The fear of losing employment because of addiction is a common concern. Many individuals avoid beginning the recovery process so that they don’t have to deal with informing their employer and potentially facing negative consequences. This can be a hard conversation to have, and it’s made worse by the fear of losing your job. While these feelings are valid, there are ways to approach these conversations and work through the recovery process while staying on good terms with your employer.


Being honest with your employer is very important throughout this process. If you understand that you need addiction recovery assistance, pull your boss aside and inform them of this issue. Most employers will appreciate the honesty and commitment to recovery. Having your employer supporting you in this process and working with your schedule to provide time to focus on recovery can make the process much less stressful.

If you are working in a drug-free workplace, it can be extremely intimidating to inform your employers of your addiction and use of a substance. After all, it is not guaranteed that they will allow you to keep your position. However, leaving on good terms can potentially impact your ability to work with the company again in the future or receive positive references that you can use in a job search later.

Your current job may not be able to accommodate your needs as you go through the recovery process, but many employers are willing to work with this. Reaching out to your recovery program and asking for assistance in this matter can help align you with a job to get you through this period.

Choosing the Right Recovery Program

There are a variety of programs catered to those in addiction recovery. Some of these programs are residential; in these, you live within the treatment facility. Others allow you to have a life outside of treatment and continue working during the recovery process. The severity of the addiction may affect which program is the best option. Choosing the route that you believe will give you the best outcome for addiction recovery is extremely important.

If you find that a residential recovery program is best suited for you, likely, employment during recovery is not an option. Your time there will likely be fully focused on recovery and self-improvement. If this is the case, taking a break from outside employment to work through this process is worth the financial setback of temporarily not having a job. The long-term negative effects of substance use disorders often lead to poor job performance and the inability to maintain employment altogether.

If you can continue working through recovery, communication is essential. Ensuring that you are managing your workload and keeping recovery as your main priority will help you be successful through the process. It may be beneficial to consider reducing the hours you are working to avoid feeling overwhelmed when first beginning recovery. If you find that your reduced workload is easy to manage, you can discuss increasing your hours again with your employer.

Job Performance

Often, the side effects of addiction can negatively impact your ability to do your job. As shown by a 2020 article by Trey Dyer titled “How to Go to Rehab and Keep Your Job,” getting help and working through the process of recovery can improve your job performance as a whole. Because of this, many employers will encourage their employees to work through the process of recovery if they are struggling with a substance use disorder.

Working with your management team to set goals for yourself within the job setting and showing your determination to provide quality work can solidify your current standing with the company. Many employers are aware of the negative effects substance use disorders can have on employees’ work performance. Knowing that an employee is working through these issues to better themselves and their performance can have a positive effect on the company in the long run.

Future Job Potential

While those in addiction recovery may not seem like the best candidates for a position at many jobs, addiction recovery has long-term positive effects on the individual’s ability to perform quality work. After all, going through recovery takes a great deal of commitment, determination, and hard work. These characteristics can be extremely important for an employee to have.

Your previous history of substance use disorder is not something that needs to be discussed in future job interviews and settings. To prevent the past from negatively affecting the future, you have to be willing to let the past go. Coming out of recovery with self-control and discipline can help you find a sustainable career down the road.

Considering a change in current job positions if your employer is unwilling to work with you through recovery can be beneficial and may be necessary. Taking care of your well-being should be a priority, more than any job. If you are unable to remain in your current position through recovery but feel that recovery is essential for you, it is worth searching for a new opportunity.

Engaging in the process of addiction recovery can be a worrying step, especially if you are concerned with losing your current employment. While there is no guarantee that you will be able to remain employed, there is a possibility that your current job can still be managed. If you find that it is not possible, the process of addiction recovery will provide you with many benefits that will improve your performance in future jobs and even provide you with assistance in finding employment if necessary. It is important to focus on what is best for yourself in the long run. Healthy communication is one of the most important things to focus on when discussing the potential of recovery with employers. To learn more about how to avoid losing your job in recovery, reach out to Dream Recovery today at (949) 732-1960.

Call Now Button