Leaving Work for Rehab Treatment
Attending a rehab treatment facility can be a difficult decision for a number of different reasons. Not only will you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle but you will also need to leave behind family and friends for a period of time. People also struggle with the decision of what to do about their job.
There are a few different paths you can take when you are considering how your job will fit into rehab. If you feel it is impossible or unwise to take time off from work to attend an inpatient treatment center then you can always opt for outpatient treatment. This type of treatment will allow you to continue going to work every day as usual while you work on your recovery.
If you feel you must absolutely attend an inpatient treatment center and take time away from work to live in a facility then you can either make an arrangement with your boss to come back or choose to walk away from your job and find another path after you complete rehab. Either choice is valid depending on what your experience has been at work and how it has affected your addiction.
People who have very stressful jobs that they dislike and seem to worse their condition may find it liberating and better for their mental health to quit and move on. Rehab can provide them some time to rethink what they want to do about their career once they are sober. Most rehab programs offer help with job placement following the completion of treatment.
For those who enjoy their jobs but find that drug addiction has impacted their performance, taking some time off and returning after treatment may help improve their experience at work. Whatever decision you make regarding work and rehab treatment, it is important to have a plan in place so that you will have some type of employment available to keep you afloat after rehab.
Taking Time Off Work
It is important to weigh your decision carefully about work and be certain that you are doing the best thing for your health. Remember that the most important priority is staying sober and not doing anything to jeopardize your recovery. If you think continuing to go to work during treatment will be too stressful and could endanger your ability to remain sober than do everything you can to take some time off.
A good thing to keep in mind is that you have certain employment rights that allow you to attend treatment without being stigmatized or fired for having an addiction. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with certain disabilities, mental illnesses and diseases including addiction so that they are not allowed to be discriminated against by their employers. If you enter a rehab program you are protected by the ADA and cannot be fired or demoted for reasons related to your addiction.
If you need to take time off work for your treatment, you also have rights protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act which allow you to take up to twelve weeks of medical leave. People can take this time off for various health problems including addiction treatment without being fired by their employer. Unfortunately, this time off is generally unpaid unless your employer decides to provide their employees with paid leave.
If you are willing to and can afford to take some time off work, then you can talk to your boss about when you are planning to leave and make arrangements with them about when you can return. If you are a full time employee they should allow you this time off to make sure you take care of your health. Ultimately, having healthy and sober employees will benefit them and the company as well.
Changing Career Paths
Some people may make the decision to leave their work permanently to attend rehab and change career paths in the process. This is entirely a personal decision to make but it may be a more difficult transition when you leave rehab treatment. However, if you are miserable at your current job then ultimately it could make staying sober an easier task in the future.
If you decide to quit your job then make sure to speak with career counselors while in treatment and make a plan to start going back to school or applying for new jobs when treatment ends. Being unemployed after completing rehab can be dangerous because having too much time on your hands and no sense of purpose will often trigger a relapse. Take the time to consider career options while you are in treatment so that you know what you want after returning back home.
Work is a crucial element to consider when you are making plans to enter rehab. Whether you decide to stay at work, take time off or leave your job permanently, make sure that you focus on your health and successful recovery above everything else.