How to Return to Work After Addiction Rehab

Going back to work after rehab can be challenging. You’ll face daily stressors on the job and trying to find a work-life balance, not to mention you may be concerned about what your boss and co-workers will think. These questions and uncertainties can cause you to feel overwhelmed and may even trigger a relapse, which is exactly what recovery coaching aims to prevent.

Through the drugs and alcohol counselling at Hills & Ranges in Melbourne, we work through these concerns about returning to work with you and empower you with tools to work through the workplace stigma. If you are considering or currently in rehab and worried about returning to work, our best advice follows.

Make Accommodations with Your Employer

Before you leave for treatment, talk to your employer and HR representative to see if you qualify for paid medical leave or can take a leave of absence rather than resign.

When you’re ready to return to work, you should plan with your employer and HR representative about how to balance work and recovery. Depending on your job, your employer may be flexible and create a hybrid schedule to allow you to slowly transition back to the office.

Coping with the Stigma Surrounding Addiction

Another stressor about returning to work is dealing with the perceptions and judgements from your co-workers and boss. People in addiction recovery tend to feel guilt, shame and embarrassment. The last thing you want to do is walk into a room of professionals, most of whom you knew during your active addiction.

The best thing you can do to overcome this self-consciousness is to face the situation head-on. If you show up and get into the flow of your work, the people who you’re concerned about won’t have any ammunition to feed their perceptions and assumptions.

Understanding Your Feelings and Triggers

All of this work and social stress is the perfect recipe for relapse. Feeling overwhelmed may be a trigger for you to slip back into your old ways, but we want to protect your sobriety!

No matter how far along you are in recovery, attending drugs and alcohol counselling is the most vigilant defence against high-risk situations. If you’re fresh out of rehab, you may still be dealing with the symptoms of alcohol detox or drug detox. Even years after rehab, you may encounter situations and peer pressure that threaten your sobriety. Do you know what those triggers are for you? Have you developed healthier coping mechanisms to get your mind back to a healthier place? Counselling is where you learn to process your feelings in a healthy way.

Ongoing Support in Your Recovery

At Hills & Ranges, we support our patients through every step of the addiction recovery process, including the return to work. Through recovery coaching, you learn to process emotions, identify high-risk situations, find people you trust to help and effectively communicate your concerns. To learn more about our recovery coaching program and ongoing support after rehab, call us on 1800 954 749.

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