degree in a field you want to pursue
  • Volunteers in a structured program, like at an animal shelter or veteran’s home
  • Act as a caretaker to an elderly loved one who needs in-home care
  • Get active by joining an amateur sports league, or go hiking for fun
  • Take part in cooking and cleaning the home more often
  • Join your local faith-based community

Working While Recovering from Drug Addiction

It’s obvious that work can provide you with income, stability, structure, and responsibility. It can also restore your self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and a sense of community as you will collaborate with a boss and your coworkers. Working will give you a sense of purpose and joy in life that distracts you from craving drugs. Even a part-time, non-career job can provide you with the disciple and structure you need to turn your life around and achieve and maintain sobriety.

If you choose to work during recovery, you may want to:

  • Work part-time while pursuing the above-mentioned activities, as well
  • Work and go to school on the side
  • Choose interim work that you don’t intend to pursue as a career
  • Search for your next job and make that a full-time “career”
  • Return to a previous job you held
  • Work full-time in a career-based job

What Should I Do Next?

While you’re recovering, whether you decide to work or not, make sure you choose something that makes sense for your unique lifestyle. If you see a psychotherapist, they can help you decide what option would best suit your current situation. You may decide that you don’t want to work, and it could be the right decision for your situation. There is no shame in that. Simply stick to the core teachings you learn in substance abuse treatment, and keep in close contact with your therapist or psychiatrist to ensure you are able to physically, mentally, and emotionally handle the stress of daily life while working.

Contact us at Decision Point Center today by dialing (844) 292-5010 to learn more about our drug rehab program.

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