One of the biggest catch-22s for those who need addiction therapy is that inpatient options may result in the loss of necessary paychecks, and some people may even lose their jobs. If you or someone you know is an addict but who nonetheless contributes completely or partially to the financial support of the household in which they live, going into an inpatient facility has the potential to cause severe disruption in the lives of spouses, children, and other families.
Despite stereotypes, many of those struggling with addiction are gainfully employed, with bills to pay and people to provide for. Fortunately, outpatient services exist as an alternative to the impossibly complicated issue of entering an inpatient facility for substance abuse treatment. Here’s what you need to know about outpatient drug rehab NJ residents can access while still holding onto their jobs, maintaining a home, and carrying for a family.
You Have Rights
If you’re like many people, you’d rather that your outpatient substance abuse treatment remain a private matter between you and your family. However, keep in mind that even if it becomes necessary to share some of the details of this chapter in your life with your boss or with the Human Resources department of your company, it’s against federal law for them to fire you because you have an issue with substance abuse. In fact, once you enroll in rehab, you’re automatically protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) because addiction is officially recognized as a legitimate disability. You are legally entitled to miss work for treatment activities and obligations and cannot be fired for any reason related to your condition or its treatment.
Furthermore, your employer is required to maintain confidentiality of your medical issues.
What to Tell Your Employer
If outpatient treatment will interfere with your work schedule in any way — perhaps you’ll have to attend a support group once per week, for instance — you should make an appointment with your employer to fill them in the situation. There’s no need to go into detail — presenting the facts is all that’s necessary. If your treatment won’t affect your work schedule at all, you may decide to keep the matter private rather than speaking with your employer about it. However, there are advantages of being upfront about your treatment plans with your employer. If your job performance should happen to suffer as a result of withdrawal or other side effects of outpatient drug rehab in NJ, your boss may bring this up with you. However, if he or she knows you’re going through treatment, you can’t be dismissed if temporary reduced workplace performance is a direct result of your condition.