One question many ask before going to treatment is whether or not they can keep their jobs after treatment. The decision to go to treatment is a challenging one and often, conflicts like separation from family, current employers, and financial hardships prevent some from making the crucial decision to go to treatment.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, all these areas are already being negatively affected by your addiction. Your employer may already suspect that you have an issue with substance abuse. If they do not, it is a smart idea to address the issue before it progresses to interfering with your employment.
We understand that you have concerns about seeking treatment, but you risk everything—including your job— if you do not seek treatment for your alcohol or drug problem. Your addiction has become unmanageable, and it is crucial you address it to sustain a healthy life.
Can I lose my job if my boss knows that I need treatment?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from being discriminated against because of a disability. People who struggle with the disease of alcoholism are considered to have a disability under ADA guidelines. However, the guidelines do get tricky. If your job performance declines because of your drinking, your employer has the right to terminate you because of poor work performance.
Actively using illegal drugs is not protected by the ADA. However, the act does protect someone who has gone through drug rehab and is not using or has a history of drug use but is in recovery. You employer has the right to test you for drugs, but they cannot ask about your history of addiction. Therefore, it is best to seek recovery and live a sober life to avoid failing a drug test and losing your job.
But will my job be held while I am getting treatment?
The ADA does provide guidelines to protect recovering addicts who seek treatment for drugs and alcohol. Your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations, such as allowing flexibility to attend AA/NA meetings or allowing a leave of absence to attend alcohol and drug rehab. The Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA can protect you while you seek treatment.
Still, some employers make it difficult to return to work after treatment. It is important you know your rights and the policies of your employer to hold them accountable. Furthermore, remember that seeking treatment should be your priority, and your life depends on living a sober, healthy life. Without treatment, your life may become unmanageable and eventually lead to termination regardless.
Won’t my career or skill set suffer if I leave for treatment?
Think about how much your addiction affects your ability to work. The reality is your career and abilities will likely improve through seeking treatment for your addiction. When you go to treatment, you begin at detox where your body is cleansed from alcohol and drugs and your health and cognitive function improve, making you sharper.
Addressing your addiction issues will make you a better employee. You will find that your productivity improves as well as your desire to work harder. You will now have newfound ambitions that do not involve figuring out how to obtain your D.O.C (drug of choice). Instead, you can use those strategies to improve in your profession.
How will I pay for bills and living expenses if I go to rehab?
Going to treatment can be a major expense on top of your bills and cost of living. However, there are a variety of ways to get around this. First, make sure to determine what your insurance covers regarding addiction treatment. Some insurance companies will cover a set amount of time in treatment with little out-of-pocket costs.
Furthermore, using accrued vacation time will help provide a paycheck while in treatment. If your employer offers short-term or long-term disability leave, you might be able to use it while in treatment. More importantly, rehab is a valuable investment that will change your life. If you do NOT go to treatment, you could lose your job due to termination, which would result in more financial strain.
Get the Help You Need
If you are afraid of losing your job or not having a job to come back to, rest assured there are a variety of ways to go about making sure this is not an issue. First, you have to make the decision to go to treatment and explore your options.
You are more likely to keep your job or get a better one after seeking help. You owe it to yourself, your employer and your family to recover from substance abuse, Call now. We want to help.