The decision to enter drug or alcohol rehab is a momentous and often life-changing event signifying a dependent’s realization that they have a serious problem and are willing to get the needed help to remediate it. That said, many people facing these circumstances are reluctant to disclose such actions for a variety of reasons and often wonder who they should or must inform.
The Reasons Disclosure Can Be So Difficult
Unfortunately, substance abuse treatment is still associated with numerous stigmas including:
In many instances, the court of public opinion is harsh. When considering rehab, a discernible percentage of people share the belief that drug treatment centers are comprised of weak, deviant, and irresponsible individuals. Only slowly do said subjects accept the fact that addiction is an illness necessitating treatment.
Many dependents carry a great deal of embarrassment about their problem. Ergo, they often try to hide the addiction or suffer in silence because they are too embarrassed to even admit a problem exists much less seek assistance to resolve it.
Arguably, the fear of seeking or deciding to go to treatment is a financial issue. Admitting one possesses a substance dependency could put their job or other economic opportunities in jeopardy.
Is Disclosure Required?
In many cases, the short answer is no. Individuals enrolling in rehab are not mandated to tell anyone and disclosure is a personal choice often made on a case by case basis.
Naturally, said subjects might opt to inform their emotional support system encompassing family and other close relations. Moreover, those entering rehab often attend inpatient clinics for extended periods in locations that could be far from their residence.
Ergo, they might choose to inform faithful familial or professional associates and entrust these individuals to perform important tasks, like attending to their obligations, watching their homes, and looking in on their children while they are away.
The issue might become a bit dicier when one’s employer enters the equation. Again, it is important to reiterate that drug treatment often occurs for prolonged periods in different geographic locations. This means a substance-dependent employee will be required to take an extended leave of absence to receive appropriate care.
That said, employees often fear that offering full disclosure could put their jobs at risk. However, many addiction specialists take the opposing view believing hesitation will place their employment status in greater peril.
As addiction progresses, the afflicted subject’s work performance will almost invariably suffer. Moreover, numerous places of employment establish documented limited or zero tolerance policies for substance use and those found in violation of said regulations could be subject to termination or other untoward penalties.
Therefore, coming clean as soon as possible could preserve one’s job and health. Furthermore, specific enacted legislation might offer individuals in question certain protections against biased termination on the grounds of seeking substance addiction treatment. Specific laws include:
The Family And Medical Leave Act
Some employees might be eligible for this legislation, which is often simply abbreviated as the FMLA. Those protected are permitted to devote up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period to receive help for a significant medical condition precluding them from working or which poses a serious threat to their well-being.
If the recovering soul meets eligibility requirements, thee cannot be terminated for seeking help. However, they must remain in rehab or be receiving some form of medical assistance during their sabbatical. Should the subject in debate be found using drugs or engaging in other untoward actions, they are no longer protected and subject to the specific employer’s discretion.
The Americans With Disabilities Act
Often known as the ADA, this mandate precludes companies, organizations, and other establishments from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against those with any type of disability. Included in such prohibitions are sober individuals who once carried an alcohol or substance dependency.
Furthermore, existing employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for those seeking help for active addictions provided they continue to take proactive steps to address said dependencies.
Additionally, certain recovering addicts might be reluctant to notify their health insurance providers fearing the disclosure might result in higher premiums or dropped coverage.
That said, insurance might prove valuable in financing treatment. All providers adhere to different regulations. However, a number may provide coverage for addiction treatment provided the policy holder demonstrates a medical need for such assistance.
Those concerned over disclosing a trip to rehab are encouraged to contact us. The addiction specialists employed at our southwestern Florida-situated facility understand how challenging these conversations can be.
We can offer suggestions regarding how to handle these discussions delicately but thoroughly. For further information about our facility and the services we offer, please reach out to us today at 844-639-8371.