We all know how any kind of substance use disorder can devastate our lives in all areas. We may have lost many things, including our homes, our families and our livelihood. There are many steps to recovery and of course getting clean is the first port of call. Dealing with any co-occurring issues such as depression or anxiety also needs to be addressed. Getting back to work after substance use disorder may be a daunting prospect and may seem like a lifetime in the future. However, it is something that you can ponder and make plans for.

New Job Prospects

You may have an opportunity to start thinking about a new career. Making a plan for what you would like to do can be quite exciting. Perhaps you have worked in jobs in the past that have not fulfilled you and getting your dream job may be something you felt was out of your reach. Now is your opportunity to start fresh. Consider what your passions are and if you can make a living from them. Perhaps you have always wanted to study a particular subject and never got a chance. College in America is expensive. However, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA, can give you advice on funding available towards education and other services specifically for people in recovery or in need of recovery.

Going Back To Your Old Job

Your return to work can be a worry. How you transition back to your job depends on many factors. You may worry about how your work colleagues will react to your return. It can be a daunting prospect to potentially have to answer their questions. Ultimately though,  it is up to you what you wish to share. Having a plan in place about how you want to address your colleagues will give you a little more confidence when you return. You have every right not to discuss your recovery at all if you so wish. It is also important to note that under the Family and Medical Leave Act you have protection rights which you can discuss with your employer. It’s also a great idea to have a plan in place to cope with any work related stress that may put your recovery in danger. Discussing this with your employer is also something you should consider.

Make Sure You’re Ready

I share often about my tendency to rush headlong into something without taking everything into consideration. You, however, do not have to be like me. Your priority is to make sure that your mental, emotional and physical health are in a condition to allow you to proceed with returning to work. Often when we start to feel better we think we can take on the world, only to discover later we’re not quite there yet. Taking advice from your therapist or caseworker is helpful because we don’t always know our limitations. And I totally get that not everyone has the luxury of not working when we are in recovery. Work is essential for our survival. However, taking the best care of ourselves in whatever situation we are in will pay off in the long run.

Take it step by step, one day at a time!





Nicola is our Blog and Article Editor at InTheRooms.com. Her work has been published internationally in many recovery publications and poetry books. She is a qualified Reflexologist, Masseuse and Life Coach. She has created content for intherooms.com for 7 years. She was Editor at iloverecovery.com. She is also an author at The Girl God books. She has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was 7 years old.

1 Comment

  1. I use to get wasted at work like everybody.Only wusses take a month off for Rehab. The MEN I worked with would pass out in the hot sun from withdrawls, or drunk from the night before and maybe go to hospital.
    AA full of wusses and winers (not winners).Everytime I try it again after about a couple of weeks its like YUCK! I think I go get a pint-vodka!

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