• Tyler Zuccarelli

How To Tell Your Employer You Are Going To Rehab

You may finally be at a point where you choose life over death. You may have found yourself in a position where the pain and the suffering are too difficult to bear. You may have found the strength to face your inner demons that have controlled you up until now.


Starting your journey to a better life without drugs and/or alcohol gives you the strength to fight for control over yourself and your demons.


But the reality is that there is a stigma that comes with addiction. Stigma can be defined as society's negative perceptions regarding a specific topic or group of individuals. When you experience stigma attached to addiction, you are viewed as less of a person, called a "junkie," both can wreak havoc on your mental state.


can your job fire you for going to rehab
Source: LA Valley Recovery

Preparing yourself for the stigma around being an addict and having an addiction will help you better prepare yourself for recovery.


This common misconception lingers over addicts and can cause you to struggle to discuss your issues with anyone.


It is vital to tell your family, friends, and employer about your need to receive help, but you don’t need to tell everyone.


Since the stigma of being a "drug addict" is embedded in our society, many people will judge us. You will have to be selective with whom you decide to share your challenges. This leads us to our main topic of discussion, how to tell your employer about going to rehab.



Many addicts can maintain their job despite their substance abuse problem. We can refer to these types of addicts as "high-functioning" addicts.


Having to tell anyone about your addiction will not be an easy conversation. According to SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management), about 70% of people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol are employed. If you could keep a job during your active addiction, telling your employer about your decision to seek treatment is not an impossible feat. But it is important to understand how you can approach your employer when telling them about your decision to get help.


how to talk to employer about addiction la
Source: LA Valley Recovery

6 Ways To Tell Your Employer You Are Going To Rehab

These are steps to prepare yourself to tell your employer about your addiction problem.


Prepare Yourself

Researching your company's healthcare and insurance policies is essential to know what benefits they may cover for you.


Additionally, the benefits will be little to none if you are an employee at a local restaurant, bar, convenience store, or other small-scale position. This is good to know if you are unfamiliar with how coverage works for seeking help.



The Truth Matters

No need to lie about your decision to seek help. Telling the truth is a fundamental part of the recovery process, and this is a great place to start. If you are wondering, "Can I get fired for going to rehab?" No, you cannot. There are laws in place that protect people with substance abuse problems from getting fired. There are ways to protect yourself and your finical situation before heading off to rehab. For more in-depth information on this, check out our recent blog post, "Can I Get Fired For Going To Rehab?"


Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

You may feel scared or intimated when you have to have this conversation with your boss. They may have already suspected that something is going on with you and, more than likely, will be supportive and understand your decision to get help. Just be upfront and honest about the situation at hand. You will be better off telling them the truth and not returning rather than lying to them and continuing your deceptive behavior.


You may feel scared or intimated when you have to have this conversation with your boss los angeles
Source: LA Valley Recovery

No Expectations

Seeking the approval of others will no longer serve you on your new journey. You will find that setting your expectations low can have a surprisingly profound effect on your mentality. For example, if you don't have the best relationship with your boss or employees, it would be best if you are honest with them and let them know you may or may not be coming back to work after you receive treatment. Some work relationships can be toxic, and it would not be in your best interest to return to a place where you associate your past drug use once you are sober.


The Beneficial Aspects of Talking About Your Addiction

There are benefits to telling your employer about your decision to get help. It will show them how courageous you are. The decision to get help is never easy. Seeking it will show them you want to get better and hopefully tell them that you will be back with a new outlook on life. The benefits of telling your employer about your addiction may be better than expected.



The Truth Will Set You Free

Being honest is a very liberating feeling. It can have a tremendously powerful and positive impact on your life. When you start letting people who care about you and your addiction know your current state and ask them to support you on your journey to recovery, you will begin to see who is there for you. You may have to cut ties with past "friends" or even let your employer know that you cannot come back to work since it could be a trigger for you.


The Power of Getting Help

The realization that you will have to have this complicated conversation with your friends and family and your employer is daunting. But you must face these discussions head-on and with confidence. The real reason you are doing this is to better yourself, and those around you who support you will understand. Whether or not your employer understands this situation is up to them. If they cannot respect the fact that you need professional medical help to regain your mental and physical health, you should seek employment elsewhere.


On the other hand, if they understand your situation and the severity of it, they will acknowledge your decision by admiring your determination and bravery. This may be the best time to look at your life's direction. In retrospect, you may discover that this decision ultimately saved your life.


LA Valley Recovery is a trusted drug & alcohol treatment provider that aims to make a true impact on every person who enters our program. We believe that recovery is always possible. Contact us today to find your solutions for substance abuse.

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