When drug addiction takes over your life, you have to wage war against it if you are going to take control of your body. Whether you are struggling with alcoholism or another form of addiction, you need to come clean. It’s easier said than done. You’ve tried to quit only be cave to the intensity of your cravings and the symptoms of withdrawal that made you feel miserable. You know that detox and rehab is the answer. There’s a major problem. You have to work. You’re afraid if you try to enter a rehab program, you will lose your job. You need to remember that your health comes first and you are protected under the law.

The Family Medical Leave Act Opens the Door to Addiction Treatment

When your faced with alcoholism, illegal drug use, or prescription drug use, you know that you are dealing with a problem that is more than you can handle alone. You need to seek help. The best way to get assistance is to turn to a drug rehab facility in order to concentrate on getting well. However, if you are like three quarters of victims of addiction, you also hold a job. You are afraid that you are going to be fired if you tell your superiors that you need to enter a recovery program. According to the Family Medical Leave Act, otherwise referred to as FMLA, you can have up to twelve weeks, or three months, of leave without pay due to a medical condition. Addiction, including alcoholism, prescription drug use, and illicit drug use, is considered a type of medical disorder. In addition to approving time off for treatment, your employer must continue to offer you insurance benefits, making addiction treatment possible for you.

How Do You Know if You are Covered Under the FMLA?

If your employer has at least 50 people on staff, you are an educator, or you work for a public agency, you’ve been on the job for a year, and you have put in at least 1,250 hours, you are covered under the FMLA. Your employer can’t let you go because you need help as you battle alcoholism or other types of addiction.

What About Going without Pay?

Unfortunately, your employer does not have to pay you for the entire 12 weeks of FMLA time. You may receive pay for your allotted amount of sick time. Other vacation time may be a potential source of pay while you are undergoing treatment. Some employers have a sick bank that is available when employees need additional paid leave. Otherwise, you may find that you are going to have to face a period of time without any pay while you are being treated for addiction. This is a challenge that keeps many victims of substance abuse from seeking treatment. As difficult as it may be to lose wages while undergoing rehabilitation in an addiction treatment center, you need to keep the big picture in mind. Your well-being needs to be moved to the top of the list. Otherwise, you won’t be able to perform your duties. You place yourself at greater risk of losing your job if you don’t take control of your life. Of most pressing concern is the impact that addiction will have on your health if you don’t find a solution.

Rehab Can Actually Help You to Keep Your Job

Once you undergo detox and rehabilitation, you will be able to put your addiction behind you. You’ll be able to return to work, able to concentrate on your responsibilities, rather than the source of your addiction. You may even leave yourself open to advancement if you can prove yourself and improve your performance while on the job. You are much more likely to gain your employer’s respect when you admit you have a medical condition that needs treatment, you seek help, and successfully complete your program.

You Can Work and Go to Rehab

As you consider your alternatives for treatment, inpatient programs are not your only option. If you cannot afford to be out of work for an extended period of time, you can look into outpatient options, including treatment at home and counseling services. Support group meetings and the aid of a mentor can help you to successfully achieve recovery from addiction. Talk with your physician, your employer, and your health insurance representatives to find out what options are available for you to find your way to recovery.

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