Can I Get My Job Back After Rehab

woman employment

Employment After Addiction Treatment

Many people avoid getting treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction because they fear doing so could hurt their career or prevent them from getting hired by future employers.

However, you could be doing yourself a bigger disservice by not getting the help you need.

Studies show those who got treatment for addiction were more likely to keep their jobs or even get a better one.

If you or your loved one are concerned about losing your job by enrolling in a treatment program, it’s important to understand that your choice to get help is protected by various laws and acts that provide job security. By choosing to go to treatment, you will not only be enhancing your career opportunities by getting sober, but your overall quality of life.

Talking to Your Employer About Rehab

Whether or not you realize it, addiction may be affecting your performance at work. You might find yourself falling behind on responsibilities, skipping shifts or being unable to focus. When it comes to letting your employer know about your decision to go to rehab, you should emphasize that you’re prepared to take the necessary steps to get help.

  • Be as transparent as possible about your willingness to seek help.

    The more honest and upfront you are about the situation, the more your employer can assist you in the process.

  • Make sure all of your work projects are taken care of.

    Tie up any loose ends and coordinate for your boss and/or coworkers to take care of any tasks while you’re gone.

  • Tell your coworkers you’re taking a leave of absence.

    If you’re concerned about letting your coworkers know you’re attending a treatment facility, simply tell them you’re taking a leave of absence. You are entitled to your privacy when getting treatment for an addiction.

Financing Addiction Treatment

Some employers offer employee assistance programs, which can be used to receive counseling or referrals to rehab facilities.

You should also check with your health insurance provider to figure out what your insurance will cover. In order for your health insurance provider to cover substance abuse treatment, you will need to prove medical necessity.

Criteria for Proving Medical Necessity

  • You have a substance-related disorder, as defined by a DSM-5 diagnosis.
  • You are strong enough mentally to benefit from rehab.
  • You have shown a pattern of moderate to severe substance use and/or addictive disorder. This is displayed in your social and familial life, as well as your educational or occupational performance.
  • You present a serious, imminent physical harm to yourself or others directly related to current abuse of substances, such as medical and physical instability, which would limit your ability to get treatment in a less-intensive setting.
  • One of the following must be met to satisfy criterion E:
    • Despite a recent (i.e., the past 3 months) intervention by professionals, you are continually unable to maintain sobriety, or
    • You are living in a severely dysfunctional living environment which doesn’t allow for effective rehabilitation treatment at a less-intensive level of care and alternative living situations are not available or clinically appropriate, or
    • There is evidence that you are not likely to respond at a less intensive level of care.
  • Your condition is appropriate for residential treatment, as there is not a need to detox at an inpatient hospital. You do not have significant co-morbid condition(s).
  • You demonstrate motivation to manage symptoms or make behavioral changes, as shown by attending treatment sessions, completing therapeutic tasks and adhering to a medication regimen or other requirements of treatment.
  • You are capable of developing skills to manage symptoms or make behavioral change.