How to Keep Your Job Before, During and After Treatment

As a professional and someone who generally has their life together, recognizing that you have an alcohol or drug addiction can be complicated. You may use substances recreationally for some time before realizing that you no longer feel in control of your use. It may be that you need more significant quantities of them to feel their effects. Or you may finally notice how drugs have come between you, your loved ones and your responsibilities or how addiction has impaired your work performance. It may be time to think about getting treatment.

When you see this and admit a problem exists, it’s best to seek professional help. Depending on how long the problem has endured, addiction treatment at a facility that offers the full continuum of care is often your best option. This ensures that you are able to receive tailored treatment according to your needs at the moment, perhaps detox or residential, and continue through to less time-intensive programs like IOP. 

So, What Stops You From Treatment That Could Help? 

The idea of taking time off from work to receive residential treatment may deter you. How much time off would you need? Would your boss approve the leave? How would they react upon learning of your addiction? Can they fire you for having an addiction? If so, will you be able to find another job? Should you tell your boss at all? 

The risk of job loss can scare you out of taking necessary action. However, deciding against treatment can be more detrimental in the end. Luckily addiction treatment for professionals is available at The Right Step. Licensed clinicians can help you take appropriate steps toward achieving sobriety and maintaining your job.

Do You Have to Talk About Your Addiction?

Prior to seeking treatment, many professionals try to put on an act at work. And they may actually be able to hide their addiction for a while. After prolonged substance use, however, a habit becomes harder to hide. Substances can impair performance and concentration in ways that can eventually make your condition known to your employers and colleagues. You may begin struggling with your workload. Perhaps your interactions with others in the workplace are strained. These and other common signs of addiction can make others aware of your condition.

Unfortunately, stigma against individuals with mental illness exists, especially in the workplace. It can make people think that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness, and professionals feel that receiving treatment might cost them their jobs. Of course, the truth is that pursuing substance abuse treatment demonstrates ultimate courage and strength. Despite this truth, conversing with your boss about substance abuse is a conversation that should still be approached with tact and care. 

Two Things to Know Before Speaking to Your Boss

Depending on your work performance and supervisory relationship, your boss may already suspect that substances are an issue for you. Still, it may be best that you be upfront with them and orchestrate the conversation about how treatment will affect work in the short term for the long term gain. We’ve compiled these tips to help you feel informed when discussing substance use, addiction treatment and the workplace.

 Learn Your Company’s Health Policies

It can help to research your company’s policies on substance use. Learning the company healthcare policies for employees with illnesses can be beneficial, too. Make sure the time you’ll take off for addiction treatment aligns with your company’s policies. Perhaps, you’ll qualify for unpaid, job-protected weeks of leave.

 Be Aware of Your Federal Rights

Addiction treatment for professionals isn’t a crime. It’s not something that warrants sneaking around or lying. Laws exist to protect individuals with substance abuse disorders. These conditions are seen as chronic diseases and mental illnesses. For this reason, these laws target workplace discrimination. Specifically, they protect workers from being fired over substance use disorders. You have rights under the American Disabilities Act. Know them and use them to determine if you’ve faced discrimination.

Being informed can alleviate any stress you feel about talking to your boss. It can also help you feel more secure in your career. Ultimately, knowing your rights and the types of leave you qualify for can help you feel at ease.

How to Tell Your Employer About Your Health and Addiction 

In these challenging conversations, demonstrating a comfortable, professional level of transparency could help you maintain your job. So could showing commitment to yourself and your work. For this reason, a talk with your boss is inevitable. Conversations about addiction treatment and your job status can be effective if you are:

  • Prepared. As mentioned above, know your employee rights. Being informed can make conversations with your employer smoother and less daunting.
  • Honest. Your boss could suspect you’re going through something. Maybe your performance has diminished. They might’ve noticed declining concentration or focus on your part. Still, it may be in your best interest to be as open as you’re comfortable being about your struggles. You don’t have to give every detail about your addiction and health. Just tell enough to help your employer understand what you’re going through. 
  • Fearless. It’s natural to worry about your reputation. However, don’t let stigma prevent you from getting necessary addiction treatment. Remember that addiction treatment for professionals can only help you strengthen your job performance. You’ll be able to return to the workplace feeling better with greater concentration.
  • Cooperative. Help your boss and colleagues prepare for your leave. Do your best to tie up loose ends before you go. Discuss any projects and deadlines you have with your coworkers. Try your best to make your leave and return as seamless as possible. Doing so can help you mitigate any potential risks of job loss. Allow your workplace to see that addiction treatment for professionals doesn’t have to be a disruption in the company’s deliverables and will ultimately save money.

Follow Through With Your Plans for Addiction Treatment

Once you’ve prepared your office for your leave, prepare yourself. Commit to the idea of seeing treatment through to the end. If you must, promise yourself that you won’t leave addiction treatment prematurely. Show yourself the same dedication you show your career.

Being dedicated means finding the best residential treatment center to meet your needs and any specific nuances that may affect your treatment. If you live in Texas, addiction treatment for professionals is available at The Right Step at one of our two locations in Houston or Hill Country, halfway between Austin and San Antonio. Our centers’ addiction professionals provide clients with recovery tools that foster lasting sobriety. Prioritize attending every individual and group meeting you need.

Thorough treatment and dedication can help you return to your job in the best shape ever. At both of The Right Step programs, clinicians implement evidence-based therapy. They provide clients with information that helps them understand the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction. Additionally, clients can participate in holistic therapy options, treating the mind, body and soul. 

Don’t Let Residential Treatment Be the End of Your Recovery Progress

An effective way to keep your job after treatment is to strive for sobriety constantly. Our clinicians will teach you coping skills during inpatient treatment. Continue utilizing these tools even when you go home and return to work. Keep attending individual and group therapy sessions even as you transition out of treatment. You can gain the ongoing support needed to maintain sobriety through these meetings. 

Consider participating in outpatient treatment as you step down from more intensive options. At The Right Step, mental health professionals and clinicians implement an intensive outpatient program. This program provides you with continued counseling multiple days a week. It has more flexibility, making it ideal for professionals. You’ll be able to schedule appointments that fit with your work schedule. Additionally, you only have to stay in the facility for scheduled appointments and required programming.

The Right Step’s outpatient treatment program gives clients the support and structure needed to live substance-free. In essence, this program helps you establish a sober routine. You can learn how to think and behave congruently with your addiction treatment goals. These aspects make outpatient addiction treatment for professionals critical for people ready to return to the workplace. It produces resources and tools that support a seamless return to the work environment.

Return to Work Focused on a Successful Future

Another way to maintain your job is to fulfill every requirement regarding your return. You and your employer may have set comfortable terms before you left. Perhaps you’re required to take routine drug tests upon arrival. Maybe you must show you’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms for stress. You might’ve committed to exercising, meditating and eating healthier instead of using drugs. Additionally, you may have to show proof of the meetings you attend in treatment. While it may be tedious, invite this level of accountability into your life in the early days of your recovery. 

Take Back Control of Your Life with The Right Step

Various forms of addiction treatment for professionals are available at The Right Step. Clinicians at these treatment facilities utilize evidence-based and holistic treatment plans. Each plan is individually crafted to support and treat your needs. Treatment options offered include:

Regardless of the treatment plan assembled by your clinical team, The Right Step is here to help you every step of the way. Here, you can restore your health and enjoy a substance-free personal and professional life. Call us at (844) 610-7826 to get started!

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