How to Find a Job in Recovery

How to Find a Job in Recovery

You can pursue a job in recovery by knowing your rights

Recovery is the beginning of a new life, and thriving after you leave addiction treatment can be simple if you have the right support. You can pursue a job in recovery by knowing your rights, getting the skills and experience necessary to work and by getting clean.

Know Your Rights in Recovery

The following different civil rights acts protect recovering drug users with mental health concerns:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Fair Housing Act
  • Workforce Investment Act

The definition of “disability” depends on whether or not a person’s current mental or physical health limits her ability to live and work, and disability is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that “substance use disorders [can and do] substantially limit the individual’s major life activities. For this reason, many courts have found that individuals experiencing or who are in recovery from these conditions are individuals with a ‘disability’ protected by Federal law” (“Are You in Recovery from Drug or Alcohol Problems?”). So, when you begin your job search, know that you are protected against being treated or seen less favorably because of your past drug use.

Get Experience Working in Addiction Recovery

Although companies cannot discriminate against you based on your history of substance abuse, they can pass on you due to inexperience or an inability to work. If you do not have recent employment history, then you should volunteer time to gain positive references and experience. Take classes to add to or refresh your existing skills, or you can begin a new line of work by attending trade school. Communities often offer free classes on how to write resumes, apply for jobs and present yourself in interviews. Take advantage of any or all of these offerings to aid your job search.

Stay Clean

Although many laws protect recovering addicts, no laws protect active drug users. Employers can require drug tests at the time of hiring, and they can require regular or random testing during employment. Even if you are actively engaged in a recovery program, a failed drug test can lead to a rejected application or immediate firing. Finding and keeping a job is one of many reasons to continue participating in recovery.

Get Clean

If you have yet to begin your recovery, or if you have faced setbacks in your recovery, then get clean before you begin searching for a job. Many rehab centers offer outreach and aftercare programs to help participants find work after treatment ends, but patients have to find recovery first. If you are ready to pursue a career, find good health and achieve recovery, then call us today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to connect you with the resources for long-term recovery, and all phone services are confidential. Do not let addiction hold you back; call now for instant help.