Some people avoid participating in a treatment program for substance use disorder (SUD) because they worry about missing work. Financial stress or other factors may make it impossible for them to avoid working while in treatment.
According to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), “Across numerous studies of individuals in substance use disorders treatment, those who remained unemployed after treatment were two to three times more likely to relapse than those who were employed.” Lighthouse Recovery Texas offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and other treatment paths for clients who work. We can also connect clients with community-based job placement and career support services.
Can You Continue Working a Job While in Recovery?
Some jobs have specific requirements and policies that might make it unsafe for individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms to continue working. However, most individuals in recovery can continue working and providing for their families while undergoing partial hospitalization (PHP) or IOP treatment at Lighthouse Recovery Texas. Our team collaborates with clients to ensure they can access necessary support services while working or searching for work.
As a citizen of the United States of America, you have certain rights. However, in some instances, you may not have the same levels of protection. For example, individuals with a history of substance misuse may have difficulty acquiring or maintaining the following types of work:
- Self-employment, including gig work
- At-will employment
- Contracts that expressly prohibit drug or alcohol misuse
You have the right to receive treatment for your condition while working under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), if a person “is not currently illegally using drugs, then he or she may be entitled to reasonable accommodation,” which “would generally involve a modified work schedule so the employee could attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings or a leave of absence so the employee could seek treatment.” Lighthouse Recovery Texas will work with you to find a program schedule that works for you and allows you to maintain your work responsibilities.
Can You Get a New Job While in Recovery?
You can continue to work during treatment and ongoing recovery. In addition, if you recently lost your job or want to look for a different workplace, you have that freedom. Treatment will not stop you from preparing for job placement or being hired to a new position. However, it is essential to recognize that you should not stop your treatment or prioritize your career over recovery. Otherwise, you increase your risk of relapse, overdose, and other serious health issues.
Most people wait until they complete PHP or IOP before looking for a new job. Individuals who currently work may also want to reduce their hours or temporarily take time off to complete treatment. Establishing essential coping skills will give you a solid foundation for future workplace success and ensure you feel stable and confident in your recovery.
What Programs and Support Are Available?
You can use federal, state, county, and city resources to help you find work or get support at your current workplace. Some of the most accessible treatment options for working individuals include:
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient
- Extended care
- Sober living communities
You can reach out to Lighthouse Recovery Texas to learn more about local resources and how we can accommodate individuals with unusual work schedules. Our dedicated team will help you navigate the recovery and treatment process and ensure you have the support you need to continue working while participating in rehabilitation.
How Does Treatment Positively Affect Job Productivity?
Many people worry that their employers might cause problems for them if they attend treatment and support meetings for SUD. However, rehabilitation programs actually improve productivity and save employers money. Many companies even have policies and internal support programs designed to facilitate treatment for individuals struggling with SUD.
Most companies provide the following:
- Scheduling changes to allow employees to attend therapy, meetings, and mandatory treatment appointments
- Temporarily decreased workload to reduce stress during treatment
- Brief time off to attend treatment
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug and “Alcohol misuse [are] associated with high costs to employers including absenteeism, decreased productivity (due to poor work performance), turnover, accidents, and increased health care costs.” Employers often accommodate various scheduling changes to accommodate treatment that reduces problems affecting the company’s bottom line. Treatment increases productivity and turnover rates by ensuring people familiar with the company continue to fill their positions.
Do You Need to Report Your Diagnosis to Potential or Current Employers?
The ADA protects workers and prospective employees from discrimination based on disabilities like SUD. You have a right to your privacy concerning medical issues. However, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Your employer can ask you for a doctor’s note or other health information if they need the information for sick leave, workers’ compensation, wellness programs, or health insurance.”
If you require treatment and use company health insurance, your company may require specific documentation. Context is critical, and certain jobs require more detailed medical information from current or prospective employees. Your case manager can refer you to local resources that provide more information on workplace protections.
Many people feel unable to participate in treatment because they have a family to provide for and cannot take time off work. IOP and PHP are excellent alternatives for people who cannot attend residential care due to educational, career, or personal responsibilities. Lighthouse Recovery Texas offers tailored rehabilitation programs that provide various schedules and evidence-based treatments that ensure clients can continue to work while getting the help they need. You can have a full-time job and still attend IOP or PHP. We have flexible hours and a low staff-to-client ratio, allowing for more efficient treatment. To learn more about the services and programs we offer, call us today at (214) 396-0259.