With all the focus on helping employees enter treatment, it's important to remember that rehab is jus the first step.  Helping employees re-enter in the workplace after treatment can be just as challenging, and it's just a s important for long-term sobriety.

Returning to work is a critical par of recovery for many former addicts.  Work provides a structured routine, stimulates the mind, and offers opportunities for socialization and positive interactions in a safe, supportive and controlled environment.  You are not alone.

Many substance abuse treatment programs offer online resources to help employers understand the best ways to support their employees.

"Working puts the brain to use in more constructive ways.  The addict is busy problem solving, communication, and being creative, which helps to establish new patterns of thinking.  Work builds new skills and helps and individual in recovery expand on his or her potential in ways never before imagined.

Returning to work after rehab won't be all sunshine and rainbows, either.  From dealing with the office rumor mill to responding to a relapse, keep the following guidelines in mind for supporting employees in their return to work.

Remember that neither you (as the supervisor) nor your returning employee owes anyone else an explanation forl your employee's absence or past behaviors.  The ADA protects employees from being fired for poor performance due to substance abuse, as long as the employee has chosen to enter treatment.  Your company may also have specific policies in place for dealing with this tough situation. No matter what, your employee deserves to be treated with respect.  If he or she is not ready to talk about their recovery, respect this desire for privacy.

Some individuals in recovery end up substituting on addiction for another.  Alchoholism or  drug abuse can morph into workaholism. 

It is not your job to be your employee's sponsor, therapist, or best friend.  You and your staff may benefit from taling with an addiction specialist or therapist who can answer questions about recovery and how best support your employee during this process. 

This information provided by Bryan Huges on Business.com