Stress at Work as a Contributing Factor to Addiction

Stress is one of the key triggers when it comes to a person’s addiction and often times a person’s work is where they have the most stress. When it comes to addiction, many people don’t realize that the alcohol and the drugs are only a symptom of the problem. Those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol have a difficult time dealing with life on life’s terms. One may believe that their job or career is the main problem, but they find their problem follows them at whatever new job they get. This happens because the person doesn’t know how to properly handle stress, which is why treatment is so beneficial.

Stressful Jobs Can Lead to Addiction

From the time we’re young and in school, we are taught that the goal is to get a great job we love and to support ourselves as well as our families. Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we had always imagined. There are times where people get the high-paying job they’re looking for, but they don’t like what they’re doing. There are also situations where the person gets their dream job that pays them what they’re looking for, but maybe they can’t handle the pressure and goals that are put upon them by their bosses. This leads to stress, anxiety and sometimes depression. Self-medicating these issues with alcohol or drugs can turn into a dependence, which only makes the situation worse.

Many people in the service industry become addicted to drugs or alcohol when they focus heavily on pleasing others. Someone who will go above and beyond to help others often puts the best interest of someone else before themselves. In any service industry, it’s common to get an assortment of upset customers and some employees take this very personally. This can lead to a person’s self-worth being hurt, and these feelings can follow the person home once they clock out. The idea one may have that they can make everyone at work happy can leave a person feeling helpless and powerless, so easing stress through self-medication may eventually feed into addiction.

Work After Addiction Treatment

One of the common mistakes people make after treatment is believe a job or income is going to keep them sober. In treatment, people learn that their problem with substances are only part of the problem, and it’s important to carry this knowledge with oneself after treatment. The issue many people run into is believing that their work and making money is going to keep him or her sober, but this doesn’t work when the job is what was fueling the person’s addiction.

During and after treatment, it’s important for a person to take a step back and decide if it’s a good idea to switch careers or even take a break from work to continue to strengthen their recovery. Going back to work too soon can make a person take steps backwards in their recovery especially if work was one of the major factors leading to their development of addiction in the first place. Many people with a drug or alcohol addiction can swap their addiction with work and become workaholics. The best way to continue one’s sobriety is to find the balance between work and recovery so he or she can prevent relapse when the inevitable stress of work arises again.