How to Talk to your Employer about Going into Inpatient Rehab
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a complex illness that needs treatment. One of the best most effective forms of treatment is inpatient rehab, where you can get completely away from your addiction and its triggers. Unfortunately, if you have a job you will need to take time off work to go into inpatient rehab.
Most rehabs offer both short and long term programs but the shortest program is often two weeks. That is a lot of time to take off work. You might be wondering how to approach your employer about taking this time off to get off drugs and get healthy.
Do you Have to Tell?
Whether you are required to tell your employer, you are taking time off for drug rehab depends on your employer. Technically, it is an illness and you do not have to disclose the specifics of an illness to an employer. This of course depends on your employer. Most places encourage honesty but sometimes this honesty can cost you your job. Ultimately, it is up to you whether to tell your employer you are seeking time off to engage in drug treatment. Since many companies have a zero tolerance policy, silence might be your best course of action.
Unfortunately, you still need the time off.
What Alternatives do you Have?
There are several alternatives to telling your employer that you need time off for addiction treatment. Some of these alternatives are:
- Family medical leave – you might be eligible for long term leave through the federal FMLA program. You need to speak with your human resources department about this.
- Vacation time – although not the best vacation, you might want to consider using your vacation time to get drug treatment.
- Sick leave – there are doctors that will write you nonspecific notes about why you need to time off for an illness. Most doctors that know you are going in for drug treatment will not put the reason for the leave on the note or excuse.
- Telling your boss you need the time off for another reason – there are many reasons why you could need time off. It is best to give your employers some reason for the time that you are taking.
There are other ways such as scheduling your time off during a particularly slow period in work.
If you Decide to Be Honest about Drug Rehab
As the information about drug addiction and illness become more accepted, more employers are accepting of drug treatment as an alternative to losing a valuable already trained employee. Approaching your employer in a practical manner and simply stating that you have a problem that needs to be taken care of before you can return to work might be the most simple solution.
Only you know how your employer will react to this information. You need to study your employee handbook thoroughly before speaking to your employer about your drug use. For more information on where to seek treatment privately or for approved treatment facilities call us at 800-681-7369.