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Returning to work after substance use treatment may take some adjusting, but you can create a smooth transition with the right support, habits, routines, and coping skills. Continuing healing after rehab is essential, so it’s important to balance your recovery with work and make time for self-care. High-quality treatment centers offer long-term support to help you transition from the rehab setting and adjust to your daily life and work responsibilities.

Tips for Returning to Work After Rehab

Developing healthy habits, routines, and coping skills can help you excel at work and maintain long-term sobriety. Consider the following tips for transitioning back to work after addiction treatment:

Give Yourself Time

Take the time you need to readjust to life after rehab. Waiting a few days to return to work can help you adjust to your home routine before jumping back into your job. You may also consider starting on a part-time schedule or volunteering some hours until you’re ready to take on full responsibilities again.

Consider Working During Rehab

Recovery requires time and focus, but you don’t have to put your entire life on hold while you heal. Some treatment centers allow you to work during recovery, which is an excellent idea if you find a great sense of joy and purpose in your career. If you work remotely, you can use your treatment center’s designated workspace to maintain your work hours or slowly transition into more responsibilities as you prepare to complete rehab.

Communicate With Your Boss

When you get back from rehab, consider talking with your employer about your situation. An honest conversation is an opportunity to let your boss or supervisor know where you’re at in your recovery and what your plans are. You can request a meeting in person or send an email disclosing the details you’re comfortable with.

During your conversation, you may want to request reduced hours or a lighter workload until you’re fully readjusted, or you may want to request additional support, such as time off to attend therapy sessions. Your employer may be unable to fulfill all of your requests, but being open about your recovery process and needs can help you receive as much support and understanding as possible.

Understand Your Legal Protections

The United States Department of Labor has regulations in place to protect workers. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prevents employers from taking action against individuals if they miss work due to a serious health condition. It recognizes substance use disorder as a serious condition as long as you meet the requirements for inpatient care and ongoing treatment.

In some circumstances, the FMLA can prevent your workplace from terminating your employment if you miss work while receiving addiction treatment from a health care provider. However, FMLA does not protect your job if you miss work due to the act of substance use or if your employment policy states that substance use can lead to termination.

In the event you lose your employment, you can use the opportunity to find a new job, switch to a new career, or enroll in an educational program. A career coach can help you locate open positions, polish your resume, and find the right path for you.

Balance Work and Recovery

Doing your best at work is important, but so is balance. Take time for self-care and ongoing recovery support such as group meetings, therapy appointments, exercise, and rest. You should also maintain a balanced diet, and try activities such as the following to unwind in your free time:

  • Reading
  • Watching a favorite TV show or listening to podcasts
  • Walking or running
  • journaling
  • Painting or sketching
  • Spending quality time with family
  • Working on a new hobby
  • Hiking
  • Joining a club or recreational sports team

Prioritizing your mental and physical health is crucial, so you may need to set personal boundaries, such as leaving work at the office and avoiding your work email on your days off.

Develop a Routine That Works for You

Rehab often provides a routine schedule that eases the recovery process. Maintaining your own routine after rehab may take some self-discipline, but it’s worth it. A personal routine can provide a new sense of normalcy and stability, making your transition from treatment to daily life and work responsibilities smoother. Start with your morning routine and create a schedule with healthy habits such as eating a balanced breakfast, brushing your teeth, and meditating before work.

Avoid Triggers

Avoiding triggers is key for relapse prevention after rehab. As part of your addiction recovery plan, you should identify triggers before returning to work and take steps to avoid them so you can maintain sobriety at work, at home, and during your personal time. This may mean setting boundaries, such as skipping happy hour with coworkers on the weekend or avoiding extra work outside of your normal responsibilities.

Learn New Coping Skills

Some triggers, such as stress, are unavoidable, so it’s also important to develop effective coping skills you can use in the workplace. The following techniques can help you manage emotional and mental stress before, during, or after work:

  • Deep breathing
  • Short breaks for a walk, a healthy snack, or a glass of tea
  • Meditation
  • Gentle stretching
  • Asking for help when possible
  • Self-compassion and realistic expectations for yourself

Seek Support From Your Recovery Team

Quality treatment centers offer ongoing support to help you reach long-term recovery goals. If you need extra support transitioning back to work, you can ask your rehab team for recommendations and resources. They may connect you with therapists or local support groups or invite you to join the facility’s alumni program to stay connected with a familiar recovery community.

Begin Your Recovery Journey at Sana at Stowe

A safe, comfortable, and effective rehabilitation program is essential for long-term recovery, and ongoing services can help you transition from rehab back to work smoothly. A professional treatment program provides a safe, comfortable recovery setting, but you can continue healing at home and at work with the right tools and resources.

If you or a loved one experiences a substance use disorder, support is available. Sana at Stowe offers holistic recovery services to treat addiction and co-occurring conditions, and we are passionate about helping individuals detox, heal, and maintain long-term recovery.

At Sana, you or your loved one can receive high-end, personalized treatment in an intimate community setting. With on-site amenities, compassionate staff, and evidence-based treatment methods, we help individuals heal addiction and develop the skills necessary for long-term recovery. We also provide an executive suite, so you can continue working during recovery. Contact Sana at Stowe to learn more about our services and how you can recover in a safe, serene environment.

Sana is Here to Help

Sana is here for you and your loved ones. Sana at Stowe provides high-quality treatment for those struggling with substance abuse, alcohol addiction, trauma, and PTSD. Our compassionate and professional staff is dedicated to giving our patients the recovery experience they deserve in a safe and healing environment. To learn more or to get started on your journey to recovery today, give us a call or visit our contact form.

Click here to call us: 866-575-9958