Asking for a lengthy period of time away from work is never easy, but it's especially intimidating if you need the time off for detox. You may wonder if it's possible to continue working while you complete detox on an outpatient basis. In this post, we'll take a closer look at detox and discuss the challenges of maintaining a typical work schedule while undergoing detox.
The Detox Process
The primary goal of detox is to allow you to safely stop using your substance of abuse. During the detox process, your body rids itself of any chemical toxins that built up through continued drug or alcohol abuse.
Detox may be completed on an outpatient basis with regular check-ins with treatment professionals but the flexibility to live at home throughout the process. Outpatient detox works best when you have a stable home environment and a reliable support system—if you don't have these advantages, you may fare better in an inpatient program, where you have 24-hour support and monitoring.
The right treatment setting for you will depend on a number of factors, including the substance of abuse, your home environment and the severity of your dependence.
Detox and Your Job
While outpatient detox can be a good choice for people with personal obligations that require them to remain at home throughout treatment, it may not be realistic to try to keep up a full work schedule while you're detoxing. The withdrawal experience is different for every person—some people will only deal with minor discomfort, while others may experience more intense symptoms.
Medications are available to reduce cravings and alleviate your withdrawal symptoms, but you may not feel up to working on certain days. It's important to enter outpatient detox with a flexible mindset and be prepared to scale back a bit at work if needed.
Making It Work
It's possible to keep up with at least some of your work responsibilities while you're completing outpatient detox. If you have the ability to work from home during this time, this could be an effective way to maintain a presence at work while still focusing as much energy as possible on your recovery.
People who are self-employed or who do freelance work may have an easier time adjusting their work schedule to accommodate the demands of their detox program. Don't neglect your self-care while you juggle work and detox—be sure you continue to eat right, get enough sleep at night and manage your stress levels during this challenging time.
Taking time off or scaling back on your work commitments can be difficult, but addiction is a chronic disease, and it may stand in the way of your long-term professional success unless you get the treatment you need. By choosing a detox program that takes your privacy seriously and addressing a substance abuse problem before it damages your career, you're giving yourself the best chance for a healthy, successful future.