You or your loved one may be recovering from a substance use order and wonder about the best ways to stay sober after leaving rehab treatment. At Granite Recovery Centers, we encourage people to get back to life and work after completing our program. One important step for many people is getting a “get well” job in recovery.
What Is a Get Well Job?
Sadly, almost 80% of American workers feel stressed at work, so the chances of working a high-stress job are high. Stress causes some people to begin misusing drugs or alcohol, so you want to avoid a stressful job in recovery in order to prevent relapse. Keep in mind that what’s stressful to one person may not be to another. For example, if you find swimming relaxing, a job as a lifeguard could be right for you, but if you’re scared of water, then this type of job can do more harm.
There are a few other characteristics of a “get well” job worth pointing out. The responsibility you have with these types of jobs should be minimal. Many people in recovery choose a job teaching a skill, working at a grocery store or working at a small local business because a low-stress environment with basic responsibilities lets them reintegrate into society smoothly. The interactions you have with clients and coworkers are relaxed. For example, a massage therapist uses soothing music to set the mood, which doesn’t only help your client but helps you, too. Normally, these types of jobs are easy to obtain with low entry requirements, making them worth considering for individuals in recovery.
Working Again After Rehab Treatment
A treatment program that helps a person overcome their substance use disorder will focus on building skills for living a life without drugs or alcohol. Here at Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide help to every person who comes through our doors or gives us a call.
One obstacle people face when they decide to enter rehab is the time they’ll spend away from home and work. People may be proud of their responsibilities and accomplishments at work, so giving all that up takes its toll. A substance use disorder program can take months, and that’s just the beginning of concerns about leaving work for treatment.
Whether you undergo inpatient detox or dual diagnosis treatment, our professional support doesn’t end there. We also offer programs meant to help you afterward because staying sober is a big part of the recovery process. You may not feel ready to go back to your job after going through a treatment program, but that can be a good thing.
It could be a silver lining because what you go through during detox is intense. At Granite Recovery Centers, we provide medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Depending on the type of drug you’ve been using, the withdrawal symptoms could be draining. The following are some things people experience depending on the drug they’ve used:
- Some people experience extreme mood swings. Sometimes, they can’t even control these mood swings.
- Every so often, a person experiences serious physical symptoms like pain, seizures, high temperatures, trembling and much more. All of these symptoms vary in severity, but it’s helpful to have medical monitoring throughout the process.
- People who’ve developed a substance use disorder may also deal with cravings. Again, these cravings vary in severity, but they could make it hard for you to avoid relapse without professional guidance.
- You could also experience hallucinations. These could be quite vivid, and that could be dangerous. Granite Recovery Centers is a safe space, and there’s always someone watching to make sure you don’t put yourself in any danger.
- Fatigue may happen. You might feel so tired that you won’t want to get up from your bed, making it harder to fulfill your responsibilities.
- Some people going through this process deal with physical ailments. You could feel nauseous, or you could start vomiting. We’ve seen varying degrees of these physical symptoms, but the good thing is that we’ll be here to help you overcome these symptoms and much more.
These are just some things you could go through during the withdrawal period. Other things could happen to you that are more specific to the drug you’re taking as well as your physical and emotional health. This is why the experience varies from person to person. After going through all of this, you shouldn’t go back to a job that’s upsetting you or stressing you out. Maybe the job is too demanding or expects too much from you. Maybe the job involves high-risk decisions that could be hard on any human being. No matter why a job is stressful, the reality is that you shouldn’t go back to a job like this, at least not right now. High-stress jobs could lead to major breakdowns even if you’re not recovering from a substance disorder.
There are many factors that cause someone to develop a substance use disorder. Everyone’s story is different, but that doesn’t negate the fact that some people fall victim to substance abuse because of stress.
This is the reason we spend time in rehab preparing you to deal with stress more effectively. Our team will give you all the tools you need to cope with the realities of life outside our treatment center. Still, it’s going to take some time before you can master all of the techniques we’ll give you, so you shouldn’t put yourself into a high-stress job right away.
You’re not ready to take on any more stress in your life. Having a simple job should make the transition back into work easier for you. When you feel better and think that you can take on more responsibilities, you may be able to go back to a high-pressure job.
You should also keep in mind that it is not wise to return to a job like this if it was a trigger for you and was partly responsible for your substance use disorder. If that is the case, it may be best to look for a new career that uses your unique skills but won’t promote stress. Your life is worth protecting, and that’s what you need to do if you want to permanently overcome your drug or alcohol use.
We can’t press on without addressing one more variable: workaholism. High-pressure jobs can promote this issue, especially if the person is very passionate about the work. This is a recognized issue that substance use disorder survivors are vulnerable to while in recovery.
Compassionate counselors during recovery help ensure that you’re strong enough to fend off substance dependence, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to fall victim to a disorder again. You might think it’s no big deal if you become obsessive about your job, but it is not healthy. A person who has a compulsive need to achieve a certain level of success at work or someone who wants to achieve recognition at all costs might develop a mental health disorder.
Some people, especially those dealing with emotional problems at home, end up using work to escape this stress, and that could become addictive. The following are signs of a work dependence issue:
- A person might put in more hours at work for no reason.
- Someone who’s become dependent may lose sleep because he or she wants to finish a particular job or task.
- People may exhibit an obsession with achieving varying degrees of success at work. This might start with small accomplishments, but they won’t ever be satisfied.
- When a person starts to fear any sort of failure, then this person has a problem. The fear could become overwhelming.
Sometimes, a person who’s chronically dependent will exhibit some form of paranoia. It might be mild at first, but it’s bound to get worse as time goes on and connect to work performance. The person might fear that his or her work will fail to meet the expected standards. People with this type of dependence will begin to neglect important relationships, like the ones at home or the ones with friends. They’ll choose work over relationships. If this sounds familiar, it’s because some of these symptoms can be found in different forms of substance use disorders, too.
People who’ve developed a work dependence issue might use it to avoid some hard things about life like death, divorce, financial issues, depression, guilt and even a recent substance use disorder problem.
They also might feel shame because of what they’ve been through, and that could make it easier to develop a work dependence issue if it helps you forget. Choosing a job that doesn’t put too much pressure on you helps you stay grounded, and that’s what you want right now.
How to Deal With the Pay Cut
Some “get well” jobs don’t pay well, so you may need to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle. The smartest move is to talk to a financial advisor who can help you figure out your budget. The first thing you’re going to have to do is look through your list of monthly expenses. You can eliminate things that aren’t necessary. For example, if you have shoes and clothes that are in good condition, you don’t need to keep buying more. You may need to reduce your paid entertainment and meals in restaurants in order to fit a smaller income.
It might be a good idea to stop using your credit cards for a while. If you can eliminate some of your debt, that would be great because that will assist in reducing stress. You can also talk to your insurance companies to see if they’re willing to lower your premiums. Some are willing to work with you; others need a little incentive. Do some research and see if there’s a company willing to give you a better deal. If the company you’re with doesn’t want to work with you, then move on.
Some of these lifestyle changes may be hard to get used to, but they’re also temporary. You’re only doing these things so that you don’t have to deal with financial stress. Everything you do after recovery should focus on your well-being and your inner peace. It’s important to eliminate or reduce things that will make recovery more challenging.
You can see why it’s important to have a job that will allow you to take things easy during the first part of recovery. This is especially needed after going through a trying time. If you’re ready for substance use disorder treatment, then make sure you give us a call. Granite Recovery Centers is here to help you find yourself again. We’ll talk to you about low-stress jobs after you go through treatment and discuss other changes you might have to make to stay sober afterward.
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