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Can I Keep My Job and Attend Rehab?

When someone is struggling with alcohol and substance use and wants to seek help, one question that often arises is, “Can I keep my job and attend rehab?” Having a job to return to after rehab provides reassurance and motivation to start recovery. Especially, when someone has financial obligations and wants one less thing to worry about. Fortunately, many employers offer options where people can keep their jobs and attend rehab. 

Realizing You Have an Addiction

Realizing you have an addiction can often be difficult and come with feelings of shame, guilt, and confusion about how to move forward. However, acknowledging your addiction is the first step towards recovery and a healthier life. Some signs that indicate a person’s addiction might necessitate rehab include:

  • Loss of control: When the individual finds it challenging to limit or stop their substance use despite repeated attempts.
  • Negative consequences: The addiction is causing problems in various areas of their life. Such as relationships, work performance, financial problems, or legal issues.
  • Physical and psychological dependence: The person experiences withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance and needs increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect.
  • Failed attempts to quit: Despite recognizing the harm caused by their addiction, repeated unsuccessful efforts to quit on their own.

By facing this reality head-on, you are taking control of your situation and opening yourself up to the possibility of seeking help and making positive changes in your life. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and support is available to guide you through the recovery process.

How Can I Keep My Job and Attend Rehab?

Leaving work to attend rehab can be a difficult decision, but it is essential to start one’s recovery journey. You will want to begin the process by speaking with an HR representative or a trusted supervisor to understand company policies regarding medical leave, confidential procedures, and available benefits like employee assistance programs.

Next, submit an official request for a leave of absence for personal reasons without disclosing specific details if you’re uncomfortable discussing them. If possible, plan by delegating tasks or responsibilities to colleagues so that work can continue smoothly during your absence.

Schedule a private meeting with your boss at an appropriate time when they will have the capacity to listen effectively. Clearly state that you require medical treatment and must take time off. Only disclose as much information as necessary without going into unnecessary detail.

Employee Rights

Employee rights regarding rehab are protected by various laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the ADA, individuals with substance use disorders are considered to have a disability. This means that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their addiction or past rehab attendance.

Employers must maintain confidentiality regarding an employee’s participation in rehab. Information related to an individual’s medical condition, including addiction treatment, should be kept private and not shared without consent.

If your employer is covered under FMLA and you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons. Including seeking treatment for substance abuse issues.

Under certain circumstances, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations that allow individuals to attend rehab while still fulfilling work responsibilities. There are also return-to-work rights allowing you to keep your job as long as you follow the proper procedures. 

Keeping My Job in Rehab

Keeping my job and attending rehab is important for many individuals. Some tips to help you keep your job include: 

  • Communicate with Your Employer: State your intentions to take time off and only go into as much detail as needed. 
  • Understand Company Policies: Take the time to review company policies and procedures. 
  • Provide Documentation When Needed: If requested, provide documentation from a healthcare provider stating you need medical treatment that requires taking time off work.  
  • Maintain Professionalism: Remember to maintain a level of professionalism throughout the process. 
  • Seek Support from HR: HR can provide additional support, guidance, and review benefits you may have to help cover the costs of rehab.  


Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employer-sponsored programs designed to support employees in dealing with personal problems that may impact their work performance, health, and well-being, including addiction. EAPs typically offer a wide range of services, including short-term counseling for issues such as substance abuse, mental health concerns, and stress management.

Family Leave/Leave of Absence

Family leave and leave of absence are important benefits available to employees that allow them to take time off from work for various personal or family-related reasons. The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. A leave of absence allows employees to take a longer period off without pay for various reasons, such as health issues, family emergencies, and addiction treatment programs. 

Rehab Options

Outpatient care and inpatient care are the two rehab options to choose from when seeking addiction treatment. Outpatient rehab allows individuals to receive treatment while living at home and attending therapy sessions at a treatment facility on a scheduled basis. These programs provide more flexibility, and one might still be able to work during the day and attend rehab in the evenings. 

Alternatively, inpatient rehab involves residing full-time at a residential treatment center for a set period that could range from 30 to 90 days. During this time, individuals have limited outside contact and 24/7 monitoring. Inpatient rehab is for people with severe addictions who need round-the-clock supervision, as well as individuals with a risk of self-harm or suicide. 

Start Personalized Rehab Treatment in Nashville, TN Today

When you are ready to begin your recovery journey, Freeman Health Partners in Nashville, TN, is ready to walk hand-in-hand alongside you. We offer comprehensive and personalized rehab treatment programs tailored to your specific needs. 

Contact us now to start the path to a brighter future.