Developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol can change a person’s life in drastic, sometimes devastating ways. Without receiving treatment for the addiction, the condition’s effects can quickly grow to consume all of a person’s time, energy, and attention. Their mental and physical health can deteriorate rapidly. Some people face serious legal or financial trouble that impacts their lives for a long time.
Prolonged drug or alcohol abuse can change how a person’s body and brain work. It can be difficult–or nearly impossible–for people to overcome an addiction without professional treatment.
Despite addiction’s severe and pervasive consequences, most people do not get the treatment they need to put addiction in the past. Some research suggests that only about 11% of those who need treatment get it. People may put off going to rehab out of concern over the stigma surrounding addiction or fear of taking time away from their families.
Another common concern about going to rehab is that they may lose their job. However, current laws protect people from losing their job while receiving treatment for mental illness or addiction. Understanding your rights and how to begin the discussion with your employer can help you keep your job during rehab.
Contact the Arise Treatment Center specialists today for more information about starting a substance abuse treatment program.
Can You Keep Your Job During Rehab?
Most of the people living with addiction are also employed. Some surveys estimate that 10-25% of working people live with substance use. People with substance abuse and addiction are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents and interpersonal difficulties. They contribute to decreased productivity and may have frequent absences. After treatment, these people can often return to the workforce. For these reasons, employers are generally motivated to support their employees’ addiction treatment and recovery.
There are many different levels of care in addiction treatment, including:
- Outpatient programs
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
- Residential or inpatient treatment programs
While attending an outpatient program, it is sometimes possible for people to continue working or keep in touch with their employers as they go through treatment.
However, some people need to take a leave of absence from work to attend inpatient or residential treatment programs. No matter what level of care a person requires, there are laws in place that protect employees from losing their job during their time in addiction treatment.
What Laws Let You Keep Your Job During Rehab?
There are several laws that protect people’s employment during addiction treatment. Congress passed these laws to allow people to seek treatment without worrying about losing their job during rehab.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family Medical Leave Act protects a person’s job for up to 12 weeks while participating in addiction treatment. There are some limits to who is covered by FMLA, which include:
- The company must have at least 50 employees
- The person must have been working at the company for 12 consecutive months and must have worked at least 1250 hours
- The person must use the time off to engage in a professional treatment program
FMLA protects employees who meet these criteria while they seek treatment for addiction or mental illness.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against or firing employees with addiction. Some employees may meet the criteria for an altered work schedule that lets them attend treatment or recovery activities, including 12-step meetings or medical appointments. It also protects people who need to take a leave of absence to seek mental illness or substance abuse treatment.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This law provides additional protection for job applicants and employees against discrimination based on disability in federal financial assistance, federal contractors’ employees, federal agencies’ activities, and federal employees.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
This law secures the confidentiality of a person’s medical and mental health information. It prohibits employers from accessing medical information without an individual’s consent.
Understanding your rights as an employee can empower you to make the best decisions regarding your health and treatment plans.
Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Job During Rehab
While there is no shame in addiction or getting treatment, the stigma surrounding the condition can affect how people feel about sharing that information with others. It is common to feel anxious or uncomfortable talking to your employer about substance abuse or needing treatment.
Sometimes, knowing the steps to take may make this process feel easier. Here are some essential steps to go to rehab without losing your job.
- Get a diagnosis. Talk to your medical provider about getting a formal substance use disorder diagnosis. Your medical team will also recommend a level of care to meet your needs.
- Find the right treatment program. Research local treatment options or get referrals from your insurance company, doctor, or addiction specialists.
- Talk to HR. Tell your HR representative that you need to take a leave of absence to seek addiction treatment.
- Communicate. Keep in contact with your manager or HR team about the program’s start and end date, any changes to your schedule, and your progress.
Getting the help you need may feel overwhelming initially. Substance abuse treatment can equip you with the skills and support to return to work–and the rest of your life–as a healthier you.
Get Help Now
Regardless of your profession and your unique needs, Arise Treatment Center’s drug and alcohol addiction treatment program is here to guide you through the recovery process so you can discover the freedom that awaits you in sobriety.
Arise Addiction Treatment Center offers an upscale rehab program for professionals with dynamic treatments, flexible accommodations, and exclusive services tailored to your unique needs. Arise’s inpatient drug rehab for professionals provides patients with a variety of treatment therapy options, access to health and wellness activities, and a safe location to focus on their healing. Don’t let your work obligations stand in the way of you getting sober and living the life you deserve to live.
If you or a loved one requires substance abuse treatment, reach out to the Arise Treatment Center specialists today.