If you have recently completed rehab, one of the following challenges in your path will likely be finding a job after rehab. You might have been fired or had to leave your previous job because of drug use or the time required for rehab. Now it is time to get back on your feet and get a new job. One study found that finding work after rehab is directly correlated with a lower relapse rate and higher success levels for treatment programs, particularly outpatient programs.
How Does Rehab Impact Work?
Clinicians associate employment with successful rehab for many different substance abuse treatment programs. Clinicians believe that work plays an essential role in comprehensive recovery, and it might be something you are encouraged to seek out after you complete rehab as well. But finding a job after treatment might not be as simple as a clinician makes it seem.
Why Can It Be Difficult to Find Work After Rehab?
It can be difficult finding a job after rehab for many reasons.
Firstly, you might have a criminal record now because of an activity that landed you in rehab in the first place. For example, if you were arrested for and charged with crimes related to drugs, alcoholism, or other things, explaining that record might make you apprehensive about how a potential employer will respond.
If you enrolled in a residential rehab program and subsequent part-time outpatient rehab, getting a new job might be difficult when potential employers ask about the gap in your employment history. However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prevents people (like employers) from getting sensitive information about you without your permission, including rehabilitation.
If you find work after rehab or apply for a job after being in rehab for a few months, federal and state laws apply to your situation. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives potential employers the ability to ask whether you are currently using drugs or have in the past used drugs before extending a job offer to you. However, they cannot discriminate against you or exclude you because you have previously struggled with drug addiction. The only reason a job offer might be rescinded is if you are currently using illegal drugs. Enrolling in a rehab program or having previously completed a rehab program will not disqualify you as long as you have abstained from ongoing drug use.
Another reason it can be difficult finding a job after treatment is the stress of a new job. A new job brings with it a great deal of anxiety and a workload that might interfere with your sobriety or lead to a relapse. However, every decision you make comes with risks, and for many people, the benefits of holding down a job will significantly outweigh these potential risks. Returning to normal society and taking on a new job can give you stability, independence, and more control over your life.
Tips for Finding a Job After Rehab Ends
Use the services provided by your rehab center. At Ocean Coast, we offer a range of services in our aftercare program that are designed to help you transition into daily life. One of those areas is employment after rehab. Securing a job might not be a requirement or part of your structured program, but staff members are happy to provide you with connections for employment opportunities where feasible. Many of the outpatient services we provide give you life skills and social skills that can be applied to finding a job after rehab.
Take advantage of your personal network. Chances are you used your healthcare insurance to help pay for part of your rehab. Talk to your doctor, your therapists, any group counselors you work with, and friends you have made during rehab. All of these resources comprise your personal network. Going through a significant change like rehab usually means you have completely cut ties with older friends and influences and made new friends and connections. Those connections might be able to help you find employment.
Use recovery-specific job boards. America In Recovery is an organization that helps people who leave rehab find jobs. With specific job postings through different job boards, you can find job postings where potential employers know applicants have a history of substance abuse. This can be particularly useful for people who are anxious about whether or not to disclose rehab information. Employers already know that the candidates who apply for the position have gone through rehab, so you don’t need to disclose things one way or the other.
If you are ready to get help finding a job after rehab, we are here. Contact Ocean Coast Recovery for comprehensive addiction treatment and aftercare in Huntington Beach, CA.