As you begin to settle back into your regular life after completing your treatment for substance abuse, you may be eager to return back to work. On the other hand, you may be holding out on receiving treatment out of fear of losing your job entirely.
When considering when it’s time to return to work, it’s best to remember your rights as an employee as well as prioritize your well-being.
Returning to Work After Addiction Treatment
Can I Be Fired for Receiving Treatment?
Under federal ADA statues, you often have some protection in your workplace when it comes to addiction — but it can vary and be particular based on your circumstances. In order to be protected under the ADA, you will have to be considered a person with a disability.
Those Struggling with Drug Abuse
In many cases, you won’t be considered a “qualified individual with a disability” if you are currently using illegal drugs — the term “current” being of great importance, as those formerly addicted to drugs are considered qualified. However, if you are recovering from drug addiction, are currently rehabilitating, and have stopped using illicit drugs, you are often protected by the ADA and will not be fired from your job.
Those Struggling with Alcohol Abuse
If you struggle with alcohol abuse, you are covered under the ADA since courts typically consider alcoholism a disability.
It’s important to note that, especially if you struggle with drug abuse, it’s best (and potentially necessary) to be proactive in telling your employer you require rehabilitation in order to qualify as a person with a disability. If you receive disciplinary action first, you will not be able to qualify under ADA rules and may potentially be terminated or be unable to get your job back after treatment.
When Can I Return to Work After Rehab?
Upon completing your alcohol or drug addiction treatment, it’s often best to take your time and assess how you’re feeling before rushing back to work. There are a few things to consider such as:
Your Stress Level: If your job was creating enough stress in your life that you turned to drugs or alcohol to cope, it may be a good idea to hold off on returning to work or even consider a less stressful career path. Methods such as meditation or deep breathing can also help to relieve stress in the workplace and keep you on the path to sobriety.
Your Co-Workers: While you have no obligation to explain your absence, it may relieve some internal stress if you’re honest with your colleagues about your treatment.
At Silver Ridge, we offer individualized substance abuse treatment for midlife adults in North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Our holistic treatment program supports the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of our patients through a variety of research-backed treatment modalities.
Contact us at Silver Ridge to learn more about our compassionate care and substance abuse treatment for midlife adults by dialing (855) 945-7788.