Going to rehab for substance abuse is not an easy thing. Checking yourself in there while you know how you have a job to do (i.e. your day job that provides for your family) makes it an even harder prospect to consider. While there are a variety of treatment centers across the US, there are a lot of factors that make accessing rehab more difficult than it should have to be.
One of the main thoughts some people have when entering rehab is, “I have a full-time job and a family to support” which means that they can’t afford to take those days, weeks, or months off to go to rehab if they hope to keep their jobs. At least that is how they think. However, many companies are more lenient with people going into rehab and getting the help they need than individuals might like to think.
But I Hold A Job & Have Bills To Pay:
For many companies, they will allow workers to go into a substance abuse center under the FMLA Act. This is great to know considering 76% of people with substance abuse issues hold some sort of jobs according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
There is even more good news is that there are a variety of laws protecting people with addictions who seek rehabilitation for their problems from losing their job while they are in rehab for what may take a few weeks to a few months.
Remember the Following:
Under these laws, it’s important to remember several things when it comes to managing your rehabilitation needs and your job, especially if it’s full-time:
• There are plenty of rehabilitation options that do not require you to check into a full-time treatment facility to get your addiction under control while you are still working.
• Many places are beginning to offer support groups and after-work programs that help you control your addiction while allowing you to work, including full-time, while also seeking help for your addiction in the process.
• Out-patient rehab is more and more popular and allows you to maintain your professional and family life while sacrificing a few hours a day (otherwise your free time) to rehabilitation services and classes to help you overcome your addictions while continuing to live your daily life.
Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act Protects You:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects you through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that many jobs will honor. These medical needs include medical rehabilitation for addictions that you may be dealing with.
In many cases, the ADA will protect you from losing your job while allowing you to take time off under the FMLA Act or allowing you to work while you attend rehabilitation classes and therapies after work each day. This FMLA protection is generally available to any government or state employee, or any company with more than 15 employees. Most large employers have this coverage that is offered as a benefit for their employees.
Many companies also will pay up to $1,000 per month for those out of work if they must maintain 24/7 full-time, in-patient care treatment if their general company does not provide other benefits. To claim these benefits, you will have to claim “disability” due to your addiction in order to receive this money. This disability can last up to one year, which can provide you adequate time to get over your addiction and back into shape to go back to work full-time, while also providing some much-needed financial stability for you and your family as you overcome your addiction.
Employers Are Required to Keep Confidentiality:
When it comes to declaring your FMLA employers are required to keep your information confidential. This means that coworkers and customers cannot find out about your addiction rehabilitation unless you choose to share such information with them. Your job will only tell them you are out “on disability”, but will leave what that disability is vague and unidentified. Some employers will not even identify it as disability, but will simply say that employee needed some time off of work for personal reasons.
This means that your information is safe and confidential while you attend rehab, and your job or a job of a similar pay level will be waiting for you when you return.
The point is, many companies will save your job under the FMLA Act, and many will even provide a disability stipend while you receive treatment. Moreover, getting yourself the help you need now may be hard, especially knowing you have a family to provide for, but it will benefit you in the long run as you can work and be productive for your family and yourself for many years to come.
Therefore, do not hesitate to get help, but understand that your employer will oftentimes provide resources to make rehabilitation possible for you while offering some money to take care of your family in the process. Use this as a chance to get back on your feet and back to living your life.