How Professionals Can Seek Help for Addiction Without Damaging Their Career
Coming to terms with an addiction is always challenging, but for professionals who are worried about the stability of their careers, it can be overwhelming. Seeking treatment for substance abuse is absolutely the right choice, but it’s understandable to be concerned about how it will affect your livelihood. It’s important to do some research to find out what your rights are when it comes to your job, school, and housing, and come up with a plan for seeking help.
Finding treatment is a very personal decision, and no one method works for everyone. It’s imperative that you think about what will work best for you and talk to a doctor about how to get started. Garnering support from friends and family is essential, as well, so talk to your loved ones about what you need to be successful.
Here are a few tips on how to seek help for addiction without damaging your career.
Know the signs of addiction
Addiction affects everyone differently, but there are similar warning signs for most people that signify a problem. If you’ve found yourself suffering from depression or anxiety, are having trouble being social and are withdrawing from friends and family, or are using substances daily, it might be time to seek help. Since the root causes of substance abuse vary from person to person, it can be difficult to recognize why you’re using drugs or alcohol until you seek counseling, so talk to a therapist or seek a support group. Click here for more information on recognizing the signs of addiction.
Know your rights
Knowing your rights will help prevent any confusion when it comes to your career, but it will also be important in regards to your housing situation, school, financial aid, and ability to secure loans or credit in the future, especially if you have legal issues in connection to your addiction. Employers cannot discriminate against an individual who is seeking treatment for addiction, but it’s still a good idea to talk to your boss about your decision. You don’t have to give details, but letting them know what’s going on will show them that you’re willing to be transparent and honest.
Never abuse substances on the job
Not only will abusing drugs or alcohol while on the job lead to reprimands or even termination, it can also be dangerous, depending on the type of work you do. Never use substances while at work or before you report to work. Employers can’t discriminate against individuals who are seeking treatment and need to take time off, but they can and will terminate employment if they catch you under the influence. Many people sign an agreement when they’re hired that says they will comply with random drug testing, and this could include you.
Learn to manage stress
Because many people use substances to numb emotional pain or to reduce stress, it’s important to learn how to cope with those issues without the aid of drugs or alcohol. You might practice yoga and/or meditation, seek the assistance of a therapy pet, or join a support group that can help you vent your feelings of stress and frustration. Sometimes, talking to someone who understands what you’re feeling can be a huge help.
Seeking help for overcoming an addiction can be a long and difficult process. Remind yourself that it’s for your own benefit and that you deserve to be healthy and happy, and seek the help of a counselor or mentor who can help you remain accountable for your actions. Reducing stress at home and at work will help you steer clear of any issues within your career and will help you learn to cope without substances.
Author: UCI EAS
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