There are many different aspects of well being that can play a role in being able to recover from an addiction. Having a stable family life, resolving relationship issues, improving lifestyle choices, financial security and having a steady job are some of the most important. Studies have proven that in the case of opioid addiction, having paid work can be one of the most therapeutic and powerful incentives to keep people sober.
In the past people often studied the relationship between employment and sobriety from the perspective of paid work as a benchmark of success. If a person in recovery is able to land and keep a job then that means they are more stable in their sobriety and can be considered recovered. On the other hand, more recent research has shown that having a job can be a motivating factor that keeps people sober and part of a pathway to success.
Experiments with workplaces being provided for people with opioid addictions have proven that paid work can be effective at promoting abstinence. Work gives people a reason to be healthy and productive so that they feel less inclined to engage in drug abuse. Although work may not be the only factor in a successful recovery, it can be a key component in sobriety.
Why Work is Important for Sobriety
There are many different reasons that people in recovery need to be employed. Having a steady job with regular pay means being more financially stable which can reduce stress and worries about money. The ups and downs of being unemployed or looking for work can put serious strain on a person’s emotions and general health.
Another reason having a job is crucial to recovery is that it prevents the person from having too much free time. When someone has an empty schedule it is easier to get back into bad habits out of boredom, frustration or loneliness. Having a job keeps people in recovery busy so that they are less likely to deal with the types of feelings that make them think about using again.
Working is also important in recovery because it gives people a sense of purpose and pride that can help motivate them. When someone is unemployed it can weigh on their self-esteem and affect them mentally. Being productive and providing a service for people can make you feel that your contribution matters and it can motivate you to stay sober.
Working and Meanfulful Activity
It can be challenging for people in recovery to find work at times but they will need to be employed in order to have more activities to focus on in life. Work provides a meaningful use of time that can help structure a person’s schedule and keep them more involved. Without a job it can be easy to slip into lethargy and depression and avoid being active in life.
Although work can be critical to recovery, the combination of work with other aspects of well-being can lead to the most success. Having steady work along with hobbies, spending time with friends and living a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to a better experience in recovery. It is important for people trying to remain sober to find meaning in their life through their connections, what they do to be productive and the activities they are passionate about.
Working is a type of service for others that can help people feel that they matter and they have value. When they do their best at work they are helping a business run smoothly or giving other people what they need every day. Even if their work is not yet their “dream job” it can still provide them with the feeling of purpose that they need to stay sober.
Finding Employment in Recovery
There can sometimes be obstacles or roadblocks that can make it difficult for people in recovery to find employment. They could have holes in their resume, have very little practical experience or maybe they were fired from their previous job as a result of their addiction. These kinds of problems can make it challenging to find work but plenty of programs are available specifically to help people in recovery find gainful employment.
People in treatment can talk to a career counselor as part of their program and get help writing their resume. They can use connections that they have through friends, support group members or through their rehab program to land a job. Once they are able to find a steady job they will feel more confident and will start to achieve more stability both financially and emotionally.
Both studies and personal experiences show that work can be one of the most important factors for maintaining sobriety. Finding employment can be a critical part of addiction recovery success.