professionals and addiction

The Steps to Getting Support

Addiction is widely known to be a disease, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t stigma surrounding it still. It can be a difficult situation to navigate, especially in the professional and executive spheres. There can exist the real fear of negatively impacting one’s career, either through entering rehabilitation or because of the perceived connotations surrounding addiction. However, others have successfully transition to recovery, and you can, too. It just takes a bit of research and dedication to make this period in your life a force of positivity.

Know What to Expect

One of the first aspects of choosing to enter rehab is learning more about it. Knowing what to expect during your time will give you a better understanding, and hopefully, the confidence you need to start. Rehabilitation is always voluntary. No one can force you to enter or stay, and no one is going to lock you in once you agree to treatment. It is always voluntary, as treatment will not work without one being willing and committed to completing it.

It’s vastly important to do your research about the center of your choice. Some offer different forms of treatment, and many actually permit you to work remotely during your stay. Not all centers are live-in, either. Some offer outpatient therapy to help you while you maintain your working and social life. However, you need to be honest with yourself. Often, in-patient treatment is better at getting individuals the clean break they need to refocus on health and sobriety. Think long and hard about what you feel would be the best path, given your specific situation.

Starting Treatment

Arguably, one of the more difficult aspects of treatment will be detoxing. Some treatment facilities offer this as part of their recovery program, but some may insist you go to centers dedicated to detoxifying individuals, and dealing with the withdrawals that follow. Do diligent research in regards to which center you choose, and ensure they are medically certified. It is just as important to look at their track record. You want a facility that has a proven history of success and should not hesitate to ask for evidence.

Not all addictions require a detox, but many do. You will need to get clean before progressing with treatment, and depending on your addiction, this can take varying amounts of time to do so. Once you have passed the detox stage and entered your focused treatment, you will most likely start learning about addiction, and the effects it can have on the body. This is important to understand, as many find it difficult to accept the extent of their addiction. It is easy to write things off as less severe than they are and to deny that one has a problem to begin with. However, being confronted with the toll addiction truly takes on the body and on one’s life, can be what one needs to galvanize change. You will most likely learn what happens to the body over the years under the influence of addiction.

Learning to Accept Support

One thing many of those who suffer from addiction lack is the willingness to seek and accept support from others. Group therapy could be the start to this. By sharing what you have gone through and receiving support from those in a similar situation, you may be able to slowly adapt to the idea of looking to others for help.

Your family and friends may be allowed visitation, or to participate in therapy itself. This, too, can be a step toward letting other people into your life and getting the help you need to stay committed to sobriety. Family will learn about the disease that is addiction and could begin to mend wounds that they might have.

Job Security

One thing to take comfort in is that you cannot lose your job for entering rehab, nor can you be fired after recovery, so long as you maintain sobriety. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, substance abuse is a disability, and you thereby have certain protections. If you are caught using illegal substances when employed, this may be grounds for termination, but seeking rehab cannot lead to termination, as that is discrimination. This does not mean that if you have tested positive for illegal substances and have then entered rehab that you are protected from disciplinary actions. However, voluntarily entering rehabilitation allows you “reasonable accommodation,” which is security against losing your job unjustly. Further, there is legal precedent for your employer being required to give leave for treatment. Of course, many rehabilitation facilities allow for you to continue working, which may be more amenable to your employer.

It may be prudent to enroll before speaking to an employer and to make sure that you are clean when you do. Currently, engaging in the behavior when working is what can lead to termination. This means that you should enter rehab before your addiction is disclosed to your employers. If you have been concealing your difficulties, it is only a matter of time before they come to light. Act while you can to ensure you retain your rights to employment.

Professionals and Addiction After Treatment

 One needs to stay healthy after completing rehabilitation. Your facility should offer what is called Aftercare to assist you in avoiding relapse. This may consist of outpatient care, group or individual therapy, and other means of keeping your stresses low while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s imperative to be proactive about this. To supplement your recovery, you need to strengthen your body and mind. Begin healthy routines such as exercise and eating nutritious meals to combat cravings. Eat fresh snacks instead of grabbing what is close and convenient.

When formulating an exercise program, try to find things you enjoy doing to stay motivated. If you find it easiest to go to a gym to keep a schedule, then do that. If you prefer working out at home and practicing yoga, then do that instead. Again, if you enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it.

This may be a difficult time for you. Getting sober and maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes energy and bravery. However, addiction is a disease that needs to be treated professionally, as with all diseases, it cannot be treated without medical care. You need to commit to your own health during and after treatment. This includes eating well and engaging in an exercise regimen that suits your lifestyle. No matter what program you choose, this is the beginning of a lifelong journey to wellness. It may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile in the end.

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