Despite popular belief, many people who suffer from substance abuse also are active in a job or career. In fact, according to studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Research, more than 70% of people who struggle with addiction in America are employed. However, people who suffer from substance abuse will begin to experience the negative consequences of their addictions. While many people avoid treatment in fear of losing their jobs, some employers will send their employees to rehab if they believe they need treatment. As a result, some people are worried about keeping their job while going to rehab.
Addiction is a progressive disease, therefore, an individual with substance abuse issues will begin to lose their ability to conceal their drug or alcohol use. Due to this, work performance may begin to drastically suffer. If you are suffering from addiction, they only way to ensure that you keep your job is to seek rehab as soon as possible.
Signs of Substance Abuse in the Workplace
Addiction to any substance will begin to impact an individual’s ability to perform socially as well as in the workplace. Additionally, many people who suffer from substance abuse face the risk of losing their jobs if they do not receive treatment.
Common signs of substance abuse in the workplace:
- Performance issues
- Unfinished tasks at work or missing important deadlines
- Hindered relationships with coworkers or bosses
- Frequently calling out sick due to drinking or drug usage
- Being late to work often
- Frequent changes in jobs or careers
When these issues happen over a long period of time, work reputations can be ruined as well as the loss of an important job. Additionally, many employers are required by federal law to take action if one of their employees fails a drug test. In some cases, this may result in termination. However, some employers will often offer mandatory drug or alcohol treatment that ensures your position. This is one way to ensure keeping your job during rehab.
Oftentimes, people believe it is impossible to hold a position at their job while they complete a treatment program. However, there are many treatment programs that take their patient’s careers into consideration. Additionally, there are assistance programs available for those who need treatment and want to maintain their job.
Employee Assistance Programs
Another way to keep your job during rehab is to utilize EAPs. Employee assistance programs (EAPs), are programs designed to help employees of a company who suffer from substance abuse issues and require addiction treatment. You may be wondering, why would the company care? Could they not just replace the employee? In all actuality, it is often more cost-effective for a company to utilize an EAP and help their current employee than to advertise for and eventually hire a new one. In fact, substance abuse costs the nation nearly $276 billion a year, with a large portion of that cost relating to a loss in job productivity. Consequently, it’s also important for employers to make sure their employees are keeping their jobs while going to rehab.
Overall, employee assistance programs provide a variety of resources to employees who suffer from substance use disorder. Some of these resources include on-site, in-person, and online-based services. For the employer, EAPs help to reduce costs and turnover, boost company morale, and improve work productivity.
Treatment Options for People with Jobs
Many substance abuse treatment centers have created programs that allow patients to maintain their job while receiving vital addiction treatment. On the other hand, there are treatment programs that require a leave of absence from work while simultaneously working in conjunction with EAP programs. Either way, individuals with careers can go to rehab while keeping their job
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient treatment programs allow patients to maintain daily responsibilities while receiving weekly individual and group addiction therapy sessions. Some outpatient facilities allow patients to live at home while receiving treatment, while others may allow their patients to reside on campus. Most of these programs last anywhere from 30-90 days, depending on the individual’s treatment plan. Additionally, patients typically spend 1-3 days a week receiving treatment, leaving the rest of the days open for their patients to continue working.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
Unlike outpatient programs, inpatient treatment requires that the patient take a temporary leave of absence from work. While this option may not be available for everyone, some employers will allow their employees to take 30-90 days off of work while they begin their recovery. Oftentimes, employee assistance programs allow individuals to take time off in order to complete inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is highly recommended to anyone who needs a break from their daily environment in order to successfully quit using alcohol or drugs, so this usually isn’t best for people who are concerned about keeping their job while going to rehab.
Whether you go to an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, many of these programs are tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Fortunately, addiction treatment professionals are often equipped to help patients address challenges they come across while in the professional realm. This is extremely beneficial to patients who have high-stress or corporate careers.
Legal Protections for Professionals with Substance Abuse Issues
Because a large majority of individuals with substance abuse deny treatment due to their fear of losing their careers, there are laws in place meant to protect professionals suffering from addiction or alcoholism.
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides protection to employees who need time off for medical reasons. This includes people who need to go to treatment for substance abuse issues. The FMLA allows employees to take off for up to 12 months of unpaid time off without the risk of losing their job. Additionally, this law ensures that you get to receive any health or medical benefits that you have acquired from your job during your leave of absence.
- Working for the company for at least 12 months
- Having worked a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
- Your job-site employs 50 or more workers within 75 miles
If you fit the FMLA criteria, you can not be fired for taking an FMLA leave of absence. However, you must request for an FMLA leave of absence before entering treatment.
Treatment for People Who Need to Keep Their Job While Going to Rehab
Substance abuse treatment is available for professionals nation-wide. Making the decision to go to treatment could not only save your career but also your life. If you or a loved one is currently suffering from addiction and is in fear of losing their job, make sure to seek out resources for professionals with substance abuse issues. Treatment centers like PAX Riverbend take each one of their patient’s needs into consideration throughout treatment, resulting in a strong foundation of recovery. If you need help with an addiction, do not hesitate to call us today.