There is a grave misconception regarding addiction and getting treatment for an addiction: willingness. We are supposed to have the willingness to be willing to go to any willing length to find a way to get sober. Stopping everything and going to treatment should be an easy choice at the cost of losing anything because it means saving your life from death by drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it isn’t so black and white for people. People can end up remarkably alone in life without any options for people to look after their homes, their children, or their pets. Life hands us responsibilities like house payments, job security, and other things we can’t risk. It’s true that by choosing to engage in an addiction every day, we risk it all. Making the decision to go to treatment isn’t easy, especially when there is a job involved.
Until recent years, employer’s saw addiction and alcoholism through a highly stigmatized lens. Losing an employee to go to treatment was a great inconvenience and costly. Today, employers are beginning to change their perspective. As national opinion shifts on viewing addiction as an illness rather than a matter of moral or character defect, employers are seeing treatment as a way to help and employee and help the company overall.
Be As Honest As You Want
Coming to terms with an addiction or alcoholism can be overwhelming, full of shame, and full of guilt. You don’t have to give your employer your entire life story and every detail of your addiction story. Even if your employer asks, you are not legally required to share more than you are comfortable with. The facts are very simple: you are struggling with substance use disorder and you need treatment.
Ask For Guidance About The Best Order Of Operations
Working with HR can be a breeze, or it can be complicated. The same can be applied to those in college needing to take a semester of medical leave. Your employer can help you work through the steps you need to take to make all the right moves, get your bases covered, and be able to leave for treatment without loose ends.
Ensure Your Position
You have rights which protect you from discrimination based on the presence of one or more mental illnesses. Furthermore, your employer might have an EAP which allows you to take time for mental health care. Let your employer know you intend to return to work and are eager to do so once you have stabilized your condition. Make sure to record conversations on your phone or have your employer sign a note which details the conversation and agreements made.
LEAD Recovery Center is an extended care treatment program which helps men and women prepare to transition into the workforce or back into school after residential treatment. For more information, call 1-800-380-0012.