Can An Addict Go Back to Work After Recovery?


One of the reasons why addicts put off looking for addiction treatment in Atlanta is because they don’t want to lose their job. They’re afraid that when their employer learns that they have been abusing drugs or alcohol, they will be fired. Even if they’re not immediately let go, they’re still concerned that if they have to take a good amount of time off for rehab, they will lose their job. Fortunately, that’s not the case, but there are a few things an addict needs to do before they go into rehab. There are also things they need to understand before they go back to work after recovery.

What Your Loved One Should Do Before Going to Rehab

Before your loved one takes time off work for addiction treatment, they need to sit down and talk to their boss about it. They need to be honest about why they need time off and how much time they will need to dedicate to rehab. Your loved one may be surprised to know that they’re not the only employee who has needed rehab. They may also find that the company has a policy in place to help addicts get help. They should assure their employer that they are serious about getting help and want to return to work after doing time in drug rehab centers.

They Shouldn’t Rush Returning to Work

Some addicts believe they need to get back to work as soon as possible so they don’t lose their job. However, your loved one does need to make certain they’re prepared for the stress and pressure their job entails. Before asking if they can go back to work after recovery, the addict needs to ask themselves if they’re ready to go back.

Encourage your loved one to talk it over with their employer and their therapist, counselor, or other addiction treatment provider. Often, employers will help recovering addicts ease back into work by allowing them to work fewer hours or work from home. They are also often bound by the ADA or other guidelines, which means they will not tell other employees about the recovering addict’s condition.

Another reason your loved one may not wish to return to work right away is to keep their job secure. While employers cannot legally fire someone for being in an addiction recovery program, they can fire an employee if they are no longer performing adequately or are causing a disruption. If your loved one isn’t sure they’re ready to get back to work, they may want to wait a bit longer to ensure they don’t provide their employer with a reason to let them go.

Dealing with Stress

Many addicts turned to drugs or alcohol as a way of dealing with work-related stress. Learning to deal with this stress is one of the main components of therapy and drug rehab. Your loved one should have learned several healthy stress coping mechanisms and be comfortable using them throughout the day to handle stress. These include basic things such as eating regular, healthy meals, exercising regularly, utilizing time management methods, and recognizing when they need to step back and take a break.

Talking to Co-Workers

Another thing recovering addicts often worry about is what their co-workers will think. In rehab, addicts are encouraged to be honest about their struggles. At work, that’s not necessarily required—your loved one doesn’t have to reveal why they were off work. However, many co-workers are supportive and will help recovering addicts remain sober. Those co-workers who are openly hostile or become difficult to work with may be in violation of company policy.

We’re Here to Help Your Loved One Become Sober

If you have a loved one who is battling addiction, Good Landing Recovery is here to help. We will assist them in dealing with their addiction and prepare them to return to work. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.