Workplace Wellness: Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Addiction Recovery

By |Published On: December 12th, 2023|

Deena Cohen, MPA, CADC, CTTS, WTS
Director of Community Programs, GoMo Health

Deena Cohen

The term recovery-friendly or recovery-ready workplace has been gaining popularity as employers and organizations look to address the ongoing mental health and addiction crisis in the U.S. Creating a workplace that is psychologically safe and recovery-friendly is a key driver in building a resilient and empowered team of employees. There are many workplace benefits to fostering this supportive and inclusive culture, including the physical and mental health resiliency employees in recovery will showcase. A recovery-friendly workplace is a strategic investment in the collective well-being and productivity of the entire team. 

Recovery can have a wide range of physical and mental effects on individuals. It’s important to note that these effects can vary depending on the individual’s history of substance use, the duration and intensity of substance use, and other factors including overall health, genetics, and support systems. Here are some common physical and mental effects of recovery: 

Physical Effects: 

  1. Improved Health: Recovery often leads to improved physical health. When an individual stops using alcohol or drugs, the body can start to repair itself. This can lead to better organ function, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of various diseases. 
  2. Better Sleep: Substance use can disrupt sleep patterns. Recovery can result in improved sleep quality and duration, leading to increased energy levels and better overall functioning. 
  3. Weight Management: Many substances, especially alcohol, are high in calories. Recovery can lead to better dietary choices and weight management. 
  4. Enhanced Immune System: Substance use can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses. Recovery can strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of infections. 
  5. Improved Appearance: Substance use can cause skin problems and weight fluctuations. Recovery can lead to healthier skin, improved complexion, and a healthier weight. 

Mental Effects: 

  1. Clarity and Focus: Recovery often results in improved mental clarity and concentration. Without the fog of substance use, individuals can think more clearly and focus on tasks and goals. 
  2. Stability: Substance use can lead to mood swings and emotional instability. Recovery can result in emotional stability, making it easier to manage stress and cope with life’s challenges. 
  3. Enhanced Emotional Well-being: Recovery can lead to improved emotional well-being, including increased happiness, reduced anxiety, and a greater sense of self-esteem and self-worth. 
  4. Improved Relationships: Recovery can repair damaged relationships. Clear communication and emotional stability often lead to healthier interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. 
  5. Better Coping Skills: Recovery encourages the development of healthier coping mechanisms, such as exercise, therapy, meditation, and hobbies – helping people manage stress and negative emotions. 
  6. Increased Self-Awareness: Recovery allows individuals to confront and address underlying issues that may have contributed to substance use. This self-reflection can lead to personal growth and a better understanding of oneself. 
  7. Reduced Risk of Mental Health Disorders: Substance use can exacerbate or contribute to mental health disorders. Recovery can reduce the risk of developing or worsening conditions like depression, anxiety, and psychosis. 

A healthy workforce – both physically and mentally – is key to a company’s success. Employees who are healthier take fewer sick days, are more productive, have an increased retention rate and significantly lower healthcare costs and insurance premiums, benefiting both the employer and employee. 

Supporting employees through the recovery process and viewing happy and healthy employees as an asset to the organization will positively impact an organization’s bottom line and help employers attract and retain top talent. 

To learn more about the benefits of a recovery-ready workplace and how to create a workforce of happier, healthier employees, view our latest case study booklet.

Case Study Booklet
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