Taking a leave of absence to go to rehab is not as unusual as you might think. If you’re struggling with addiction, it’s always a good idea to consider. Studies show that the people who take a leave of absence to get drug or alcohol addiction treatment are more likely to keep their jobs – and even get better ones – than those that keep drinking and using. But if you’re thinking about taking a leave of absence to go to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, where do you begin?
Taking a Leave of Absence for Rehab
The first thing that you need to know is that recovery is possible for anyone. You deserve to live a life free from addiction. Choosing to take a leave of absence might be the first time that you put yourself before your job, money, or relationships.
It may be hard to accept, but your company will be able to get along without you for a while. Even if you’re the owner or the sole employee, taking a break to get treatment gives you more of a chance for your business to succeed. If you stay in your addiction, your business is headed to an inevitable crash.
Second, know your rights. You should always review your company’s drug and alcohol policy before you have a conversation with management, but know that there are several federal laws that will protect you and your job if you decide to get help. We describe these laws more HERE, but keep the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act in mind.
Basically, in many cases you will be legally protected.
If you’d rather that your employer NOT know about your addiction, that’s a possibility too. They have to know the reason for your leave if you want to take advantage of FMLA, but they are legally required to keep that information private. For example, your HR rep is not allowed to tell your boss. Even if they own your group insurance plan, they will not be alerted by your insurer. Once you enter treatment, details about your time there are legally protected by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). Know that you can trust your treatment team. They won’t be reporting back to your boss.
Coming Back to Work After Rehab
Coming back to work after rehab can be intimidating. Won’t everyone be talking about you? In short, no. One of the earliest lessons of recovery is that people are pretty self-obsessed, and usually don’t give a shit about what you’re doing. If they notice anything, they’re likely to see how healthy you look and how well you’re performing post-treatment. It’s up to you if you want to tell them your secret.
Know this, though: Addiction is a disease, and it’s not shameful if you have it. You deserve to get appropriate treatment. If you had a coworker that took a month off for a major surgery, wouldn’t you want to support them? Try to think of your treatment in the same way. It’s a necessary step to treat your illness and heal your body, mind, and spirit. Yes, you’ll be a better employee for it, but it also just might save your life.
Our team can talk you through the pros and cons of taking some time off of work for treatment. Give us a call today.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.