While it’s become normalized within society and the workplace to keep your “home issues” at home, it’s not that simple — especially when you're struggling with addiction. Unfortunately, as much as we may wish we could just drop all our baggage at the door before walking into the workplace everyday, we can’t. Just as well, our work stressors can blend into our personal lives. The truth is, if you’re struggling with substance abuse or any mental health issues for that matter, they can’t be ignored and deserve the treatment that they need. If you have been discouraged from seeking addiction due to the stigma associated with those problems in the workplace, and a labor union may be able to help advocate for you to take a leave of absence.
What’s a Labor Union?
Before we get into how a labor union can help you with substance abuse, let’s start with the basics. A labor union is an organized group of workers in the same trade that help protect and further workers rights. They help with things such as fair wage, hours, and rights. These rights include the right to seek addiction treatment without losing your job. Here are just a few of the many types of unions available:
- Construction workers
- Office workers
- Factory workers
- And so much more…
How Can a Labor Union Help Me With My Addiction?
Substance abuse affects your mind, body, and overall well-being, so even if you may think it’s not directly inhibiting your work performance, it is. Labor unions were originally created to fight for workers rights — including seeking addiction treatment. A labor union can help you with health insurance benefits, referrals, advice, advocate for your rights, and more.
Worker’s Health Insurance Benefits
Most labor unions offer their members health insurance coverage that typically includes a higher percentage of coverage for addiction treatment and a longer approved time period for it. Addiction is something that can’t be cured overnight and it takes the proper amount of time in residential addiction treatment to build a foundation for long-term recovery. Because health insurance offered is union-negotiated, they’ll be able to advocate for an adjudication of coverage that is medically appropriate without getting cut short.
A Union Worker’s Rights to Addiction Treatment
While we spend a third of our life at work, it may seem like taking a leave of absence isn’t an option. The truth is, your addiction will only continue to make situations worse in your personal and work life until you seek addiction treatment. Thinking about the bigger picture, by getting residential substance abuse treatment now, you could actually be saving your job. Don’t worry, you legally can’t be fired for taking time off of work for rehab.
As a worker, you’re entitled to the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and can take up to 12 weeks off of unpaid leave with job protection. Your labor union will not only inform you of your rights as a worker, but will advocate for you by communicating your need for a leave of absence to seek treatment to your job. They’ll also coordinate your return to work, giving you confidence in your job security while you take the time you need to begin to heal from the years of trauma that have escalated your substance abuse.
Seeking Addiction Treatment for Workers
Are you unsure if you qualify for the FMLA or don’t know how to join a labor union? Give our caring admissions team a call today and we’ll help you figure out the best steps for you to take to not only get the addiction treatment you deserve, but make it affordable for you. At Acqua Recovery, we offer a holistic, dual-diagnosis approach to addiction treatment and will customize your treatment program to you. Give us a call today to receive a free over-the-phone assessment with one of our caring admissions team members — Matt, Brian, or Ashlee — and begin your journey to recovery.