Addiction is an incredibly destructive disease that affects every aspect of life. Its all-encompassing nature can leave an individual struggling with their use of addictive substances while coping with the personal, social, and professional consequences of its use. Thus, it is essential to address the true extent of one’s substance use to heal. For working professionals, the idea of recovery can seem overwhelming, prompting an individual to feel as if they have to decide between their professional career and their future sobriety. While your client may be able to balance recovery with their professional career, they must remain honest and open about the future. Additionally, health should always be the top priority when setting these goals.
Addiction Can Affect Anyone
Nobody is immune to addiction regardless of race, gender, age, or financial status. Lawyers, doctors, factory workers, artists, and anyone else can all suffer from the same destructive disease. An individual’s profession may play an active role in developing harmful coping mechanisms through stressful or toxic workspaces. Others may find their professional careers suffering due to their use of addictive substances. Inconsistent attendance or compromised workplace performance are expected consequences of addiction—adversely linking one’s employment with addiction. Some may seek to pursue a sober future while maintaining their professional path. Others may realize that their professional workspace is a major cause of stress, anxiety, and depression that may lead to the use of addictive substances, prompting a difficult choice ahead.
Identifying Workplace Stressors
There are many reasons your client’s job may negatively impact their sobriety. Stressful workplace environments riddled with miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, overworking, mandatory overtime, antagonistical coworkers, or managerial styles harm one’s mental health. It becomes common then for individuals to look for an escape. However, as one begins to experience this stress from the workplace, an individual may start mentally preparing for work with a drink to cope with the anticipated negativity.
Workplace culture also heavily influences one’s perceptions and use of addictive substances, usually by normalizing the discussion of substances and their use. Regular visits or talks about hitting the bar after work can all be perceived as “normal,” even when the amount of drinking may exceed healthy or safe limits. These actions further add to a destructive, discordant atmosphere while chasing sobriety.
The Dangers of Inaction
Addiction is a vicious disease that will continue to develop until addressed. Deciding to push through one’s career despite dangerous thoughts or practices can only serve to deepen the issue at hand. Even if your client believes that they can manage their professional careers now, they will find they are pushed further by the disease. Soon, balancing one’s life can become increasingly dangerous and difficult. On top of the professional ramifications, individuals expose themselves to many health issues and increase their chances of landing in legal trouble.
An increase in the use of sick days to cope with hangovers, compromised workplace performance, medical concerns, and more all affect one’s professional career. Choosing a job over health can very much lead to professional complications. Prioritizing health is always paramount, and while no doubt challenging, it may be necessary to ensure a healthy and fulfilling future even at the expense of a person’s current employment situation.
Engaging in Recovery
Recovery is a crucial part of a healthy future and can take many forms. For some, addressing their use of addictive substances can occur in an outpatient program, helping individuals understand how their jobs affect their sobriety while maintaining employment. These outpatient programs can be held at various times throughout the day, making balancing one’s schedule and recovery possible. However, others may need a more intense type of care.
Dedicated detox programs and residential care help individuals better understand and develop coping strategies for their unique situation and provide distance from previous lifestyles. Your client will be disengaging with a potentially hazardous professional workplace by taking time for themselves. They may begin to better understand the stresses and negative implications and make healthy decisions about their career and sobriety. Meeting with professionals can help each individual better understand their options and help those struggling with addiction better understand the necessity of sobriety.
Making the Tough Call
Deciding to leave a job to prioritize sobriety is a difficult decision your client may have to make. However, the hardest decision can also prove the healthiest, and it is vital to remind oneself of where they are and want to go in life. Addiction will develop regardless of one’s professional career and often at its expense. While some may balance an outpatient program with their continued employment, others may need to take some time away. This break can allow individuals to focus on their sobriety and health to best prioritize their future and take the skills learned in recovery to create new, sober professional goals.
Having to decide between one’s job and sobriety can be difficult. However, it is always important to prioritize your health above all else. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, California, we can help you begin your journey to a fulfilling, sober future ahead. We offer an array of programs to meet you where you are on your journey to sobriety, guiding you through detox and residential care and further supporting you through outpatient and aftercare planning. Your time with us will be personalized to fit your unique needs, helping you balance your ongoing sobriety with professional ambitions and individual goals. Our intimate atmosphere and close professional-client relationships allow us to provide you with the most informed, personalized path for your future. For more information on how we can maximize your time with us or speak to a caring staff member about your unique situation, please call us today at (949) 426-7962.