This question is not a straight forward one to answer, but research shows that people who receive treatment for addiction are more likely to keep their jobs or find a better one. Many individuals avoid getting treatment for substance abuse because they are afraid that doing so could hurt their career or their chances of getting hired in the future. In reality, however, they could be doing themselves more of a disservice by not seeking the help they need.
If you or a loved one are worried about losing your job by entering a treatment program, it’s critical to understand that your decision to get help is protected by laws and acts intended to provide job security. By entering treatment and getting sober, you are likely to enhance your career opportunities and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Discussing Rehab With Your Employer
You may not realize it, but addiction may be affecting your work performance. You might be neglecting certain responsibilities, skipping shifts, or finding yourself unable to concentrate. When it comes to letting an employer know about your decision to get treatment for addiction, you should stress the importance of this step and that you are prepared to do what it takes to get help and reclaim your life.
Consider the following tips:
- Be as transparent as possible about your motivation to seek treatment.
- The more open and honest you are about your circumstances, the more your employer can assist you in the process.
- Make sure to take care of work projects and tie up any loose ends and coordinate with your boss and coworkers to attend to tasks while you’re gone.
- Let your coworkers know that you are taking a leave of absence. You don’t have to tell them why—you are entitled to privacy for any health-related concerns.
What Protections Am I Provided With at Work?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people in recovery from addiction from being discriminated against in the workplace. What this means is that your employer can’t terminate you based on your decision to undergo rehab. If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against at work after opting to get treatment, you may file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Also, for those who qualify, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave due to specific medical reasons within a 12-month period. This act includes the ability to receive treatment at a rehab facility for drug or alcohol abuse. Furthermore, your employer is required to maintain confidentiality regarding any information they may receive about your condition or treatment.
Criteria For Proving Medical Necessity
- You have a substance use disorder, as defined by a DSM-5 diagnosis.
- You have the mental capacity to benefit from rehab.
- You have exhibited a pattern of moderate-severe substance use and/or addictive behavior, as is displayed in your social and family life, as well as your academic or occupational performance.
- You present serious, imminent physical harm to yourself or others related to current abuse of substances, including medical and physical instability, which would hinder your ability to be successful at treatment in a less-intensive setting.
One of the following must also be met:
(1) Despite recent intervention by professionals, you are unable to maintain sobriety.
(2) You are living in a dysfunctional living environment that doesn’t allow for effective rehab treatment at a less-intensive level of care, and alternative living environments are unavailable or not clinically appropriate.
(3) There is evidence that you are unlikely to respond to treatment at a less intensive level of care.
(4) Your condition is appropriate for residential treatment.
(5) You demonstrate the motivation to manage symptoms and make behavioral changes, as exhibited by attending treatment sessions, completing therapeutic tasks, and adhering to a pharmaceutical regimen or other treatment requirements.
(6) You are capable of developing the skills needed to manage substance abuse symptoms or enact behavioral changes.
If your insurance doesn’t cover your treatment costs, there are many options available for those who require extra assistance. Most treatment facilities can work out a payment plan or offer other ways to help you pay.
Getting the Help You Need
If you’ve been avoiding going into residential treatment for fear of being fired or having nothing to come back to, please know that there are steps you can take to ensure that your life will be better than it was before. Although it may be a challenging process, following the aforementioned steps can help ensure that you are successful during and after rehab.
If you are suffering from addiction, we urge you to contact us to learn more about your rehab options today!