Steps to Take to Keep Your Job and Get Addiction Treatment
You may be considering entering a treatment program for drug or alcohol addiction, but are concerned about being fired from your job. Many people may avoid treatment because they are worried that seeking help could damage their career. However, the opposite is true.
Those who are suffering from addiction need and deserve treatment in order to get better. If you or a loved one are concerned about your job, it is important to understand your rights and how to handle the situation. By choosing treatment, you are choosing a happier and healthier life.
The Stigma Surrounding Addiction
There is a damaging stigma that surrounds addiction. Stigmas are usually the result of misinformation or uneducated assumptions and can be directed towards anyone. The stigma surrounding addiction is that those who are suffering from the disease should be ashamed, and that they also engage in criminal behavior.
This is not true and furthering this narrative could cause those struggling with addiction to not want to come forward. Addiction is considered a chronic brain disease that requires treatment in order for someone to get better.
Becoming educated on addiction if you or a loved one is suffering, will help you to better understand the disease. Addiction affects both the mind and the body. When drugs or alcohol enter our systems, our body works quickly to try to get rid of it. However, these toxins directly affect the chemicals in our brain. This change in brain chemistry can cause changes in mood, behavior, and memory. Intense cravings and strong withdrawal symptoms are hallmark effects of addiction. However, addiction is a complex disease and affects everyone differently.
Know Your Rights
It is common for those suffering from addiction to believe that their employer is going to fire them due to their disease. However, The Americans with Disabilities (ACT) protects those in a treatment program from being discriminated against by their employer. Your decision to join a treatment program will not result in your termination. If after you have decided to get treatment and you feel your employer has discriminated against you, you can file a complaint. This can be done with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
For some employees, they may qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act. This allows employees to take 12 work weeks of leave. However, this would be unpaid. But, your job would be protected and there when you return from rehab. During your leave, your employer must maintain confidentiality. This means that your coworkers will not know about your whereabouts.
Be Open and Honest
Addiction can happen to anyone and affects all aspects of a person’s life. This includes work performance. You may have worked your whole life for this career path and this income is used to help you survive. Your work performance may have begun to slip, you may be missing days, or even missing deadlines.
Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. You or your loved one deserves to get treatment. Then, they will be on the path to recovery, allowing them to have a healthier and happier life.
Substance abuse disorders are a major problem in the workplace. Employers are required to provide a safe and healthy environment for all workers. In general, employees that are suffering from addiction usually cost the business more money. This is because an employee may miss days, deadlines, or meetings.
If you wait to speak up or get help, you run the risk of being fired. A failed drug test or too many missed days is grounds for termination. Your employer is there to help you and has to according to the law.
You also do not want to just leave your job and assume your employer is going to fire you. As mentioned before, you do have rights in this situation. Your employer may come up to you first. They may begin discussing your work performance. This is when you can inform your employer about what you are going through.
The more upfront you are with your employer, the more they will be able to understand what is going on and assist you during the process. You will want to try to be as transparent as possible. Make sure your employer knows that you plan on taking the necessary steps in order to get help.
What If I Leave Rehab Early?
Leaving a rehab program early can have life-threatening consequences. When you enroll in a treatment program, you are in a safe and comfortable environment. Healthcare professionals have the ability to monitor you and adjust your treatment program if need be. However, if you leave before the completion of the program, you are leaving behind everything a rehab has to offer you. Your risk of relapse heightens and you no longer have access to that specialized medical care.
If you are having feelings of leaving rehab early, it is best to talk to your counselor or other healthcare professional. They can help make the process more enjoyable and comfortable for you.
Besides the immediate dangers that leaving rehab early can present, you may also be violating a contract with your employer. When you enroll in a treatment program, you and your employer may sign an agreement. This agreement may have stipulations. One of which, will most likely be the completion of a program.
Get on The Path to Recovery
Addiction can happen to anyone and those who are suffering deserve treatment for their disease. Some people may be fearful that coming forward will hurt their career. However, the opposite is true. Being open and honest with your employer can help to foster an understanding relationship. It also gives them the ability to help you as best they can through this journey. Enrolling in a treatment program is a monumental milestone that deserves to be celebrated.
Real Hope Recovery is located in sunny San Diego, California and is home to a dedicated team of professionals. Their experts understand that those who are suffering from addiction require support and compassion. They strive to provide optimal care in a clean, safe, and comfortable environment that fosters growth. Call today to learn more about their specialized programs.