Working Professionals

You’ve worked hard to get where you are in your career. Now, your use of alcohol or drugs is threatening that progress.

But there’s no way you can leave your job behind to focus exclusively on addiction treatment for weeks or months. You don’t have to.

One of the most commonly cited obstacles to entering treatment for functional addicts, or people who are active in their careers and potentially have a family at home as well, is the feeling that they cannot put their business to the side without risking everything they have worked for. The fact is, however, that when addiction is present, it is only a matter of time before career and home life implode.

The only proactive way to address the situation with the hope of saving your career and your family is to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program. With help, it can then be possible to get back on track and begin to put into practice the new patterns of behavior that will support a healthy life in recovery.

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Work-Life Balance

One of the reasons that many professionals turn to drugs and alcohol is to try to manage the strain and stress that come with trying to strike a balance between the demands of a fast-paced career and a busy home life. It’s not an easy task under any circumstances. Many people who are driven to succeed in every part of life turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to help them relieve stress and manage worry.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to be the best all the time and defining your terms of success by what others have done. Constant comparison, whether or internal or imposed by the industry, can quickly drive people to lose confidence and feel like they have to work 12-hour days without a break to be on top of their game.

Stressful, long work hours week in and week out are not sustainable, and some turn to stimulant drugs to help them maintain high energy levels. Still others may use alcohol or pills to help them downshift and rest when they decide to take the time to do so. Neither one is a functional way to manage day-to-day life, and addiction can quickly result when these are the only tools available to cope.

Will Treatment Negatively Impact My Career?

Though many who use drugs and alcohol while managing to maintain their career and home life feel that their use of substances is a secret from coworkers and family members, the truth is that you are likely not keeping the secret as well as you think.

When you are under the influence, it is difficult to keep anything undercover, and those who are closest to you will start to notice changes relatively early on. If it is impacting the work or support they are getting from you on the job, or your emotional or physical availability at home, chances are that people have known for longer than you may realize.

Whether or not others are aware of the degree of your substance abuse problem, one thing that is certain is that active addiction without treatment will ultimately result in:

  • Lost opportunities at work.
  • Botched projects that threaten trust and teamwork on the job.
  • Disciplinary action, demotion, and/or job loss.
  • Difficulties in relationships at home.
  • Lost connections with close friends and family.
  • Potential divorce or broken relationships that cannot be repaired.

Without treatment, the addiction will negatively impact your career. If the concern is that lost traction at work due to taking time off for treatment will be detrimental, consider how devastating it would be to lose your job due to an untreated addiction.

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What Is FMLA, and Why Does It Matter?

The Family and Medical Leave Act was instituted in 1993 with the intent to help eligible employees access protected, unpaid leave for medical purposes. This is important if you are living with an addiction and concerned with losing your job when you admit the problem and take time off to seek help. It is also important to others in your family who may need to take leave to support you in the treatment process.

Some important factors to note:

  • FMLA may not be available to all employees. The employer must be covered for it to apply.
  • All leave given under FMLA is unpaid, but health coverage will continue, and the job will be there upon your return.
  • Up to 12 work weeks may be taken for the purpose of getting treatment or care for a serious health condition that negatively impacts your job.
  • Up to 12 work weeks may be taken to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.

The job protection provided in this law is extended to families of all kinds, including same sex partners. The length of covered leave for caregivers more than doubles to 26 weeks if the person suffering from illness is a covered servicemember and the caregiver’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin.

If you work for a small business, it is a good idea to check local and federal laws and find out what protections may apply. Having the peace of mind that your job will be there to return to and that you will not lose your insurance coverage during the process of treatment can help you to relax and get the most out of your time in rehab.

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Is Outpatient Treatment a Viable Option?

Depending on your individual situation, outpatient treatment can be an effective solution for working professionals. For example, continuing to go to work and going to treatment could work for you if:

  • You have excellent, positive support for your recovery at home.
  • You are able to build a strong network in the recovery community on your own time.
  • Your work is not overly stressful.
  • You get along with your coworkers, and they are supportive of your recovery.
  • You are able to prioritize your treatment program.

Inpatient treatment may be preferable if you:

  • Find it difficult to split your focus between work, home, and treatment. Treatment must take precedence.
  • Are concerned about your ability to avoid relapse due to stressors at work or home.
  • Are living with a co-occurring mental health disorder or medical condition that may complicate the detox and recovery process.
  • Are struggling with unstable relationships at home or work.

Many treatment programs are designed with working professionals in mind. While general rehabs might not allow the use of smartphone or laptops, programs for working professionals will. There might be some level of supervision of this use, but program coordinators will work with you so you can continue to manage your work as needed.

If this is your first time in treatment, you may not be immediately sure what type or style of treatment will best suit your needs. Choose what you believe will work best for you, get a second opinion from a doctor, and move forward.

You always have the option to step up or pull back on the time and intensity of the program as you figure out what will best support you in recovery.

If you are considering enrolling in an alcohol rehab center in Florida and prioritizing your health, rest assured that there are options that will work with your needs. Countless working professionals have been able to get addiction treatment while still staying connected to their job. Some rehab programs are designed specifically with this need in mind.

Don’t let your job be an excuse for you to continue in addiction. The damage will pile up until you eventually lose that job that seems so important.

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