Job Loss and Addiction: How to Get Back on the Right Path
Drug and alcohol addiction often leads to numerous complications throughout a person’s life. One of the hardest parts of this often is the loss of a job.
From an employer’s point of view, a person who comes into work intoxicated or uses substances at work is a liability risk. Not only do they perform poorly, but they also may be more prone to causing accidents, creating conflicts, and putting other people at risk. Job loss due to addiction happens because employers need to protect themselves and their employees.
What do you do when you’ve lost your job or when you’ve been warned that you might? Sometimes, especially if your job is worsening your addiction, it’s time to move on. Other times, you may want to do what you need to do to save your position.
Get Into Treatment Right Away
If you believe your job is at risk, find out if you qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act. FMLA may allow you to take some time off work to get treatment. This does not mean your employer has to continue to pay your salary, but it does mean they must hold your job for you and keep your health insurance in place.
Even if you’ve already lost your job, the first and most important step for you is to get into drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Doing so will provide an opportunity for you to stop using substances as well as regain the confidence and ability to hold a job in the future. If you’re not sure how you could afford treatment, contact the facility and speak with an admissions counselor. They can help you figure out how to pay for treatment.
Work to Rebuild Skills
One of the components of your drug and alcohol addiction therapy is likely to be job skill training. That’s not to say you need to go back to college, but you may need to work to rebuild some basic skills to help you perform well at work.
For example, you’ll may work on things like:
- Communicating with your employer properly and in a meaningful way
- Best managing your time
- Ensuring you arrive on time
- Communicating properly with customers or coworkers
- Building trust
Having these skills could make a big difference in your ability to hold a job.
Recognize the Challenges Ahead
A person with a substance use disorder is likely to find it hard to get a job. There is a strong stigma in the U.S. that those who with addiction cannot be relied upon or that they may pose a risk to the company.
But you can recover from a substance use disorder. You can gain the ability to work and meet goals again. How can you do that?
First, realize that it’s not you against the world, even though it may feel like it right now. If you’re in treatment, you have support from your therapist and your recovery groups. Use these as resources to discuss the frustrations you’re feeling.
Second, work to prove others wrong. There is nothing better than finding a job you love and doing well at it. No matter what others think, you have the ability to create a career that’s rewarding to you.
How to Find a Job After Recovery
Once you complete treatment and have a solid long-term recovery plan in place, it’s time to consider the resources to help you find a job. Here are some tips that can help you.
- Turn to organizations that may help you find a job, such as The Salvation Army, The National Skills Coalition, and the Department of Labor One Stop Career Center.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to a temp agency, especially if you need help getting a first job after addiction recovery.
- Unemployment offices in most communities can also help you to find a job. They often work with people who may be harder to employ.
- Have an open and honest conversation with a company you want to work with and ask them to give you a chance. Focus on businesses that truly interest you.
Find the Support You Need to Recover and Rebuild
At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we work closely with men and women who are trying to change their futures through addiction recovery. When you reach out to our rehab in Lafayette, LA, we’ll provide you with the tools to build a strong future.
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