Making the Decision to Enter Drug or Alcohol Detox as a Professional
You’re struggling each day with drug or alcohol use, hiding how much you rely on substances to get through the next meeting, the next confrontation, or the next disappointment. It’s time to get help, but you’re a busy professional who others rely on. How can you take the time off of work to go through detox and addiction treatment?
Making the Decision to Change
It can be overwhelming to think about getting help for drug or alcohol addiction. But if you do nothing to change now, your addiction will likely worsen, and you could lose more than you thought possible. Detox and treatment take time, but the month or so off of work is nothing compared to the years of health and well-being that await you when you make the decision to change.
Signs You Need Detox
How do you know whether you need detox and residential treatment instead of outpatient care? That’s often hard to say until you have a full assessment from trained physicians and therapists. Many factors play a role in deciding the level of treatment that will be best for you. These may include:
- The extent of your drug use
- The type of drugs you’re using and how addictive they are
- Potential complications from withdrawing from those drugs
- Previous overdoses
- Previous relapse risks
- How long you’ve used the drugs
If you try to stop using on your own and experience intense cravings, pain, and agitation, you would most certainly benefit from a medical detox program.
What Can Detox and Treatment Do for You?
Addiction treatment can be very successful. Yes, addiction is considered a chronic disease, and yes, the relapse rate is about the same as for other types of chronic medical conditions. However, addiction can be managed effectively, and treatment programs can help you find and stay on the path to sobriety. It is worth putting off work and other responsibilities to focus on your health and well-being.
How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Needs
Some people put off drug and alcohol detox and treatment because they are afraid to tell their employer what’s happening. But chances are good that your employer already suspects that something is wrong. They may have already guessed that you’re struggling with addiction. That said, you are not obligated to disclose the nature of your illness. You can request leave to address a serious health issue.
If you’re worried about losing your job, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may give you some protection. If you qualify, it protects your position and benefits, though it does not allow you to continue to receive a paycheck. Whether your time off for treatment is paid will be up to your employer. Nevertheless, the FMLA may allow you up to 12 weeks to work on your health needs without worrying about losing your job. Your employer may ask for a certificate from your doctor attesting to your need for time off, but you do not have to reveal the nature of your illness.
Taking the Time to Heal Makes Sense
It’s not always easy to admit you need help. As a professional, you are a leader. As a leader, it is your job to ensure you’re making the right decisions for your company, employees, and your leaders. That may mean taking a break from work to focus on your health.
In a professionals’ addiction treatment program, you may learn to:
- Break your addiction
- Manage stress better
- Improve communications
- Minimize negative thoughts
- Manage your overall health
Consider Professionals Treatment
Once you return to work after therapy, you may feel better, more empowered, and more capable of doing good work. Reach out to our professionals to learn more about the treatment options available to you. When you do, you’ll learn you can find your way forward, one step at a time.
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