You may be ready and willing to seek the help you need for your substance use disorder and addiction but are worried about how rehab treatment will affect your job. It’s a common concern, and you are not alone. You’re also wise to think about how drug or alcohol rehab may affect your job or career. Many people avoid rehab for substance abuse because they fear losing their job, but you likely will not face any ill-advised effect of getting clean thanks to an employee assistance program. Greater Boston Addiction Centers is your finest choice for a compassionate team to care for you in substance abuse treatment and rehab programs. Reach out to our medical professionals online or call 877.920.6583 today to discuss how an employee assistance program in MA can help you securely and safely attend rehab.
Who Qualifies for Rehab?
Rehab programs exist to help individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The first step, as we know, is admitting there is a problem and committing to getting better. Then comes detox, then treatment, and then any aftercare or peer support once you’ve graduated the program for your maintained sobriety. You likely would benefit from attending rehab for your addiction if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You frequently binge drink or find yourself using prescription medication longer than directed and in larger doses than directed, and are incapable of stopping even if you want to stop.
- A lot of time that once went to things you enjoy now goes to obtaining, taking, and then recovering from using drugs or drinking alcohol.
- You experience intense cravings for drugs or alcohol that do not subside until you give in.
- Your use of drugs or alcohol is negatively impacting your ability to meet expectations, goals, or responsibilities at home, work, or school.
- Even your closest relationships are starting to suffer because of your use of drugs or alcohol.
- Your use of drugs or alcohol is occurring even at times when it is especially dangerous, such as while driving or babysitting.
- You continue to use drugs or alcohol even though you know it negatively affects your pre-existing mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or paranoia.
- You’ve built your tolerance to drugs or alcohol so high that you require more of the substance to reach desired effects, putting you at risk of accidental overdose.
- When you are unable to drink or use drugs you experience withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, vomiting, fatigue, seizures, or hallucinations.
Admitting you have a problem and need help is scary, and knowing what comes next is having to admit to your loved ones, friends, colleagues, and bosses that you have a problem and need help doesn’t make it easier. It’s hard to predict how the people closest to you will react, and it leads to anxious feelings regarding treatment. However, if you’re worried that rehab will affect your job, it is important you understand that your addiction is potentially already negatively affecting it–as you slip further into addiction, it will only get worse and worse. Getting yourself help when you know you need it is actually indicative of strength, and it will be recognized as such by your loved ones, coworkers, and bosses moving forward as you live the life you want to be living using the tools you learned in rehab.
The Fears of Attending Rehab
If you are like most employees with bills, financial responsibilities, and career goals, you cannot simply leave your job for several weeks of addiction treatment. Despite stereotypes, the majority of people who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction are gainfully employed and live relatively normal lives, at least on the surface. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 76 percent of people with substance abuse issues hold jobs.
It is common to wonder, “does EAP protect your job,” and understandable to fear that attending rehab and getting treatment for your addiction will hurt your career or get you fired. However, there are laws in place to protect people with addiction disorders from workplace discrimination and, in particular, protect people from being fired for addiction, which is a medical condition. Additionally, it is known and understood that getting treatment for a substance abuse problem will improve an employee’s performance on the job and in life in general. When it comes to EAP and substance abuse, it’s a win-win situation.
Prepare Yourself for Rehab
Preparing for your rehab is crucial. You will want to investigate your employee assistance program in MA by speaking with your employer. It is important to know your rights and limitations and what kind of treatment your EAP substance abuse program will cover before having a conversation with your HR department and bosses.
Know Your Rights
Your right to work during your recovery from a substance use disorder is protected by federal law. The most important of these laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA provides you with 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for addiction and other serious health conditions.
If you are asking does EAP protect your job, then you will want to know that FMLA is designed to help people like you seek and find the help you need while at the same time protecting your job for the period of time it will require to complete a drug treatment rehab program.
Consult your employee assistance program MA about what you need to qualify, including:
- Working for an employer for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours over the past 12-month period
- Work at a location where the company employs at least 50 people within 75 miles or is a public agency, elementary or secondary school.
Other federal protections also exist to protect your right to keep your job while getting clean with the help of a professional drug and/or alcohol rehab program, including:
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Fair Housing Act
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Employers are allowed to ensure their workplace is drug-free. They may have policies such as drug testing and can fire you for current drug or alcohol use on the job. You cannot be fired for taking FMLA and working through rehab and into recovery. Still, you can be fired for the underlying substance abuse issue, depending on your employer’s policies.
Refer to your employee handbook to discover if an EAP for substance abuse exists within your company. We also recommend reviewing your employer’s policies regarding employee drug and alcohol use, rehabilitation, and medical leave. If you do not have access to these documents or have questions, request them with your human resources team.
Learn More at Greater Boston Addiction Centers
If you are ready to get clean and still have questions about EAP and substance abuse, contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers using our secure online form or call us at 877.920.6583 today.