Jobs That Recovering Addicts Should Say Away From

BartendingSo you’ve gone through a drug or alcohol rehab program, and you’re out. Well done! You’ve taken the first, big step to get your life back on track. You may have been away from home and work for several months, however. Unfortunately, you may not even have the same job available when you get out as you had when you went in. If so, getting a new job is an important part of bringing stability to a post-recovery life. Is just any old job going to cut it, though?

The answer is no. For a recovering addict, not all jobs are created equal. Some are definitely more dangerous for the recovering addict than others. In order to get the facts about which jobs these are, here is a list of several jobs that recovering addicts should stay away from.

1. Bartender

One job that many adults can enter with a bit of training is working as a bartender. The pay can be very good when you take tips into account, even if the hours are a bit rough. For recovering addicts, however, working as a bartender simply isn’t a good idea.

Not only would you be simply surrounded by a legal drug—alcohol—you’re also surrounded by people that are drinking it. It could be very difficult to continue to abstain from drinking yourself when you are providing it and watching others use it as a matter of your everyday work. And what’s worse is that many will ignore the dangers of alcohol (and new ways of use including vaporizing alcohol) as well as risks, passing it off as a legal vice after treatment.

2. Working in a Pharmacy

Pharmacists are trained not to take the drugs they have around them and available to them (that would be extremely unethical, of course), but for some, the temptation is simply too great. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing segment of drug abuse in the United States, and many of these drugs are purchased legally at the local pharmacy.

It’s not just pharmacists that could be at danger, however. The other workers in a pharmacy can be at risk simply by being around this many powerful painkillers. Maybe a pharmacist accidentally leaves a door unlocked, or maybe the urge to try to bribe someone gets too strong. For a recovering addict, trying to get a job at a pharmacy isn’t a great idea.

3. Hospital Worker

A similarly dangerous job for a recovering addict is that of a hospital worker. While becoming a doctor or a nurse takes years of college, there are plenty of other jobs available to technicians, office staff and janitors. Getting one of these jobs, however, puts you into close proximity to a number of powerful drugs. Just like working in a pharmacy, the temptation could be great to try to steal some or get the drugs another way. Not only could this lead to a relapse, it’s a surefire way to lose your job or even go to jail.

4. Working in a Weed Shop

Medical marijuana dispensaries are a growing industry in California and other states that have passed laws legalizing the drug or decriminalizing it to some degree. Getting one of these jobs could seem appealing to a recovering addict, but it’s a terrible idea, and that much should be obvious to anyone trying to stay off drugs.

While marijuana itself doesn’t kill drug addicts, putting yourself into that environment could lead to using other drugs again or putting yourself into contact with drug users. Staying out of those circles is important for recovering addicts, because just being around other drug users can cue the cravings to being your own drug use again.