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How Can I Find Employment That Supports My Recovery?

Many people struggle with questions about the status of their employment in recovery. Some people have a job that they will go back to. However, others will have to find work or replace a lost job. Finding employment in recovery can be a new and daunting process, especially when trying to find a job that supports recovery. The following tips can help individuals find employment that is conducive to their new sober life.

Challenges to Finding Employment

Those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) face many obstacles when searching for employment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) outlines some of these challenges:

  • Lack of skills or education
  • Gaps in work history
  • Poor interpersonal skills
  • Lack of transportation, childcare, and identification (birth certificate, driver’s license)
  • Criminal history
  • Lack of employer understanding of SUD and mental health challenges

Resources for Finding and Maintaining Employment

Despite the challenges those in recovery may face when finding employment, there are many resources to help with this process. These are known as employee-based recovery services and can take many forms, such as the following:

  • Programs that set up employment and workforce training for those in recovery
  • Organizations with recovery-friendly policies that help those in recovery get and maintain jobs
  • Programs set up by employers to help employees gain access to treatment
  • Businesses and organizations that help employ those in recovery

Employee-based recovery services can help those in recovery find employment through job coaching, placement, and skill development. Two of the most well-known organizations that offer this assistance are Recovery Through Entrepreneurship and Jobs, Friends, & Houses.

Finding Work That Promotes Recovery

Employment that supports recovery is crucial for individuals to maintain sobriety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A recovery-supportive workplace aims to prevent exposure to workplace factors that could cause or perpetuate a substance use disorder while lowering barriers to seeking care, receiving care, and maintaining recovery.”

A workplace is recovery-supportive if it has the following elements:

  • Prevention for work-related injuries and illnesses that could lead to the development of substance misuse
  • A decrease in challenging work conditions and demands that can lead to pain
  • Promotion of alternative options to opioids for pain management related to workplace injury
  • Access to treatment
  • Support for second-chance employment
  • Access to peer support networks to enhance social support for those in recovery

Employment that supports recovery will also have certain policies in place to help those in recovery succeed. This may include policies surrounding prohibited substances or treatment options if an employee relapses. Recovery-supportive employment should also ensure employees are educated on SUD, recovery, and stigma.

Those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) face specific challenges when finding employment. Due to these challenges, resources for finding employment and recovery-friendly workplaces are essential. If you are struggling with SUD, The Guest House is here to help. Our evidence-based and holistic practices can help you find healing. We can also provide resources and help you develop the skills you need to find employment after treatment. For more information on employment and recovery or to learn more about our services, call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800.