The term functional alcoholics/addicts is colloquially used to describe those who are able to maintain a degree of balance in their personal lives – despite their substance abuse habits. While internally things might not be going all that well, on the outside they appear to have a degree of management over their jobs, families, and personal affairs.
For those who wish to heal their condition, there could be a lot of stigma and fears associated with their jobs.
It’s likely that they have missed out on work, called in sick, giving the employer fake excuses when they were too hungover or high to attend. They could fear that their employer would catch up on these lies and let them go, that recovery would keep them from working and paying their bills and/or debts, and worst of all they fear that they could face unemployment if they relapse or are not able to recover right away.
Fears and uncertainties about work can act as an enabler that keeps the addict from seeking help, maintaining their addiction a secret to protect their jobs.
Fortunately, there are laws that protect employed addicts seeking recovery.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provide protection to those seeking recovery from being fired for going to rehab.
According to FMLA law, an addict may take a work leave if receiving substance abuse treatment that is provided, and referred, by a healthcare provider. Missing out on work because an addict is abusing a substance or recovering from a substance abuse episode does not qualify them for FMLA leave.
So no, unfortunately, that hangover is not covered, but gratefully those who are seeking to get well are protected; however, there is “but” – a loophole in the law, which is dependent on established, non-discriminatory, policies that could under certain circumstances allow an employee to be terminated. If unsure, It’s always best to check the employment contract and speak with a legal advisor or someone in the U.S. Department of Labor.
ADA law works along similar lines, as it protects addicts who are in recovery and no longer using drugs, or who have already recovered from drug use. Yet, it does not protect addicts using drugs who are not in recovery.
Can you work while in inpatient rehab? Yes, absolutely. If you feel like you are able to work, and your well-being permits you to work during your rehab – then why not?
Rehab centers are built for comfort. WIFI and areas where work can be performed should be available in inpatient rehab centers. This changes the question from – can you work while in inpatient rehab? To – Do you want to work while in inpatient rehab? Many do choose the latter.
Work can be a way to free yourself from stress. Rehab centers certainly don’t want to hinder your career progress, or add any additional worries to your recovery.
On the other hand, if remote work is not an option, it could be trickier with inpatient programs. However, with the right qualifications, a work-release permit may be available.
Don’t Prolong Your Addiction
While worrying about our careers is normal and understandable, it shouldn’t be an excuse not to seek recovery. If you are still unsure about what work will be like during recovery then it’s best to contact professionals and get help.
Recovery Beach serves many areas around California and can help you and your loved ones find the help you need to get sober.
Contact Recovery Beach today to find out more about rehab inpatient programs.