job after rehab

When making the decision to get treatment for your addiction, getting your priorities organized before rehab is often a top concern. You may be wondering how to balance relationships, substance abuse, and job performance. These can add additional stressors when weighing how to approach rehab. However, it is essential to consider how every area in your life is already suffering from one central factor, addiction. Substance abuse has the ability to damage more than just your physical and emotional well-being. It will take over everything until there is nothing left. When placing the importance between getting the right treatment for substance abuse or job security, the most dangerous decision is not getting the rehab therapy that you need. 

Going to Rehab Could Actually Save Your Job

Because financial security is so important to all of us, especially in today’s economy, concern for your job during substance abuse treatment is reasonable. However, by not getting the addiction treatment that you need, you are placing yourself at an even higher risk of losing your job because of your substance abuse anyway. More and more often, employers are enforcing their right to administer standard or even random drug tests. For many occupations, the use of illegal substances at any time is considered misconduct that leads to termination. So in truth, investing your time into rehab is more valuable than living with the worry of failing a drug test and getting fired without warning. 

Alternatively, studies have shown that those who got treatment for their addiction before being reprimanded for it were more likely to not only keep their jobs but get better positions within the company. Just as well, a great majority of addicts, after completing the substance abuse treatment program in rehab, were able to get a better new job because of their commitment to sobriety. 

Hiding Substance Abuse at Your Job

If you have spent any significant amount of time with a particular company, there is a very real chance that your substance abuse had not gone unnoticed. A lot of addicts think that no one will ever find out about their addiction as long as they are not under the influence while they are at work. Unfortunately, opting out of intoxication while on the clock does not make substance abuse invisible. In fact, there are several identifying behaviors that put up a red flag, and your boss is trained to be on the lookout. Some signs that someone is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction that are displayed at work include:

  • Declining work performance
  • Missing deadlines or ignoring job duties
  • Being inconsistent on daily work quality
  • Exhibiting poor judgment skills
  • Lack of concern for personal safety or the safety of others
  • Not showing up on time, disappearing during your work shift or leaving early without notice 
  • Lack of coordination or concentration
  • Missing days all together 
  • Being unfocused, lacking emotion or inability to concentrate 
  • Aggressive mood swings or behaviors
  • Unreasonable financial desperation or asking coworkers for money
  • Unable to maintain a professional appearance 
  • Complaints from those working around you

Not only are these behaviors often considered offenses that could lead to being fired, but they are negatively impacting your chances of advancing within the workplace. When these behaviors are present and consistent, your substance abuse is no longer a secret among your fellow employees. Instead of going on like this, you can reach out and get the rehab treatment that you need, and avoid embarrassing confrontations that are sure to arise eventually at your job. 

Being Open with Your Job About Getting Substance Abuse Treatment

As your job performance decline is surely not going unnoticed, it may be a good idea to be upfront with your boss before it is too late. If that is not an option, you can reach out to your company’s Human Resources department regarding your options for getting substance abuse treatment. By owning up to your addiction, you are letting your employer know that you are serious about getting the treatment that you need to work toward recovery. In doing so, you are reinforcing how seriously you are taking this matter, and responsibly handling how your job affects substance abuse treatment options. 

There are very few people out there that actually want to see another person suffer or fail. Treatment resource centers focus on making sure that you have all of the tools and skills you need to be successful. The more honest you are with your boss, the more understanding you can hope to receive as far as staying employed, by getting your responsibilities and shifts covered. No matter what happens next as far as your job, be assured that you will have people that care and are ready to support your decision. That said, this journey through detox, rehab, sobriety, and recovery will make the difference in improving your working record in the future. 

Take the Proper Steps with Your Job for Substance Abuse Rehab

Just as with everything, there is one way, and then there is a better way of going about things. In order to get the best possible results when considering your job and substance abuse rehab options, you must take into account that there are helpful steps to follow. Though everyone has their own expectations of what life will be like after rehab, dotting the “I’s and crossing the t’s” will undoubtedly improve the outlook overall. 

Here are some actions to consider taking when preparing to take leave from your job to get treatment from rehab for substance abuse: 

  • Make sure you are as clear as possible when explaining how important it is that you get the drug and/or alcohol treatment that you need. 
  • Do your best to give an exact departure date, even if it is immediately, to ensure that you are not intentionally abandoning your responsibilities.
  • If any specific work is assigned to you specifically, do you best to have it completed, or notify a superior that the project will have to be reassigned or completed by a later date.
  • If you can, enlist the help of your fellow employees to divide and take on your responsibilities while you are out. This will ensure that your absence will not cause unfinished work to fall on one specific coworker. 
  • Remember, you have a right to keep your rehab treatment private, and simply saying that you are requesting a leave of absence is acceptable. 

Rehab and treatment for substance abuse is a very personal journey. By doing the best to make sure that you are comfortable with how you’ve handled things with your job, you will have more focus to place on your rehab and recovery goals. 

The Rights You Have to Get the Treatment You Need

Substance abuse, and its growing prevalence in the workplace, is something that has been addressed by many addicts. When you are unsure if rehab will have an effect on your employment status, remember that there are laws and provisions that are in place to cause you less worry. When you’re making a rehab plan, keep in mind that the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be dedicated and determined to get the best possible treatment for your addiction. 

