Do Addiction Treatment Centers Help With Career Counseling?

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While some people enter an addiction treatment program with their career secure, others quit their jobs to get sober or are unemployed to start with. People who are able to get treatment while maintaining their careers are fortunate, but they may still need help working with FMLA and polishing their on-the-job skills. People who don’t have a job, on the other hand, are faced with the tedious task of sharpening their skills, developing their resume, and landing a new job while also navigating early recovery.

No matter your situation, your job or career is important to you, but it can also serve as a barrier to your recovery.

Addiction is a disease that impacts every aspect of your life, so effective treatment must address all areas of your life that require practical solutions. That’s why many addiction treatment centers offer career counseling and other vocational services.

What is Career Counseling?

Career counseling is a type of counseling or coaching that is designed to help you choose, change, or leave a career. Sessions are facilitated by a career counselor who can provide you with informational resources, career development guidance, and a wide range of additional vocational services. A career counselor can also outline and discuss potential career options with you and help you accomplish tasks that move you toward your career-related goals.

Less than half of Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs.[1] When you are dissatisfied with the work that you do or when you are under a lot of work-related stress, you could experience high levels of anxiety, depression, and burnout–all of which can impact your recovery and increase the risk for relapse. However, participating in career counseling during rehab is one way you can guarantee job satisfaction in the future.

How is Career Counseling Used in Addiction Treatment?

While in rehab, patients may have a wide variety of job-related needs that should be addressed. A skilled career counselor can wear many hats and provide you with the vocational assistance you need to be successful in finding a job or navigating your career in early recovery.

During career counseling, you may participate in the following workshops and interventions:

Job-Based Skills Training

Job-based skills training workshops exist to promote valuable life skills that will allow you to stand out as an employee. You may learn or improve skills such as computer use, interviewing tips, communication skills, team building, and academic skills. The more refined your skills are, the more attractive you will be to a prospective employer.

Time and Stress Management

Two valuable assets to have in your career are time management and stress management. If you are unable to manage your time efficiently, you will find yourself overstressed and unable to complete your tasks at work. However, if you can’t manage your stress on the job in a healthy way, your productivity could decrease and you could even resort back to using drugs or alcohol to cope. Participating in career counseling during addiction treatment can help you increase your time and stress management skills.

Career Assessment Tools

Whether you don’t know what career you’d like to pursue or you want to make a change but don’t know which way to go, career counseling can help. Your counselor can help you take a personality and career assessment that determines your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. The results from this assessment can help you determine which career paths are right for you.

Resume Building

Your resume is your future employer’s first impression of you, so it has to be good. However, many people don’t know how to write a good resume. If you’re like many people who struggle with addiction, you may also have intermittent gaps on your resume that don’t look so good. A career counselor can help you fill those gaps and build an excellent resume that attracts employers in your industry.

Other Vocational Resources

Other vocational services you may be offered during addiction treatment include:

  • Transportation to job fairs
  • Interview prep
  • Financial services
  • Case management to deal with FMLA and other legal matters

Why are Vocational Services Important for Patients in Addiction Treatment?

Whether you have a job during rehab or not, you can benefit from career counseling during addiction treatment. Examples of situations in which vocational services can benefit patients include:[2]

  • Identifying skills and strengths in people who have never held a job before
  • Filling resume gaps with meaningful information
  • Providing you with resources and connections (such as job fairs) that can connect you to work
  • Improving your ability to get a job after rehab so you can pay your bills and get back on your feet
  • Increasing your coping skills to deal with on-the-job stress so you can excel as an employee
  • Working with current or past employers to navigate legal circumstances
  • Helping you learn about and obtain proper attire for interviews and work
  • Finding job opportunities for people with pending drug charges or drug-related criminal history

Employment can also give you an opportunity to develop new social skills and make new friends who are functional members of society. These friends or co-workers can be a positive influence on your sobriety. In addition, studies have shown that employment helps reduce the risk and severity of relapse.[2]

Find an Addiction Treatment Center that Will Help You Find a Job After Rehab

There are many barriers to employment among people in recovery, but career counseling can help you break down these barriers and obtain a job that maximizes your skills and strengths.

At New Jersey Addiction Intervention, we are dedicated to helping clients and their families locate comprehensive treatment programs that provide the tools needed for long-term recovery. If your career is of concern, know that we can help you find an addiction treatment center that offers vocational services.

Don’t wait any longer to get the help you deserve. Call now to speak with a dedicated admissions specialist.



Medically Reviewed: April 14, 2022

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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