Transitioning Back to Work After a Professionals’ Program for Addiction Treatment
A professionals’ program for addiction treatment can be one of the most important tools you have to get back your life. It allows you the confidentiality and support to step away from your career to focus on your health and well-being. Our professionals’ program at Victory provides education, support, therapy, and a continuum of care plan to help you transition back to work.
One of the concerns professionals have about entering treatment is how and when they will return to work. What changes can they expect? Will they still perform at the same level? How will people treat them? Let’s look at a few of these questions.
Will You Be Able to Work Again in the Same Way?
This is a common question. Will you be the same “you” that you were before all of this started? The answer is no. You will likely still be able to do your job. Your skill sets will not have changed. Yet addiction recovery will change who you are. In doing so, it will likely change your priorities and your goals.
Maybe recovery will teach you to have more empathy for others. You may get along with your coworkers better because you pause before you label or judge another person.
Maybe recovery will teach you that your career was not healthy for you. If you were in an intensive leadership role or in a career that gave you easy access to drugs, you may find that going back to that environment does not feel safe. For some people, work stress is so profound that they need to make a life change.
Will Everyone Know About Your Treatment?
As you start to transition back into your professional position, you may feel as though everyone knows what happened to you. You may feel as though they treat you differently. There are a few things to remember here.
First, your rights to privacy are protected. If you told your human resource team you were taking Family Medical Leave, and you qualify for it, that means they have to give you the time off while protecting your benefits and position. Yet, you do not have to tell anyone else what is happening. Your treatment program will protect your confidentiality as well.
Second, if your coworkers find out that you went to treatment, let that be a source of pride for you. You have accomplished something many people are too scared to attempt. Working through addiction is perhaps one of the most challenging things a person can do. You taking the time to reach out for help may encourage others to do the same.
Supporting Your Transition
Men and women who step back into their professional roles after completing drug and alcohol treatment may find daily stress and responsibilities a bit more difficult to manage without substances to use as an escape. That’s normal. But during your treatment, you will have learned the skills you need to manage stress in healthy ways. You’ll have created a network of support to help bolster you when you start to falter.
Drug and alcohol treatment does not stop once you leave the program. Most people benefit from an aftercare program that continues to support them for months and even years after they are back to work. Take advantage of this support. Open up to your counselor. Work within group therapy sessions to discuss what’s happening.
It is this combined effort – of preparing yourself for the changes, feeling confident in what you’ve overcome, and having support to keep you on the right path – that can help you to get back to your life again. Even if you take a different turn and get a fresh start, you will have the ability to reclaim your life and achieve your goals once you work through treatment.
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