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If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Exploring the difficult feelings that arise when we’re unable to find work and finding hope for a new career and future.

One of our greatest challenges when in recovery can be finding a job, especially if we’ve lost our job because of our addictive patterns and our destructive choices and behaviors, or because of our need to take time off to go to rehab. When we’re having a hard time finding work, we feel incredible pressure to be able to provide for ourselves and our families. We feel bad about ourselves for defaulting on our responsibilities. We feel ashamed of ourselves, disappointed, and insecure. On top of that, the financial pressures of having to make ends meet can be overwhelming, to say the least. Many of us don’t have family or friends to help us. In addition to our addictions, we’re also battling joblessness, poverty, and homelessness. To escape the pain of everything we’re going through when we’re unable to find work, many of us go right back to our drugs of choice, sometimes because they’re familiar and comforting. When we’re feeling depressed or even suicidal, it can be tempting to turn to drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain and return to familiar feelings.

Many employers won’t hire us because of how much time we’ve had to take off from work, because of how many times we’ve been fired, or because of the long lapses in our job history. We might not be able to account for these things, and so they just deem us unreliable and unfit candidates. With others, we might feel it’s best to be honest, so we disclose our addiction history, hoping we’ll be given a chance, but employers find our addictions to be a liability, and they don’t want to risk hiring someone with a known addiction problem. We can feel totally defeated and disheartened. Whether we’re honest or not about our addictions, we still don’t have a job.

Fortunately for many of us, there are organizations, businesses, and employers that actively seek to hire people with histories of addiction and/or criminal records. They believe in giving people a second chance, not only at finding a job but at rebuilding their lives. Many of them are themselves recovering addicts or have a record. Some employers specifically hire recovering addicts because their experience with addiction relates to the job duties, informs the work they’re doing, and enhances their skills.

Lack of work can be a catalyst for relapse, and a huge contributor to our addictive patterns for many of us. Finding job opportunities can be a source of hope, optimism, and redemption for us. There is hope.

Your new life starts today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.