Are You a CO in Recovery? Here’s How to Avoid Relapse at Work

October 16th-21st is National Drug-Free Work Week. For correctional officers who have gone through treatment for a substance use disorder and returned to work, the focus is on sustaining the hard work done in recovery and staying drug-free.

Are you at risk of relapse on the job? Here’s what you need to know:

· Drugs and alcohol are deadly. A roller coaster of attempted sobriety followed by binges then attempted moderation and a return to attempted sobriety indicates a serious issue with substance abuse. The risks are emotional, mental, and physical, and ignoring the problem will not alleviate these risks. If you find you are struggling with relapse despite attempting to stay sober, don’t give up. You can do this.

· Accountability is key. One of the ways you can help yourself is to hold yourself accountable and to ask someone you trust to help. Whether this means agreeing to do drug tests at home, sharing your intentions to stay sober with your closest friends, or connecting with a therapist who can assist you, make sure you are surrounded by people who are going to help you uphold your commitment to yourself.

· Talking helps. Being a correctional officer is difficult. It comes with constant stress and fatigue, and if this is driving your use of drugs and alcohol, talking to a professional therapist who can assist you is key.

· Trauma requires treatment. Exposure to trauma on the job as a correctional officer may happen incrementally and repeatedly over time, or it may occur as an acute and significant event — or both. An extended or intrusive response to that trauma can be treated, and if your use of drugs and alcohol is related to this trauma, treatment is recommended sooner rather than later.

· Treatment is necessary. No matter what the cause, if you find that you are unable to stay sober due to exposure to drugs in the workplace, coworkers who regularly drink and get high, or ongoing stress at work, then the time to connect with treatment is now.

When Relapse Persists

In some cases, relapse is part of long-term recovery; it does not have to mean the end of recovery. If you find you are unable to stay sober for the long-term and that relapse is a common occurrence for you, it may be time to consider a return to treatment.

At American Addiction Centers, we offer the First Responder Lifeline Program, a highly rated treatment program designed to help correctional officers learn how to get and stay sober. The program’s scope includes not only addiction treatment but also the treatment of co-occurring mental health issues, especially as related to trauma experienced on the job. We offer:

· A thorough evaluation and assessment process at the outset of treatment

· A unique treatment plan based on the results of that assessment

· The support of a treatment team trained in issues relevant to first responders

· Long-term care and support that includes EAP/MAP interaction and reintegration assistance

What do you need to avoid relapse at work? How can you begin to make sobriety a natural and normal part of your life? Contact us at American Addiction Centers now 1–844–646–4COS(267) to learn more about the First Responder Lifeline Program and connect with treatment services that can help you to change your life.

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