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Work-Related Stress and Alcohol TreatmentThe typical stresses and pressures experienced by many people within the context of their daily work can present a significant challenge to their ongoing sobriety. Beyond the need for financial security, work is closely connected to people’s sense of purpose, identity, and even community. Successful alcohol treatment must take into account the following potential stressors in order to prevent relapse:

  • Financial problems stemming from lost wages create significant angst.
  • Workplace competition and advancement can cause stress and contribute to a fear of time spent in rehab.
  • Insensitive bosses can trigger feelings of panic, insult, or danger through their treatment of recovering employees.
  • After-hours drinking is a common custom among many workplace communities.
  • High stress jobs, such as law enforcement, first responders, medical professionals, and high-stakes business management positions, can create heightened stress for recovering alcoholics.
  • For a recovering addict who has lost a job due to previous alcohol abuse, finding new work can be very difficult and stressful.

Most people have to work. Without steady employment, they are likely to fall behind on their bills and may wrestle with identity issues and depression. These are all potential relapse triggers of which to be mindful.

Psychological Addiction and Stress Tolerance

The brain manages the following critical psychological functions through complex chemical signals and responses in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain:

  • Stress response
  • Panic
  • The formation and recollection of memories
  • Emotional health
  • The formation of habits and ritual behaviors
  • Impulse control

The alcoholic brain builds neural pathways designed to reinforce the behavior (drinking) that provides relief from underlying emotional distress. The resulting habits function in a part of the brain that is much more powerful in the direction of behaviors than conscious thought. Effective recovery depends on the addict’s willingness to reprogram those neural pathways by establishing new rewarding behaviors and the recovery program’s ability to help that to happen.

Reducing Work-Related Stress through Residential Treatment

Residential treatment programs offer the recovering alcoholic the opportunity to focus all of his or her energy and attention on the healing process without the distractions or stresses of work and career. The psychological power of alcoholism causes many people to avoid inpatient treatment due to concerns about work. They think they can’t afford treatment, can’t afford to take time off, and may lose their job if they were to enter rehab. The truth is that most workplaces are extremely accommodating when it comes to addiction recovery. Employers largely realize that a sober employee is far more profitable than one who is dependent on drugs or alcohol. The cost of treatment and time off is more than made up for by the value of having a healthy workforce.

Relapse Prevention and Aftercare

Work-related stress is a driver of alcohol abuse and a stumbling block to recovery. If you would like more information about relapse prevention, rehab aftercare, or how to manage professional pressures without self-medicating via alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators can answer all of your questions and can help you navigate the complicated world of recovery and its many treatment options. The call is confidential and free, so you have nothing to lose. Call today and let us help you find the treatment best suited to meet your individual needs.