Will I Lose My Job If I Take Time Off for Rehab?

Your mental health is critical to your overall health, and nothing’s more crippling to your mental health than a drug or alcohol addiction. Substance abuse has always been present in the United States, but it’s spiked in recent years.

Getting clean of a drug habit takes a lot of hard work and a great supporting cast. Going to rehab is a great way to learn how to overcome addiction and build new positive habits. However, many people never go to a rehab center because they’re afraid going could cost them their job. In this article, we’ll tell you whether you can be fired for going to rehab.

Substance abuse disorders are a health concern.

Drug abuse can touch every area of your life. It can negatively impact your work performance and relationships and even cause you to lose them. However, one major shift is that experts now see addiction as a medical condition rather than merely a criminal one.

Detoxification and psychotherapy are parts of a holistic approach to treating substance abuse. The top rehab centers in Phoenix offer dual diagnosis treatment because they understand that alcohol and drug addiction are often driven by an underlying mental health condition. Studies show that around half of all people with a drug addiction also suffer from a mental health issue, and over 50% of people with a mental health condition also battle substance abuse. The correlations are stark.

The Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA) legislates that mental illness and addiction must be treated with the same level of care and regard as physical illness. Furthermore, if you’re in drug or alcohol rehab and not currently using any substance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects you from being fired when seeking treatment for drug abuse.

Full-time employees may be entitled to medical leave.

As we discussed previously, society and the workforce are learning to treat drug and alcohol abuse as medical conditions. This shift means behavioral therapy and addiction treatment are on the same level as other medical treatments. With that being said, if you’re a full-time employee, you may be entitled to take a medical leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

FMLA enables employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and medical situations. If you qualify for leave and have health insurance, you could use your time to enter a luxury rehab center and focus on your mental health and addiction treatment. You don’t have to worry about your co-workers learning the reason for your medical leave: FMLA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protect your confidentiality, and any breach of your confidence could entitle you to financial damages.

Always put your health first.

Indeed, not every employee or company qualifies for FMLA, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting the help you need. Whether you opt for outpatient treatment or choose to undergo the treatment process at an in-patient luxury rehab resort, the point is to prioritize your health. Your projects will be waiting for you when you return to your work desk, but the most important things to work on are your sobriety and mental health.

There’s been a paradigm shift in the way we view and treat addiction in the United States, and it’s about time. We finally recognize substance abuse disorder as a health problem rather than merely a behavioral one. Moreover, we’re learning that what a person battling an addiction needs most is compassion.

The opioid epidemic has shined new light on the drug addiction problem in the United States. Now, we have more and better treatment programs and laws to protect people seeking treatment. Furthermore, if you’re a full-time employee, you could be entitled to up to 12 weeks of family or medical leave of absence. Ultimately, the most important thing is to put your health and family first and get the help you need.