Work Can Be a Positive Distraction from Addiction 

A Job Can Provide a Structured and Supportive Environment

Addiction takes a lot of mental energy. Between the difficulties of hunting for a fix to the strain of keeping bad habits a secret, addiction requires a dangerous level of stamina. Once they seek help, people in recovery may be able to expend that energy on something new and beneficial—like their job, reports U.S. News.

Although it might not seem like it on the surface, work can frequently serve as a replacement for addiction. Work keeps people busy, and staying busy is the best way to take someone's mind off their habit. Not only does that provide a 40-hour-a-week reprieve, but it also provides a salary.

The workplace also supplies a structured environment, not so dissimilar from that established for recovering addicts in rehabilitation programs. Additionally, when someone has the responsibility of a job, they're expected to be at a specific location at a specific time five days a week. They set appointments, meetings, and deadlines. Most importantly, there are consequences if these tasks are not completed, and there are people depending on them to get the job done.

Work can also provide a rare substance-free sanctuary with others to keep an eye on the recovering employee. While many would prefer anonymity at the office, they should weigh the idea sharing their progress with their boss, HR representative, or a few trusted colleagues. A few dependable co-workers can operate as an added line of defense in sobriety. In recovery, the more support a person has, the better his or her chances, and connecting with fellow employees can be beneficial for everyone involved.


Photo: Olaf van Veen // Project Dance via photopin (license)