The ADA, which stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, includes protecting any person from experiencing discrimination in the workplace when it pertains to addiction treatment and recovery. It outlines clearly that legal action can be taken if your place of employment took action to terminate you from your job because of your decision to attend a rehab facility. Simply put, as long as there are no other infractions pertaining to your substance abuse at work, you cannot be fired for attending a rehab treatment program. 

Additionally, those that meet the criteria may be able to take advantage of the time allotted to them under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows for leave from a job for 12 weeks of unpaid time in order to receive the treatment for their addiction. Also, within the FMLA guidelines, your employment will be protected as a medical leave of absence, and this leave is available to you once within ever one year (12mo) period of time. 

Your privacy is also protected through these acts. Your boss is legally required to regard the details of your substance abuse as private, and to consider your decision to get treatment from a rehab facility confidential. If you feel as though your rights were not protected under the ADA or FMLA, you are able to take legal action against your job when substance abuse rules and regulations are not followed. You are able to report this behavior to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where they will help you take action against any discrimination.

Getting Financial Assistance For Substance Abuse

It is beneficial for companies to offer as much help as possible to an addict that is serious about getting their lives back on track. In fact, when addicts receive the treatment, they need for substance abuse through rehab and then to recovery, companies experienced a 36% increase in job attendance. More and more employers are starting to embrace the value of an employee that has been given the opportunity to better their lives. Noticing an improvement overall, more productivity and morale have the most to prove. 

You can also check with your health care insurance provider to see what options they have available to help cover the cost of substance abuse treatment while away from your job. Many times with health insurance companies, you must prove that the rehab treatment is necessary, not just personally, but medically necessary as well. In order to take full advantage of the assistance that is available to you, you must be able to obtain and provide proof, which will sometimes require a diagnosis from your doctor. 

What is Required for Rehab Treatment to be Considered Medically Necessary

In order to ensure that your substance abuse treatment falls within the criteria for medical necessity, please take the time to review the list below. Whether it is by your doctors’ recommendation, court-mandated, or personal validation, the terms below will help you get a better idea of what you should be ready to address when discussing your options for assistance. Learn about how to better your chances of getting the health insurance coverage and assistance for substance abuse while away from your job:

  • Having a current and active substance abuse problem. (For this you may need to prove that your addiction is destructive or at least deteriorating your quality of life.)
  • Presenting a doctor’s referral that outlines where your addiction falls under the diagnosis recognized in the DSM-5.

Though this list will satisfy in traditional cases when addicts are seeking out financial assistance from their insurance companies. There are, however, instances where further information must be provided due to the intensity or progression of the disease known as addiction. For example, the need for a more intense or private degree of residential rehab and inpatient treatment, one or more of the below must apply to their current situation:

  • Within the past 90 days, a person has attempted rehab and is incapable of maintaining sobriety thus far.
  • The primary residence is dangerous and unhealthy and cannot be altered at this time.
  •  Whether you pose deadly or serious harm yourself or others, due to a mental disorder that may or may not correlate with drug or alcohol abuse.

Additionally, many insurance companies require validation to ensure that you are making your decision to get treatment for your substance abuse seriously. In order to do this, you will have to convey your behavioral desires and assert them as rehab and recovery goals. 

What If My Insurance Doesn’t Cover Substance Abuse Treatment?

In the event that you have followed the recommended health insurance steps, spoke about substance abuse with your job, and still found that you are not able to receive coverage from these outlets, all hope is not lost. Payment plans, government assistance, and many other non-profit organizations exist to assist you in finding sobriety through rehabilitation and recovery. Rehab treatment resources make available the options you may apply toward funding your substance abuse recovery.

Rehab and Recovery Will Improve your Ability to Do Your Job

If getting the treatment for substance abuse had only been held back due to the fear of a threat to your job, you are not alone. Addiction has a way of making many things seem impossible when they are really within your reach. The hopelessness that comes with substance abuse and addiction may make the world seem like a dark place. In reality, the likelihood that your job will be waiting for you on the other side is more than a slight possibility. Through treatment and therapy, you will regain the clarity that you have been searching for through the addiction induced haze. Although the process of detox, rehabilitation, sobriety, and recovery may demand much of your patience and determination, rest assured, there is a life free of drug and alcohol abuse that will be worth the work put in. Whether you are returning to your old job after rehab for substance abuse or making your new and improved career choices, your life will be exponentially better from a place of sobriety and recovery.

Don’t Waste Anymore Time 

There is no time to waste when substance abuse and addiction are doing a job on your health and well-being. At Coastal Detox, we know how important it is to set you up on the best path and get you thinking about a future in recovery and addiction management. Call (877) 406-6623 at any time to get the ball rolling and make plans to start your rehab and recovery journey. We can’t wait to see you on the other side of your substance abuse rehabilitation. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29055821

https://www.justthinktwice.gov/you-lose-your-job-because-drugs

https://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/regional-economist/july-2013/exploring-the-link-between-drug-use-and-job-status-in-the-us

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla

https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/ada/ch4.htm

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.