Transitioning Back to Work After Drug Addiction: How to Cope Well After Drug Rehab

While successfully finishing rehab might seem like a new lease on life, the fact is that coming back to the workforce can be a terrifying time for patients. For some time, you’ve gotten used to a certain way of doing things and all of a sudden, you have to go back and fit in with the rest of society. Understand, though, that this is not unique problem – many successful patients have faced the gauntlet and managed to transition into a normal life. Here are some tips on how to make this possible.

  • Decide on Who Matters

The biggest concern for most is the people or the co-workers you’d encounter upon your return. There are those who know why you left and are open about this reason. Some people will know why you left and are awkward about the subject and then there are those who don’t know and don’t care. Of the three, the difficult ones would be those in the second group because their awkwardness over the situation tends to shine through when talking to you. For this reason, it’s best to identify those people early on and minimize your contact with them.

  • Decide On What You’re Going to Tell Others

Even before coming back to the workplace, you should plan on what you’re going to tell other people about your experience. Understand though that this doesn’t mean you have to give them the entire detailed story. You have every right to tell them that you prefer to keep what happened private or that you are not comfortable talking about it.

Most co-workers would ask the generic question: where have you been? Those who already know might ask: how are you doing? In either case, it’s often best to have a prepared answer to the question so that you don’t find yourself divulging more than you’re comfortable with.

  • Be Open About your Aftercare Plan with the Employer

Now, how you deal with your employer after coming back is really dependent on the internal workings of the company. The drug rehab clinic HR Department should be able to guide you through the transition process, perhaps requiring you to submit an aftercare plan that shows your commitment to this new sober life. Even if they don’t ask for this information however, it might be a good idea to be upfront about it to the people who matter.

Maintaining consistent and clear communication with your employer helps foster their trust in your work. While you certainly can’t change the past, the things you do now can help rebuild your reputation in the business and make the transition easier.

  • Create a New Schedule

After rehab, chances are your schedule has been completely reshaped. This is the best time to rebuild your habits by incorporating healthier ones in your life. A good diet and exercise will help your physical and mental well-being in check so that you can better adapt to your new surroundings. Take this time to rebuild your habits from the ground up and following through. By keeping proactive, you limit the chances of relapse.

  • Find Time for Yourself

Note that finding time for yourself doesn’t mean leaving an hour blank each day so that you can decide on what you want to do. A blank space in your schedule is never a good idea – rather, you have to set aside a “me” time using a more precise approach. For example, you can decide ahead of time that your personal time will be spent at the gym, watching a favorite show, or reading a favorite book. This helps make sure that even as you pamper yourself, you’re not leaving space for more negative habits and thoughts.

  • Anticipate and Plan for Relapses

Finally, understand that relapses are possible and should therefore be anticipated. Create a plan on how you can push through moments when you crave your old vices. Once you feel that craving – do you take a bath, go for a jog, start cooking, or call a friend? Having these go-to distractions can help cut a relapse before it starts.

Understand that you’re not expected to get everything perfect on your first day of transition. You will have some doubts and it is completely normal to be afraid – but if you stick to it, you’ll find that it is well worth the effort.

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