Successful recovery usually requires you to make some changes in your life. It’s hard to stay sober when you have unhealthy habits, toxic friends, or a lot of stress. One major source of stress for many people is their job. Although it’s not realistic to expect any job to be completely free of stress, boredom, and irritation, some jobs are worse than others. If your job is a major source of stress and anxiety, you might consider finding something else.
Jobs with high stress and long hours are highly correlated with addiction. Law and finance are especially bad. Lawyers have an extremely high rate of suicide and depression. Financial instability makes it even worse. This is typical of sales, which, in addition to volatile income, also may involve a lot of travel.
Some jobs are inherently stressful. For example, jobs in the medical field are notorious for wearing people down. Nurses, doctors, and other staff have too many patients and too little time. They spend their days caring for the sick and dying, who sometimes show very little appreciation. They know their mistakes can be fatal. It’s a lot of pressure on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many different jobs in the medical field. If the stress of caring for patients makes you feel tempted to relapse, there are many less stressful roles where your experience can be a huge advantage.
Other jobs are dangerous or physically demanding. Mining, timbering, fishing, and construction are jobs that often require workers to be away from home for weeks at a time. They may have to work through soreness and injuries. Many of these jobs are becoming scarce, adding an additional stress of financial insecurity. As a result, misuse of alcohol and other substances is common in these kinds of jobs. If your work is dangerous and takes you away from your family and support network, a change may be good for you.
Whether you decide to change jobs depends on your situation. In some areas, jobs are hard to find. Most people are understandably reluctant to give up a well-paying job, even if it is stressful. Sometimes you just have to make do by managing your stress and taking extra precautions against triggers. If that doesn’t work, you may have to reassess your priorities. Maybe you could live in a cheaper house or take more modest holidays so you can have more flexibility to change jobs. Remember that if you can’t stay sober, the job will eventually suffer anyway. If you do have to sacrifice some income in the short term to stay sober, it could open new possibilities for the future.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centres in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 23, 2020