Who has time to take off from work when it seems like you are the only one who has the experience and training to do your job? If no one else knows how to perform your duties, the company essentially relies on you to do your part, and that’s a very heavy load to carry, depending on your rank in the organization. While residential treatment works best for intensive healing and recovery, many working professionals see taking time off as an obstacle to treatment, and consequently, they don’t get the help they need because they feel responsible for the workload they leave behind.
If this scenario describes you, the good news is that you have options! Before you give in to misconceptions about taking a leave of absence, please read on and consider your rights.
There are two labor and disability laws that work in your favor. These initiatives are designed to protect working professionals like you from losing their jobs, so you can be proactive about seeking treatment for substance abuse.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible workers to take off 12 weeks of job- protected leave in a 12-month period for a “serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions” of the job, which includes substance use disorders. This also covers employees who need to care for a family member who may have substance abuse addiction. Most employer-based health insurance policies cover addiction treatment.
While The American Disabilities Act (ADA) does not recognize drug and alcohol addiction as a “physical disability,” it does qualify individuals who “have been successfully rehabilitated” and “who are currently participating in a rehabilitation program.” Individuals who are in recovery may be protected under the ADA because addiction “is considered a substantially limiting impairment.” There are intricate loopholes in this law, but the ADA provides reasonable accommodations for those who are willing to seek treatment for alcoholism and drug use.
New Method Wellness, a premier dual diagnosis treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, offers a variety of treatment programs that are tailored to the needs of busy working professionals. Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offers flexibility with intensive treatment, allowing executives and working professionals to adapt their substance abuse treatment around their work schedules. For professionals who choose to take a leave of absence, they can focus on their recovery in one of our luxurious residential treatment homes with private rooms and comfortable, state-of-the-art furnishings. Our residential homes are just minutes away from the beach, and the beautiful natural surroundings enhance our clients’ recovery experience.
Whether you choose IOP or residential treatment, you get to choose from a wide array of holistic programs, such as the following:
If you choose not to disclose your attempt to seek addiction treatment, you might worry that your employer will find out one way or another, especially because they are the policy holder of the group health insurance. Thanks to the confidentiality laws, your health information is protected under 42 CFR Part 2 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should you choose to be upfront about your recovery, review your company’s drug and alcohol policy first before approaching your employer.