Not if it’s Done the Right Way.
Many people will avoid seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction because they don’t want to rock the boat at work. They have extreme anxiety about losing their job or hurting the long-term prospects of their career if they take the much needed time to address their addictions. On top of that, there’s the added stigma of being known as a “drug addict” or an “alcoholic” in the workplace.
This is unfortunate. People suffering from addictions need not have these worries.
According to SAMHSA, 76% of people suffering from a substance abuse disorder are currently employed. This implies that a whole lot of the workforce is silently suffering while going to work every day to support themselves and their families – all while not seeking the help they need.
On the surface, this “do what you’ve got to do” mentality seems like the right course of action. And why not? Our culture tends to prize financial stability over mental stability.
The downfall of this type of thinking is that avoiding treatment is far more damaging in the long run. Untreated addiction worsens over time. Eventually, the addiction can lead to decreased productivity, frequent absences, and potentially the loss of employment altogether.
Know Your Options
It’s best to be proactive. The longer a substance abuse disorder goes untreated, the harder it is to overcome. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Before you can take care of business at work, you have to take care of business with your mental health. Here are some facts that may help keep the fear of losing your job out of the decision to seek treatment.
ADA Protection from Discrimination
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) will protect you from being fired due to discrimination. While this won’t cover you if you are currently using illegal drugs, or consuming alcohol at work, it will protect you from being discriminated against.
This means that you can’t be singled out for having a substance abuse disorder. If you have a history of substance abuse, or have been admitted to a treatment program in the past, you are under the protection of the American Disabilities Act.
Your employer doesn’t have the right to fire you based on this information – as long as they aren’t able to prove that your performance has suffered.
Your employer is legally required to accommodate you if you seek treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol. The ADA also requires your employer to accommodate you if you decide to enroll in a treatment program. This protection covers a leave of absence if you choose an inpatient program, as well as changes in your work schedule if you need to attend therapy sessions or other treatment related to your addiction – such as AA and NA meetings.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that employees who qualify are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to 12 weeks in a calendar year. This will legally protect you from losing your job while in treatment.
Being Out of the Game
While in treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, your body and mind will have the much needed time to detox. Restoring your physical and mental health will improve your focus, energy level, productivity, and overall performance.
Treatment gives the time, space, and guidance that is necessary in order to reach your full potential. Recovery from substance abuse allows for a clear mind, as well as replenish your body, mind, and spirit. This is an investment in your future. It will set you up for success in your career and in your personal life – making you a more valuable asset to your employer, your family, and yourself.
Invest in Yourself
Another reason to seek treatment while still employed is that you will likely have health insurance. If you review your coverage, you may even qualify for disability benefits. Employers often offer short term or long term disability. If this is the case, you may be eligible to receive pay while in treatment. Another option for not having the money dry up while in treatment would be to use Paid Time Off (PTO).
The Right to Confidentiality
It’s important to know your rights. Employers are legally required to maintain complete confidentiality regarding employee medical information. This includes information about a past or present substance abuse disorder.
Prioritizing a treatment program may seem like a hassle – but this is temporary. Employers don’t make it easy to take time and energy away from work. But for the sake of yourself, your family, and longevity of your career, enrolling in a treatment program is crucial if you want to thrive.
Avoiding treatment when you suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism has damaging and potentially life threatening effects. If you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, don’t let the fear of losing your job be an excuse to keep you from a happy and healthy life.
MD Home Detox
In the event that you recognize the importance of seeking immediate help from drug addiction or alcoholism, but your life can’t accommodate a drastic overhaul, MD Home Detox is here to help. Our comprehensive addiction treatment services are designed to treat each unique individual.
We provide solutions to addiction treatment that allow you to detox in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Contact our specialists today to learn about our Home Detox Treatment and other services. We want to help you overcome addiction. By any means necessary.