Early recovery is a very challenging time for a number of reasons. Not only are you adjusting to an entirely new way of life, but you are essentially starting from scratch while scrambling to pick up whatever pieces of your life still remain. Active addiction does quite a number on everyone involved. By the end of your run, you will likely have little energy for anything other than going to treatment and staying sober day-to-day. The good news is, for the first six months of your sobriety (give or take), this is all you will be responsible for. You will begin with a medical detox program – much like that provided by Chapel Hill Detox. Medical detox will last for between one and two weeks, depending on the unique medical and clinical needs of each individual client. This is a necessary first stage of every program of recovery, during which clients work towards physical stabilization as they detox from their substance of choice. Once a client has been deemed physically stabilized, he or she transfers into an inpatient treatment program, which is also known as residential care or drug and alcohol rehab. This stage of the recovery process is the most intensive and involved, and typically lasts for between three and six months – depending on the severity of the substance abuse disorder. During inpatient treatment, clients will undergo intensive therapy, 12-step program immersion and life skills training, and they will begin developing the coping mechanisms they need to stay sober for years to come.
Once inpatient treatment is complete, the client will generally transfer into a sober living home and continue on with clinical care in an outpatient treatment setting. Intensive outpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment, provides continued one-on-one and group therapy and provides a safe and supportive environment in which clients can work through the real life recovery-related challenges that they are facing. During this stage of the recovery process, vocational training will typically begin. Vocational training helps clients find an appropriate career, apply for the job they want and maintain the job long-term.
Benefits of Working in Addiction Recovery
You might be thinking to yourself, “If I have to focus all of my attention on my sobriety and prioritize my recovery, how will I have time to get anything else done?” Life is all about balance, and considering the fact that recovery is a lifelong process, it is better to get acquainted with balance sooner rather than later. Yes, recovery should remain your number one priority. But this does not mean that it will be your only priority, and that you have to dedicate all of your time and attention to staying sober. Over time, you will develop your own personal recovery routine – you will find out what works for you, and what it takes to stay sober day-to-day. This might look like meeting with an individual therapist once a week, going to a 12-step meeting every day and waking up in time for an 8 a.m. yoga class. This might look like going for a jog on the beach and meditating for 20 minutes, making five 12-step meetings every week and actively working through your stepwork with a sponsor. The point is, while recovery does need to remain your top priority, it does not need to take up every waking moment of your life. You will have time for other things. Part of the beauty of addiction recovery is your newfound ability to get to know yourself on a deep and authentic level. You will learn what you like and what you dislike, what your passions are and what goals you want to pursue. This will allow you to look into a career that has the potential for longevity and that is consistently fulfilling. Before we got sober, we struggled to make it to work on time, showed up intoxicated and got fired again and again. We worked jobs that pay the bills, but that didn’t bring any more to the table than that. While it is a good idea to find a mellow job to begin with, there is no reason why you can’t begin working towards your personal goals the moment you get out of inpatient rehab.
There are many benefits to getting a job in early recovery, including:
- Working towards financial independence
- Building self-esteem and a sense of self-worth
- Providing a built-in social circle
- Further honing communication skills
- Learning how to effectively deal with high stress situations without the use of drugs or alcohol
Most inpatient treatment centers will help with vocational training, meaning that they will help clients find a job and teach them the skills they need to build a resume and interview effectively. At Chapel Hill detox, we work closely with many intensive outpatient programs that put a strong emphasis on vocational training, and we are happy to point our clients in the right direction. We focus on thorough aftercare planning, meaning that we work hard to prepare each one of our individual clients for the road ahead by placing them in the next appropriate level of clinical care.
Developing a Schedule for Success
Getting a job also helps with scheduling and structure. As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings.” This essentially means that when people are bored or have nothing to do, they are more inclined to fill their free time up with negative behavioral patterns than positive or beneficial ones. When it comes to early recovery, the saying rings particularly true. When we first get sober, it takes a while to adjust to not immediately reaching for chemical substances when we feel a little bored or restless. We need to train ourselves to do other things, like pick up a book, start in on a craft or art project or take a walk around the block. Having some kind of structured routine in place is very important, because early recovery is a vulnerable time and rates of relapse tend to be higher than they are during any other stage of the recovery process. Getting a job automatically structures the week. Doing so will also help you develop a stronger sense of self-discipline, and as you continue to show up to work on time (and not drunk or high off your rocker), you will slowly build up a stronger sense of self-esteem. Most of us feel pretty badly about how we performed in every aspect of our lives while we were active in our addictions. Not only did we struggle to show up to work at all, but we consistently let people down and often pretended like we didn’t care. Of course, deep down we did care. It feels good to do good.
Chapel Hill Detox
At Chapel Hill Detox we offer a safe withdrawal experience and a luxury style setting, complete with around the clock medical care and a thorough introduction to the remainder of the recovery process. While medical detox is the first step of every single journey of addiction recovery, it is never a standalone solution for substance abuse or dependence. In order to be effective long-term, detox must be followed up by a more intensive program of clinical care. For this reason, we offer rehab placement services to each of our clients, helping them plan for the road ahead. For more information on our detox program or to learn more about the benefits that go hand-in-hand with working in early recovery, feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.