Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

Understanding Work Stress and Addiction

Jump to Section

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the separation between work and home has become more blurred than ever before. Based on average work weeks, it is not out of the realm of possibility that most people will spend one-third of their lives working. Thus, it is not surprising that work stress remains a serious issue in the U.S. This is especially true with work stress and addiction.

Coming to Terms With Work Stress

Many people are unaware that they are struggling with work stress. This is because an intense work ethos has long permeated the landscape of working in the U.S. When someone is feeling burnt out, they may simply feel that this must be the status quo.

Then other people are unwilling to accept that they are struggling with work stress. This is because a work ethic in the U.S. has become intermingled with being “overworked.” So when someone is feeling burnt out in this scenario, they feel that to admit it would be a sign of weakness. This is dangerous and can lead to people dealing with work stress in unhealthy ways, such as self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol. So being able to recognize work stress is essential.

Recognizing Work Stress

Work stress can manifest itself in many different ways. It can show up in the form of sleeplessness or sleeping too much for example. There are also many different other ways to recognize work stress. The following are just a few examples:

  • Not being able to relax outside of work hours
  • Becoming argumentative in even small situations
  • Having trouble communicating work needs
  • Taking on too much but not saying anything
  • Feeling overly anxious and nervous
  • Associating a “sense of dread” with the workplace
  • Feeling depressed
  • Excessively using drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism

It is this last example that can be particularly dangerous. This is because it can lead to issues of addiction.

Understanding Work Stress and Addiction

Work stress and addiction are unfortunately not uncommon bedfellows. Many people turn to alcohol and/or substances as a means of “managing” work stress. The truth is that this may even “work” for a while. However, it is only a temporary fix, and for many people, it can lead to much more serious issues of addiction.

Many people also often find themselves immersed in a work culture that promotes alcohol and substance use as a means to manage work stress. This can be particularly dangerous because it “normalizes” these negative behaviors and coping mechanisms. It also makes it more difficult for someone to come forward when they discover that they have a problem. The good news is that there are ways to address addiction safely and successfully in the workplace.

The first thing one should do when they are struggling with work stress and addiction is to tell someone. Many people fear this prospect because they are worried that it may affect their status in the workplace. This is rarely the case. Also, it is important to remember that it is illegal to discriminate against someone struggling with addiction in the workplace. Many workplaces also have specific protocols when someone comes to them with a problem, which may include providing covered addiction and mental health care.

Managing Work Stress Safely and Successfully

There are also many healthy ways to handle work stress that can help an individual manage work stress to avoid potential addiction or post-addiction treatment. The following are just a few of those healthy options:

  • Don’t take work home and avoid interacting with work outside of business hours
  • Utilize breathing exercises and other holistic methods like yoga
  • Take up or pick up an old hobby
  • Maintain a healthy and satisfying diet
  • Take on less work if feeling overwhelmed
  • Communicate and ask for help
  • See a therapist if feeling anxious or depressed
  • Take a “mental health day”
  • Of course, avoid self-medicating with alcohol or substances

Taking these wholly accessible steps can help to ensure that one-third of our lives are spent safely and securely. It will also help us enjoy the other two-thirds.

Healing From Work Stress and Addiction With Lantana Recovery

The iconic American author Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Here at Lantana Recovery, we believe in reconnecting with our authentic selves and healing at the cellular level. This includes healing in all aspects of our lives, including from the stress that we may deal with at work.

Yes, working is a part of life, but it should never be our whole lives. Life is short – too short to spend it stressed out and numbed with alcohol or substances. There is an easier softer way, which is what we offer at Lantana Recovery.

Work stress can be very damaging. This is especially true if someone is using drugs and/or alcohol as coping mechanisms for the stress. Dealing with work stress with substances can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD) and/or (SUD). The good news is that there are healthy and successful ways to manage work stress, including taking a “mental health day,” adopting a lighter workload, and talking to HR or a coworker about feeling stressed out. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help. For more issues about recovering from work stress and addiction, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

Related Articles
Addiction Treatment
Contact Form
We’re here to help you or your loved one on their path to sobriety

Chat with us.

Reach out now and join our supportive community

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.