How Can People Stay Sober at Work While Others Struggle with Addiction?

How Can People Stay Sober at Work While Others Struggle with Addiction?

Staying sober on the job seems like a no-brainer, but for some people, getting drunk at work (or just after) is just part of the gig. There are people who consider themselves high-functioning, meaning they work and get things done while being addicted to drugs and alcohol at all times of day or night. Eventually, this lifestyle catches up to them. It can be hard to return to work with others who are not sober while you struggle in sobriety and recovery. Living a sober life can take your life and career to new heights, but it may be harder to do if colleagues are still addicted. 

Hospitality Industry

One of the more notoriously difficult places to work is hospitality with long hours and hot kitchen conditions. Leaders in hospitality acknowledge drug and alcohol use has gone on behind the scenes for years, but alcohol use is the most common for people who work in and around kitchens. It is a huge pitfall of the industry in that the jobs aren’t always glamorous or high-paying, but they are necessary to keep a restaurant or business going. While waiters, cooks, and bartenders are more likely to drink and use drugs, restaurant culture is shifting away from after-hours drinks to seeing how to support wait staff and others in the addiction recovery. 

Staying Sober at Work

In restaurant work, tech jobs, or anyplace else where others may be using drugs while you are sober, it is important to find what works best for you. If you can be around alcohol or drugs and not feel triggered at some point, then it may work out okay. However, some people experience crossover addictions because they have a hard time coping with work, stress, and life around drugs. Some key things to consider:

  • How long you have been sober
  • How often you feel triggered or have cravings at work
  • What is triggering the thoughts and feelings to use drugs or drink
  • How often you are going to recovery meetings, therapy, and getting help for mental health issues or other conditions

The main thing is to find a way to seek help for your recovery if you are struggling at work. It might mean changing positions, shifts where friends are not working, or other means of navigating the challenges. There are ways around keeping your job while staying sober but it might take some creativity to do it, along with rearranging of priorities to see how you can maintain recovery and stay sober.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.