In drug and alcohol addiction treatment, one of the most important things you’ll learn is to minimize your triggers. A trigger is a person, place, experience, thing, or anything else that brings up thoughts of using drugs or alcohol or makes you “want” to use again. Avoiding triggers helps you limit your risk for relapse. Unfortunately, many people experience their most intense triggers on the job.
Can Your Job Be a Risk Factor for Addiction Relapse?
You need to work, so you go in day after day but find yourself struggling through it. At the end of the day, all you can think about is getting a drink or using some type of substance to help make it easier to manage. You’ve been to rehab, built up your health, and learned skills to manage stress. Even so, your job continues to overwhelm you. If nothing changes, you could be putting yourself at risk for relapse.
What are you facing at work?
For many people, a few types of work-related triggers can be hard to deal with on a regular basis.
- Abusive communication: Your employer or manager is abusive in the way they treat you and others. Anger, hostility, and threats can make it very hard to do your job and may, over time, cause you to struggle with your confidence.
- High-stress environments: You’re pushed to reach high goals every month even though it is nearly impossible to do so. You spend a lot of time worrying about being able to manage those difficult challenges, knowing that your job is on the line.
- Required overtime: When overtime is required, it can mean very long hours with little to no rest in between shifts. This creates an unhealthy situation because you lack the proper rest you need to make good decisions.
- Coworker concerns: The job may be okay, but you may be struggling with coworkers based on the way they treat you or past experiences with them. You may find yourself unable to focus on your job because of those individuals.
- It’s where you used to use substances: Did you use drugs or alcohol at work? Going back into that environment could put you in a situation where you think about using those substances again.
In any of these situations, the stress, fear, frustration, and cravings to use a substance can become too much to manage. Even if you feel up to the challenge right now, it’s important to protect yourself and your future.
Should You Leave Your Job?
Stress is a part of life, and no matter which place of employment you have, chances are very good you’ll deal with some type and level of stress. But if your environment at work is toxic, whether because of the pace, the intensity, or the behavior/attitude of your employer and coworkers, it may be time to find a new position. Consider the following:
- Is your employer willing to listen to your concerns and make adjustments to the work environment that benefit not just you but everyone in the position?
- Is it possible to work through relationship concerns with coworkers? Are your coworkers respectful of your recovery (if they are aware of it)?
- Can implementing stress-relieving strategies help you to manage your work life? For example, you may be able to spend time exercising after work to reduce stress levels or find something else that’s healthy and enjoyable to you. Having a strong support system in recovery is crucial, too.
It’s not easy to remain in a stressful, high-risk environment when you’re in addiction recovery. Take the time to consider your options. Talk with friends and mentors in your recovery community. Can you find a position that better fits your needs?
Getting Back to Life
During relapse prevention and preparation for you to leave addiction treatment, you’ll learn a great deal about strategies to build your confidence and reduce your risk of triggers. If you are facing problems with your employer, talk to your therapist about what’s occurring. They may be able to provide you with tips and resources to help you improve your outcome and make the right decision for your future.
Contact The Ranch at Dove Tree to learn more about the first step to take – getting into drug and alcohol treatment in Lubbock, Texas.