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How Can Relapse Affect My Work Performance and Success?

How Can Relapse Affect My Work Performance and Success?

Whether you have a mental illness or a substance use disorder (SUD), relapse typically involves reverting back to behaviors you have been working to overcome while in treatment. Many equate relapse as failure, when it is really a true indicator that something in treatment needs to be altered or reinforced. Relapse can tell us a lot, such as: what still triggers us, what we need to do next time to prevent relapse, what we need to do more of, and so forth. For business professionals, relapse can certainly have a major impact on not only their personal life but in their business pursuits – jeopardizing their success in this realm.

A 2017 review published in the journal Social Work identified several workplace barriers to recovery, which can make a professional more susceptible to relapse:

  • Not enough education and support in the workplace environment means that executives and employees alike are unaware of any needs that could combat substance abuse problems in the workplace
  • Workplace policies may not adequately support the recovery of those with SUDs, and management that is not equipped to deal with these situations may not be able to consider alternatives to helping someone with an SUD
  • Specialized treatment services may not be known by managers and employees, making it difficult for seamless transitions between the workplace and recovery treatment centers

Ultimately, relapse may cause a professional to miss work, show up late, decrease their productivity levels, miss deadlines, engage in misconduct, and more. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that while relapse may certainly be considered an issue from a risk-management perspective, support is most crucial not only to retaining employees, but also in supporting an individual’s recovery. Collaborative care between professionals and employers in terms of recovery could include a few things, such as:

  • Measuring progress
  • Making referrals to services available
  • Increasing a person’s motivation to change
  • Providing consistent feedback
  • Observing staff
  • Requiring accountability

Relapse does not discriminate, so no matter your position, it’s important that you continue making major strides towards your recovery. Your are not alone in this. Your personal and professional life depends on the restoration of your mind, body, and spirit.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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