Risks of Working From Home and Addiction

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Individuals inherently have different personalities, preferences and characteristics. For example, there are some people that are largely extraverted (outgoing and socially confident), while others may be more introverted. Another example: some individuals may thrive in a work-from-home environment, while others may not. Specifically, individuals that struggle with substance abuse and/ or addiction and are required to work from home may find themselves in a precarious situation. Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by habitually engaging in rewarding stimuli without regard for consequence. Every person is different and will have nuanced needs when it comes to substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment. The greatest risk of working from home for an individual struggling with addiction is relapse (returning to substance use after a period of sobriety). Each individual has a unique set of triggers and varied temptations as they relate to substance abuse. 

Challenges

Though the specific challenges associated with working from home and struggling with addiction are variable there are several common challenges of which to be mindful, that could include the following:

  • Accountability: when working from home, there are no co-workers psychically present with whom to be accountable. 
  • Distractions: when working from home there are countless distractions (e.g. dirty laundry, meal preparation, television, etc.) that can pull one away from one’s employment responsibilities and carrying out the task at hand. 
  • Personal hygiene: when working from home there is not necessarily an urgent need to upkeep daily, healthy hygiene practices (e.g. brushing teeth, showering, getting dressed, etc.), which contribute to a lack of motivation.
  • Work-life balance and boundary issues: when working from home, the typical work-hours (e.g. 9am to 5pm) can fall by the wayside and without the geographical boundary that innately comes when working outside of the home, one’s work-life balance can quickly become skewed. 

For many individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder, the home environment is riddled with triggers and substance abuse temptations. Substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs work with individuals to develop and implement healthy coping mechanisms as well as provide useful tools and techniques to support long-term recovery and aid in relapse prevention. In order to remain sober while working from home, it is imperative to adhere to one’s aftercare plan, and if need be to modify the plan so as to account for the change in employment setting. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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