Navigating the Path to Recovery: Balancing Work and Drug Rehab in PA

discussing rehab at work

Seeking help and embarking on a journey to recovery through drug rehab in PA is a brave and life-changing decision. However, when you have a job, the prospect of going to rehab can be daunting. You might feel anxious about taking time off work and have concerns over your income, job security and professional life in general. 

According to this article, 60 percent of Americans battling drug or alcohol addiction also have jobs. This means that the majority of people with substance use disorders are also working in some capacity - a far cry from the stereotypical ‘addict’ who is homeless and poor. The reality is that addiction can happen to anyone.

Fortunately, you have options in terms of taking off time from work and getting the help you need. Let’s discuss some tips and insights that will help you achieve the right balance between your health and career.  

Know Your Rights 

First and foremost, know your rights, as these will empower you to get the help you need. Several federal laws protect your right to work while seeking recovery. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for serious health conditions, including addiction. There are eligibility requirements you’ll have to meet. 

The Americans of Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures you’re protected from workplace discrimination. In other words, your employer cannot discriminate against you for your addiction. Other laws that offer protection include The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Fair Housing Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Keep in mind that these laws only protect you if you are seeking help for your addiction. If you show up to work under the influence, the laws no longer offer protection, and your employer has the right to fire you. 

Prioritize Your Well-Being

Once you admit that you have a drug or alcohol problem, the next step is to prioritize your recovery. Yes, you may have to take time off work, but you’ll be able to return healthy in a few weeks or months. Without treatment, you can end up compromising your long-term career. Bottom line: Seeking treatment is an investment in your future. 

Some of the best ways to prioritize your health and well-being are by: 

  • Blocking time for yourself 
  • Talking about your feelings and emotions 
  • Valuing your physical health 
  • Setting boundaries 
  • Making self-care a part of your day 
  • Practicing mindfulness 
  • Connecting with others 
  • Transforming negative self-talk 
  • Learning to say no 

Research Your Options 

Start by researching drug rehabs in PA that align with your needs and preferences. Look for programs that offer flexible schedules or outpatient options. You do not have to enter an inpatient treatment program to receive a high quality of care.

For instance, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs offer a high level of care with access to counselors, therapists, doctors and other addiction treatment professionals. These programs allow individuals to maintain much of their normal schedule while receiving treatment and support during the week. 

Also keep in mind that treatment for substance use disorders often follows a continuum, meaning that you can ‘step down’ to lower levels of care with progress. This means that you will eventually spend less time in therapy and be able to pick up more work hours, providing that you are responding to treatment. seeking rehab while working

Open Communication with Your Employer

While the idea of disclosing your situation to your employer might be intimidating, open communication is key. If you feel comfortable, have a candid conversation with your supervisor or HR department about your decision to seek treatment. Discuss the potential impact on your work and explore possibilities for temporary leave or remote work options.

Some companies also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can be extremely helpful. These work-based intervention groups help employees handle their problems in constructive ways, including addiction. If your work has this program, they can likely recommend assessments, counseling and referrals. 

Plan Ahead

Before going to rehab, ensure your workload is managed efficiently. Delegate tasks, provide clear instructions to colleagues and set up an out-of-office email to inform clients and customers about your absence. Planning ahead will help minimize disruptions and maintain a sense of professionalism. 

Also plan ahead at home, such as by finding someone who can pick up the kids from school, handle the grocery shopping and walk the pets. Keeping things running smoothly at home will maintain your normal schedule and ease stress, allowing you to focus on your recovery so that you can return to work sooner. 

Stay Connected

During your time in rehab, it can be helpful to stay connected to your employer and colleagues. This may include checking in to offer updates on your progress and discussing any work-related matters that may arise. Maintaining communication showcases your commitment to your job and eases concerns about your absence.

However, the most important thing right now is your recovery. If work is going to interfere with your recovery or distract you from healing, then it’s best to take a complete leave of absence. Everything will still be there when you get back. Again, you need this time to recover so that you can return to the workforce. 

Embrace Self-Care 

Recovery is a transformative journey, and practicing self-care is essential. Utilize the resources available in the rehab facility to nurture your mental and emotional well-being, which may include therapy, counseling, support groups, medication-assisted therapy and alternative practices. 

Practicing regular self-care will not only aid your recovery but also equip you with valuable tools to manage stress in your professional life. Plus, as you return to the workplace and experience more work-related stress, you’ll need to know how to manage this in healthy ways. Self-care will be your tool for balancing work and life. 

Drug Rehab in PA for Working Professionals 

Recovery Cove in Easton PA offers a Professionals Program for working individuals, such as pilots, lawyers, healthcare providers and other licensed professionals. These individuals typically prefer to maintain confidentiality while receiving a high level of care. 

Working professionals not only receive treatment for their substance use disorder, but also a wide range of therapies such as EMDR, yoga, nature therapy, spiritual direction and nutritional counseling. Contact us today at 484-549-COVE to learn more about our outpatient rehabilitation programs for working professionals.