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Can I Go to Rehab and Keep My Full-Time Job?

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If you decide to begin rehabilitation for drug or alcohol addiction, that is a big step forward. It means that you are done with denialism, which is the beginning of recovery. That being said, If you have a full-time job, entering treatment can be challenging. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 70% of people with addiction are employed. Some people are so worried about the potential of losing their jobs that they keep delaying treatment.

Rehab Is the Only Way Towards Job Security

Committing to rehab treatment is a tough decision for people in the labor force. If they do not seek professional help, sooner or later their work performance and job stability will be compromised by the harmful effects brought on by substance use. Maybe your employer and co-workers have already found out about your problem. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a progressive disease. Without intervention and treatment, it may not be possible for people with addiction to get better.

The truth is, nobody can hide their addiction and still perform as usual at work. Because drugs and alcohol affect both your physical health and mental health, they will surely make you under-perform. Rehab and job security are not two options to choose from. One needs to prioritize health to perform well in the workplace. Many employers prefer to send their employees to rehab.

Substance Addiction Impacts Work Performance

Long-term substance use can affect a person’s daily functioning as well as work performance. This is because substance use often impairs cognitive abilities and one’s capacity to control emotions. Sometimes mental health issues tend to co-occur with substance addiction. As a result, common problems of workplace underperformance may include frequent sick leaves, missing important meetings and deadlines, and relationship tensions with coworkers.

Many employers are required by federal law to screen employees with drug tests. In some cases, this may lead to the termination of a job. Your employer may also offer mandatory treatment and ensure you keep the position after rehab. There might be employee assistance programs designed to help people go through rehab treatment and return to work.

You should also consider taking advantage of the many legal protections that help you enter rehab. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers protection against job termination for attending rehab. This law allows a person to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend to health concerns without losing employment. There are three criteria qualifying people for this protection, including having worked for an employer (which employs 50 or more workers within 75 miles) for at least 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is another federal law protecting people going to rehab because chemical dependency is considered a disability. The Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA) also qualifies addiction-related mental health problems for treatment while working.

You must understand and utilize these laws properly. For example, the FMLA requires that you let your employer know in advance with a physician’s note. This is the same for ADA. One should not misuse the benefits of FMLA for other situations.

Treatment Options for People With Jobs

Many rehab centers have designed programs to meet the needs of those who work. These programs provide treatment while allowing clients to maintain their job simultaneously. For example, outpatient programs provide weekly detox treatment assisted by individual and group therapy sessions, allowing patients to live at home while receiving treatment. Some programs require clients to spend one to three days a week receiving treatment.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you might need to take a temporary leave to begin inpatient treatment. Some employee assistance programs allow workers to complete inpatient treatment. In any case, you must communicate with your employer and co-workers and commit to treatment.

Recovery and Work After Rehab Treatment

Returning to work after you achieve sobriety can also be challenging because you are not sure how your employer and co-workers perceive you and your work performance from then on. In reality, there is still a lot of stigmas associated with substance addiction. However, the law protects you against discrimination in the workplace.

If you keep up with a healthy lifestyle and actively rebuild relationships at work, your employer and co-workers will certainly notice the positive changes in you. Most importantly, now you have a recovery community as a strong support system as well. You can always discuss ongoing issues with your 12-step group peers, your sponsor, or your therapist. Continue to seek professional help, and you will thrive at your work.

Are you looking for rehab programs that can support you while you work at a full-time job? You need a strong recovery community to help you work out a plan. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, CA, we offer a family-style environment and make sure that our clients feel comfortable and confident during recovery. You can benefit from personalized care and attention that is hard to achieve at larger facilities. There are various levels of care you can choose from. We understand the importance of dual diagnosis treatment because addiction often has co-occurring mental health issues. Believing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, we offer the most customized plans that accommodate your needs. Our experienced staff help working professionals maintain a work-life-recovery balance. We are onsite 24/7 to offer you support. You can connect with many friendly, motivated, and driven people looking to achieve and maintain sobriety while working. Call (949) 426-7962 today.

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  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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