When you enter an addiction recovery program, you probably won’t be able to work for weeks or months. You will need to talk to your employer about taking time off to enter a rehabilitation center. You might be worried about their reaction to such a sensitive topic, but this conversation is necessary. Once you’ve learned what’s involved in the different types of rehab, you can use the guide below to protect your interests and learn how to approach this subject with your employer.

Talking to Your Employer About Addiction Recovery

What to Keep In Mind When Speaking to Your Boss About Addiction Recovery

1. Know Your Rights Regarding Recovery

For many people struggling with addiction, their biggest fear is losing their jobs if they admit the problem and seek treatment. Do not worry! Drug addiction is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means you have some protections. While you can be fired for performance issues or for breaking workplace policies with your substance use, you cannot be fired for seeking treatment. When you qualify for FMLA leave, you may take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for a rehab program, and your employer must let you keep your job. Knowing this should alleviate some of your concerns and reduce stress hormones that affect your body.

Employer About Addiction Recovery

2. Keep the Conversation Formal

Arrange a formal meeting with your boss and an HR manager or union representative as soon as you are ready to discuss the treatment approach you have chosen for addiction recovery. They are responsible for ensuring that the company complies with the law, which benefits you in this case. Send an email to document what you discussed after the meeting.  

3. Admit Your Problem with Addiction Clearly

Most likely, your boss or supervisor already knows about your substance abuse. It’s hard to hide addiction, and few people are able to do so. Addiction affects your brain and body which, over time, become more and more apparent to those around you. You probably won’t bring bad news to your boss at this meeting. Instead, you inform them that you are seeking addiction recovery. Your commitment to change will make you a better employee, in addition to asking for the specific support you need, as FMLA leaves.

Addiction Recovery

Talking To Your Employer About Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery is a long journey. Having a discussion with your employer doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared. Knowing your rights and also understanding that treatment and therapy are fundamental to addiction recovery can help you feel confident in talking to your employer. We have Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs that work with your schedule to help you begin the recovery process.