Struggling with substance abuse and trying not to lose your job is a balancing act that typically won’t end up in your favor. Some people can manage to hold down a job while struggling with substance abuse, but it’s only a matter of time until the consequences of your addiction result in you losing your job. With substance abuse driving your priorities and actions, how do you prevent yourself from losing your job and the career you’ve been working towards? Here are the steps you need to take to not lose your job AND save your life.
Talk to HR About Taking a Leave of Absence
The first step you need to take, is to let your human resources representative know that you need to take a leave of absence. Did you know, you’re legally allowed to take up to 12 weeks off from work, and your employer can’t fire you? It’s true — it’s illegal for your work to let you go because you’re struggling with addiction. This doesn’t mean you can’t get fired from the actions taken while struggling with your addiction. That’s why it’s important for you to approach your human resources department before they fire you for poor work performance or being under the influence in the workplace.
Get Addiction Treatment Resources From Your EAP
Most people don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal struggles with their coworkers, much less their boss or supervisor. The truth is the workplace has a stigma shrouding addiction, when in reality, it’s a disease just like any other — and it needs treatment just as any other would. It’s also ok if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your life story or your substance misuse with your human resources representative! Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are a free third-party unbiased resource for working professionals and they’ll even speak with your HR for you. If you let your EAP communicate your needs for a leave of absence to seek addiction treatment, they’ll inform your human resources without explicit details of why you’re taking time off from work. For more information about how EAPs can benefit you as a worker, click HERE.
Seek Residential Addiction Treatment
There are multiple types of addiction treatment programs, each differing in the amount of time spent working on your rehabilitation, but to get sober for good, you need to seek residential addiction treatment. This consists of a 30-90 day residential program, giving you time away from life’s triggers and allowing you to begin your healing process from the inside out. At Acqua Recovery, our holistic addiction treatment program uses a trauma-informed approach to treat both your addiction and the years of trauma contributing to it. Taking the time you need to heal and not rushing your recovery process, is crucial in preventing you from losing your job, or worse, your life. After completing your residential addiction treatment program, you’ll be able to return to work prepared with the tools you need to stay sober and alternative coping mechanisms, so you can enhance your career in the workplace and begin a better way of living.
Build a Foundation For a Lasting Recovery
The secret to not losing your job due to substance abuse is by setting yourself up for a lasting recovery, so you don’t need to take multiple periods of time away from work. Addiction treatment doesn’t just stop after residential treatment. Living a life in sobriety is a choice you make everyday of your life. At Acqua Recovery, we not only help you build your foundation for recovery during your customized residential treatment program, but we’ll set you up for success. We offer regular after-care support meetings twice a week for alumni who have finished their program and want to continue to receive the support they need. Our clinical staff will also set you up for the transition back to your life and your job post-residential treatment, including sober living opportunities. Early recovery is crucial in both staying sober after treatment and keeping your job, which is why our sober living program gives people a substance-free environment with supportive resources an arms-length away.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, know it is possible to prevent yourself from losing your career, by getting the residential addiction treatment you need. All you have to do is take the first step and give our caring admissions team — Matt, Brian, and Ashlee — a call and we’ll help guide you through the steps to taking a leave of absence. Rediscover yourself with the help of Acqua Recovery.