Staying Sober at Work: Know When it’s Time to Leave

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For adults in rehab who struggle to balance a family, career, finances, and drug treatment, switching jobs is probably the last thing they want to worry about.

Yet, those same jobs that they may have fought to keep through policies such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may have been the catalyst toward their addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), from 2008 to 2012, full-time construction (17.5 percent) and mining (16.5 percent) workers had the highest rates of past month alcohol use. The same survey also found that when it came to the construction industry, the percentage remained the same even when age and gender differed.

When it came to illicit drug use for full-time employees ages 18 to 64, the accommodation and food services, and arts and entertainment industries surpassed other workplaces at 19.1 percent and 13.7 percent.

Whether you are a construction worker or work in the entertainment and arts industry, substance abuse is a prominent effect of the environment.

But just like rehabilitating from an addiction, you can learn to control your response to enabling factors like stress, unrealistic expectations, and negative influences.

Construction Workers Drill Deeper Into Alcoholism, Hollywood Produces Addiction

After a 30- to 90-day drug and alcohol treatment program, expenses are racking up, so it’s only right to rush back to a reserved job as soon as possible.

For some in the entertainment industry, taking time off from work may cost them record deals, deadlines, and the ability to expand their talents.

In an article published by The Fix, “Trouble in Paradise— The State of Addiction in Hollywood,” Dae Medman, Employment Assistance Director of the Actor’s Fund, depicted how actors and creatives in Hollywood are secretly seduced by drugs and alcohol in the light of attention, pressure, and rejection.

“Hollywood is a microcosm of that macrocosm, but the backbone of the industry has always been the creatives. The personality types of such people seem to have a propensity to abuse substances. The pressure to succeed, an underlying need for money and a diet of constant rejection exacerbates the problem,” Medman said in the article.

And that same dedication and loyalty invested in those jobs may cost the sacrifice it takes to remain sober.

Last February, ABC7 NY took a look at the correlation between construction work and drinking. What an undercover reporter discovered for one New York construction site’s noon break was comparable to a bustling, after-work happy hour.

In the video, a construction worker is seen taking a shot of Bacardi for what he deemed a “liquid lunch.” And a carpenter sucked down five beers before being seen at his construction site with a chainsaw in hand.

The construction workers give a glimpse into high stress and rigorous blue-collar jobs that drive some to substance abuse even while on the job.

For those who are working to remain sober in an environment riddled with substance abuse, the inquiry may be posed: Do I have to switch careers?

Sobriety vs. Stability: Tips to Remain Sober While Career-Oriented

Deciding to make a career shift is not an easy choice, especially if that means giving up a steady salary. Yet it’s important to weigh the costs of going back to enabling environments that may cause a relapse.

But even if you choose to stay in the same industry, there are ways to make necessary changes that will protect your sobriety.

1. After drug and alcohol treatment, consider working part-time so you can fit aftercare organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, into your daily routine.

2. Listen to motivational podcasts in the morning and decline those invitations to happy hour get-togethers at a local bar or lounge.

3. Find what you’re passionate about. If you don’t want to go back to your job but want to reroute your skills for something positive, discover the things that ignite your purpose. For instance: a musician in recovery may decide to abandon the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to start teaching music lessons to children with disabilities. A construction worker may ditch their 9 to 5 job to start building homes for struggling, impoverished families.

4. Stay in the same industry, but switch employers. A solution to maintaining similar work with the same pay is to switch companies. This way, you can get a new start without feeling alienated at a completely different company. Also, a different company’s location will force you to stay away from former favorite bars and drug dealers.

5. When stress is starting to poke at old habits, don’t be afraid to express this to your boss or mentors. You can receive the necessary help without soothing your work anxiety with alcohol or drugs.

Looking for Drug and Alcohol Treatment? Call Us Now

If you, or a loved one, are looking for drug and alcohol treatment, Palm Beach Institute can help you with inpatient care. Our family of counselors, nurses, and addiction professionals are dedicated to quality care. Call our 24-7 hotline at (855) 534-3574 or contact us online to speak with one of our specialists to learn more about inpatient treatment. Make the call that can ultimately help you uncover new dreams within your career. Recovery can be your source to true internal success.

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