Seeking Addiction Treatment While Being a Professional

Recognizing that you need help to confront your addiction is a fundamentally positive step.  Yet many people who are coming to terms with their substance abuse struggle to follow through on finding help due to their professional careers.  If we are to continue destigmatizing addiction, it is important to note that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report that 76% of people struggling with substance abuse were actively employed.  You are not in it alone.

In fact, so many employees have sought addiction treatment that laws have been put in place to protect professionals seeking help.  It is important to remember that addiction is not a choice, it is a mental illness.

Professional workers who are struggling with substance abuse are protected under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and covered under the Family and Medical Needs Act.  These laws protect all state and local government employees and private companies who employ over 15 people.  Take the time to educate yourself on your rights.  The Family and Medical Needs Acts and ADA protect people seeking treatment for mental illness.  You are entitled to 12 weeks of typically unpaid medical leave per year.

If you need to take the time to receive addiction treatment for your mental illness, there is a pathway to do it and keep your job.

There are many fears associated with being a working professional who is looking to get addiction treatment for their substance abuse.  Will I get fired?  What will my coworkers think?  What will happen to my reputation?  What if my clients leave?

The most important answer to all of those questions is that you are doing what is best to save your life from the clutches of a legitimate illness.

Treatment Options

Once you are ready to get the addiction treatment you need to get your substance abuse under control, it is important to know exactly what your options are.  Some of those options include determining whether you need inpatient or outpatient care for your addiction treatment.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment includes staying in a rehab facility like Rise in Malibu, California, for an extended stay.  Here you actually live for a period of weeks at the rehab facility.  Luckily, inpatient facilities like Rise in Malibu are state-of-the-art and luxurious enabling you to relax away from the stressors of your professional life.  At Rise in Malibu, for example, you will receive an individualized program with holistic therapies that will help you confront your substance abuse with a clear mind.  You will be introduced to the12 Step AA and SMART Recovery (Self Management Through Recovery Training) and receive the best support possible.

Outpatient Treatment

There are also outpatient opportunities that may help you balance your professional life and your addiction treatment plan.  These outpatient programs provide you with in-home support during the week, as well as opportunities to live in sober-communities that will enable you to continue working.  You still have the opportunity to receive clinical treatment while accessing an outpatient program.

Rise in Malibu, for instance, has the Continue Rising After Care program designed to support patients as they transition from inpatient to outpatient care.  Some of the supports include support in the community to find a 12-step recovery program, access to a sober-living community and weekly check-ins with a case manager.  These supports can help you balance the responsibilities you have as a profession and keep you on the path to a healthy life.

Look Out For Yourself

No matter what care you choose to pursue the most important thing remembering that you are doing the right thing for your mental health by receiving addiction treatment.  The stigmas that may be attached to addiction can cause many a professional to question whether or not they should be open about their substance abuse with their employer.  That fear can be combatted with knowledge.  Knowing your rights as someone struggling with a medical condition is essential.

At the end of the day, people care about people.  In most, cases your coworkers and employers want to see you be happy and healthy.  As a professional, it is also important to recognize that they also want to see you productive too.  If you are a working professional struggling with substance abuse, it is important to remember that you will be more productive for your employer if you are healthy and in a strong frame of mind.  Receiving addiction treatment is a win-win.

Seek Treatment

The time to receive addiction treatment for your substance abuse is now.  Addiction is a mental illness that requires a treatment plan. Your health is the most important thing and there is nothing in the world worth sacrificing that for.  Good luck in your battle with substance abuse.  Pursuing and receiving addiction treatment is the right choice.  You deserve a clear mind and great health.  You are worth it.

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