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Time Off for Addiction Rehab

“I can’t take time off for rehab. I’d lose my job!”

We get it. Taking time off work is a challenge in the best of times. However, when it comes to rehab, think about it as a short-term investment in long-term recovery. A few weeks compared to many years of happy, clean living? That’s a trade-off worth taking.

(Note: We have seen people use “I can’t take time off work” as an excuse not to seek treatment. It’s easy to do, and those using it may feel some legitimacy. We’re not judging, but it IS an excuse, and if you do need help, please reconsider.)

If you really do want to go into rehab, but feel you can’t get the time off, it’s okay. You have options. In fact, several rehab options exist that work with the demands of employment. Let’s talk about a few.

EAP (Employee Assistance Program)

If you work for a company that has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), you can speak to the EAP rep.  Check with your supervisor about the process.

From OPM.gov:

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.

Family & Medical Leave Act

Some employers offer up to 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA allows you to take unpaid time off for treatment of multiple medical conditions – one of which is Substance Use Disorder. The advantage to FMLA leave is that it doesn’t affect your health insurance. Ask your employer for FMLA details.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

It means using up some of your PTO. Maybe even all. Think what you’re getting for that time though…recovery from addiction. A new start. Your life back.

Outpatient Rehab Option

Day Treatment / Outpatient Programs

If you have no PTO, your employer has no EAP option, and you can’t take unpaid time, you can still take advantage of a non-residential program such as day treatment or outpatient.

 

See? You have more options than you may have thought. Thanks to flexible rehab centers like SSH, it’s possible to keep your job and seek treatment for addiction. You’ll have an intense few weeks or months…but you’ll come out of it with the tools to lead a much healthier life.

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