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Help & Hope: Returning to the workplace after recovery from a substance use disorder

If you have recently completed treatment for a substance use disorder and are gearing up to return to work, you may be worried about that transition.

EOLIA, Mo. — Many people have a complicated relationship with their work. On one hand, they may enjoy their job, the people they work with, and the goals they are trying to achieve.

On the other hand, there may be a number of frustrations: some coworkers may be difficult to get along with or leadership may not set clear goals or establish why they are important.

If you have recently completed treatment for a substance use disorder and are gearing up to return to work, you may be worried about that transition.

In today’s Help & Hope, Aviary Recovery Center shares tips when it comes to forming a plan for returning to the workplace.

Ask yourself: Does your job provide support for your sobriety? As you get started on your recovery journey, they say it is essential that you take some time to reflect on the role your job may have played in the development of your substance use disorder.

Is your workplace a high-stress environment? Is the staff constantly in conflict? If you answer “yes” to these questions and others like them, it may be that your current job works against – rather than for – your chances of long-term sobriety. If that’s the case, you may need to make some tough decisions.

Ask yourself these questions: Can you get enough support at work to make important changes that will not only support your sobriety, but will also improve the work environment in general? If so, maybe you want to stay at your current job and rally for change. But if change does not seem possible, you may want to consider finding a new position.

When it comes to coworkers, your substance use disorder may have been affecting your work, and your coworkers may have already figured out why you were gone. Those who don’t know you have been struggling with drugs or alcohol will also have plenty of curiosity about why you have been away. You might feel like you owe all of these people an explanation.

Aviary Recovery Center says to remember this: your story belongs to you. There will be pros and cons to any decision you make. They say the most important thing to consider is whether or not sharing your story will help you maintain your sobriety.

If sharing helps you build up a supportive community, great. If, on the other hand, sharing would make you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or like you are being judged by your peers, it is just fine to keep the story of your substance use disorder and recovery to yourself.

Your first job is getting sober. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, get the help you need.

Aviary Recovery Center is located at 22933 Highway 61 in Eolia, Missouri. For more information, call (888) 435-5540 or visit aviaryrecoverycenter.com.

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