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Can I Be Fired for Seeking Addiction Treatment?

If you struggle with substance use disorder (SUD), you may be afraid of losing your job. It is a common fear for people who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Some people’s addiction may worsen if they are afraid of having their employment terminated. However, you should know that there are laws in place to protect your job if you seek treatmentfor addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Laws to Protect You

Many options are available for those who struggle with SUD and want to find treatment to begin living a healthier lifestyle. The first step is to admit that you need help with substance abuse. Gathering as much information as possible about treatment can help you set your fears aside.

In the United States, laws have been established to protect your job while you undergo treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. However, you do need to know that policies have been put in place that prevent you from showing up to work under the influence or failing a drug test.

Available Options

If you are serious about keeping your job and getting treatment for SUD, there are laws to protect you. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and the unlawful use of legal drugs during the interview process, after a job offer, and at work. A person who was addicted to illegal drugs in the past is protected under the ADA; a person who is currently addicted to heroin, for example, is not.  People with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are protected for both previous and current alcohol use.

Likewise, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows an individual to take time off from work to undergo treatment for SUD. A person with AUD can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for treatment. Your job, or a comparable one, will be waiting for you. Someone with an addiction to a drug is eligible to take leave for treatment if a health care provider refers them. In addition, you can use the FMLA to care for a family member who is in treatment.

If you struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can find hope and help through treatment without fear of losing your job. At The Guest House, we understand that you may be worried that seeking treatment can have a negative impact on your career and employment. Fortunately, laws have been passed to help you keep your job while you are in treatment. In addition, we will protect your privacy and confidentiality during your stay with us. For more information on our treatment options, call us at (855) 483-7800.