Returning to Work or School After Rehab

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated September 22, 2016

A necessary part of rebuilding your life in recovery is returning to work or school. This can be a challenging transition to make after being away but gives you the opportunity to implement what you have learned in treatment. You are likely to face a variety of situations where you must decide how you will respond or react. Through treatment at Northbound, you can feel more confident coping with change and real-world challenges.

When returning to work or school, it is important to put yourself in a supportive environment. If you were previously working at a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol, you may want to consider a new job where you are in a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. Remember that it is okay to decline an invite to happy hour, college party or other get-together where temptation may arise. Try to schedule business meetings or study sessions in a substance-free locale as well.

Take steps to keep your stress under control and make time for activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and other strategies you use to relax. If you start to feel overwhelmed, be proactive in adjusting your workload, delegating tasks or asking for help. You know what you can handle.

Also, continue attending support group meetings. This will help you stay focused on your recovery, connect you with others who can keep you motivated and accountable, and give you somewhere to turn if you need support or advice in dealing with certain situations.

Northbound actively supports clients in making these transitions through its Collegebound and Careerbound® programs. Clients develop the skills necessary to return to work or school and continue attending therapy, counseling and other groups to support recovery. They learn to live life on life’s terms while knowing they have the support and resources necessary to help them be more successful. It is possible to balance your professional life, personal life and recovery through comprehensive and fully integrated treatment at Northbound.

Are you worried about maintaining your recovery while returning to school or work? Contact Northbound to see how we can support you.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.


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