When people are able to escape the hold of addiction, it opens up the door to a whole new life with new opportunities, part of which includes re-entering the work force. After all, generating an income to support oneself is often a necessity. If you are recovering from an addiction, it is important to take the time to prepare yourself, understand your rights and know what your best options for employment can be.
The decision to disclose whether or not you are a recovering addict in a job interview is a personal one. It may be liberating to start employment with a clean and honest slate. In fact, it is not recommended that you lie during an interview as it may later come back to bite you. However, as a former addict, you should also be aware of your rights, so you’re protected against any discrimination. Most individuals who suffer, or are recovering, from substance abuse disorder may be regarded as having a disability under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), meaning you are protected from discrimination.
Resources to help you find work
If your addiction resulted in you receiving a criminal record, there are agencies that can help you find work now that you are in recovery. The HIRE network and America in Recovery both have job listings and resume submission services for those who are in recovery and have criminal records. They can also assist with legal questions and refer individuals to other useful governmental and community based organizations, all with the goal of helping individuals with criminal records get back into employment.
Finding the right job
Being in recovery can be a critical time at first. It is important to look for jobs that have a low level of stress, keep you away from temptation and surround you with supportive individuals. A job that comes with some structure and allows for future growth within a company can provide great incentive and focus for a recovering addict. If finances allow, ease back into the work force by volunteering – this lets you work to your own schedule. Finally, if you have a particular skill, freelancing is a great option, allowing you to find work online, at your own pace.
There are many people in recovery who are now a successful part of the workforce. If they can do it, so can you! With focus, a good work ethic and dedication to sobriety, a new horizon awaits for you.