How to Keep from Slipping if You Get Laid Off

Losing a job can be a stressful situation. The lack of financial security may lead to concerns about the future and how to pay the current bills. Stress can contribute to substance abuse because individuals may attempt to cope with stress by using drug or drinking alcohol.

Even though it can be a stressful situation, there are ways to reduce the risk of slipping into addiction or relapsing on a substance if you or a loved one loses a job.

Recognize the Facts

According to CNN, roughly 1 in 6 individuals, who are unemployed, have a substance use disorder.


There are a variety of reasons that may contribute to substance abuse after losing a job. The primary factor is the stress. An individual may attempt to reduce anxiety and fear with drugs or alcohol.


How to Keep from Slipping if You Get Laid Off

Along with the stress, there is also the possibility of feeling bored or inadequate. Without having a schedule in place, attempting to make life more exciting or trying to handle the emotions that are related to the loss of a job can contribute to substance abuse.

By understanding the facts and potential causes, it is possible to avoid the behavior. The National Institutes of Health states that unemployment is a risk factor for substance abuse. That does not mean that it is the only risk factor. There are ways to prevent substance abuse after losing a job.

Look for a New Job

Create a plan of action to find a new job and make it as fun or interesting as possible. If you or a loved one is constantly working on a project, it is less likely that you will feel bored or inadequate. Furthermore, the search for a job can be an interesting hobby that provides a purpose for your daily activities.

Do not give up just because a few employers have ignored your resume. Keep trying to get a new job. If you are able to get a job quickly, then the risk of substance abuse can drop off significantly.

Stay Away From Triggers

How to Keep from Slipping if You Get Laid Off

If you or a loved one has abused drugs or alcohol in the past, then stay away from situations that may enable the behavior.

Opt for behaviors that will help reduce stress or make a substance seem less appealing. For example, engage in yoga or exercise programs instead of turning to a substance for stress relief.

Stay Busy

Staying busy can help you avoid substance abuse and it ensures that you are actively engaged in an activity throughout the day. It is easier to remain positive about your chances of getting a new job or your goals if you are applying for jobs, handling the household chores, and taking the kids to school every day.

There are ways to avoid a relapse or substance abuse if you lose a job, but it is important to understand that you must take an active approach to reach your goals. Do not give up just because you have lost your job. Focus on the tasks that you can accomplish and keep a positive attitude about the situation.