There are many people in active addiction who are able to hold down a good job, even though they are addicted to drugs. There often reaches a point when addicts realize that they can’t keep juggling their responsibilities and their addiction. When this happens, many try to quit using on their own only to fail because they aren’t able to cope with the harsh withdrawal symptoms that they experience.

Fortunately, if you are battling a drug addiction and are ready to overcome it, there are treatment facilities available that can provide you with the help you need to get and stay clean. If you have a job, there are things that you can do to ensure that your job is still waiting for you when you finish your rehabilitation program. Learn what steps you need to take to ensure you have a job when you come back from rehab.

Know Your Rights

keeping a jobThe first thing you need to do is learn about your rights. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, provides you with the ability to seek professional help for your addiction without suffering any repression from your employer. In order to qualify for FMLA, you must go to a professional treatment facility. You may need to get a referral from your doctor to go to the treatment program that you choose though.

If you relapse during the treatment process or leave the program prematurely, you may not be covered by FMLA. During the treatment process, your employer is legally obligated to hold your position for you so that you can return to it upon completion of the program. Failure to do so will lead to huge legal repercussions for them.

Your boss isn’t legally obligated to pay you during the time that you are in treatment however, so you need to make adjustments to your budget to cover your bills during this period when you won’t be receiving a paycheck.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

If you have health insurance, there is a good chance that it may cover your treatment. Addiction is a chronic disease that often needs to be treated professionally in order for someone to overcome it. If a medical professional has diagnosed you to have an addiction to drugs, you can submit that information to your insurance company and have a portion or possibly all of your treatment paid for by your insurance coverage.

What to Inform Your Boss

You only need to let him or her know that you have a medical condition. They don’t need to know what is going on regarding your addiction. They will need to know how long you plan on being gone so they can make arrangements while you are gone. It’s not your responsibility to fill your position temporarily. Using FMLA shows them that even though you need treatment that you are serious about your job and want to return to it.

Do Work Ahead of Time if You Can

In order to be the best employee that you can, try to tackle any and all work that you can before you go into treatment. Be sure that you are doing things the right way and not rushing through them. You want to make your absence have as minimal impact on the company as possible.

You can schedule to have emails go out on a certain day, schedule to have deliveries made ahead of time and make arrangements with your boss to have anything else done that they need done before you leave. Your boss will respect you for taking the initiative to make sure that you aren’t creating added work for them while you are away.

Adjust Your Schedule as Needed

You don’t need to tell anyone that you work with that you are going into rehab. Find out what is coming up in the near future and see what things you can schedule to do after you get out of rehab and which you need to take care of before you go in. You can simply tell people that you are taking a medical or personal leave for a bit and want to tackle everything that you can before you do.

Focus During Your Treatment

If you want to be able to get back to work as quickly as possible, you need to focus while you’re in your treatment program. Many people get distracted by what may or may not be going on in the outside world while they are in treatment.

You need to focus on yourself and be willing to take in all that the program has to offer. Talk to the therapists about the way that you have been feeling, what triggers you to want to do drugs and what strides you think you need to make to stay clean when you get out of the treatment program. Most treatment programs last a few weeks to a few months so focusing for that short period of time is important if you want to be as successful as you can be with your recovery.

When you get out of treatment, don’t go back to the way of life that you were living before. It’s a good idea to go to regular group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous. According to NA, “We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.” Meeting with other recovering addicts helps you stay on track and have accountability with your recovery. 40% to 60% of all addicts relapse without ongoing treatment.

In order to avoid becoming part of the statistics you need to stay away from people who use drugs, avoid your triggers, focus on bettering yourself at work and outside of work and keeping yourself accountable for every decision that you make along the way. The journey won’t be easy, but it will be well worth it in the end.

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