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01.15.2018

Having a Conversation With Your Union About Needing Drug Detox

Even though anybody who is struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol should seek treatment, many are afraid to do so. Addiction has been so villified in our culture that admitting that you have a problem feels like admitting that you have a terrible character flaw. This is especially true when it comes to the workplace. Drug use is grounds for disciplinary action in many jobs, so we can understand if you’re afraid to ask for time off to check into a drug rehab center.

Realistically, you should have nothing to fear from your employer if your drug and alcohol use hasn’t caused any serious problems at work. After all, people are allowed to take a leave of absence if they’re recovering from an illness or injury, and an addiction is no different from any other illness. However, you still might run into problems if your employer happens to be less than sympathetic about your situation. Fortunately, you might still be in luck if you are a part of a union that will fight for your right to seek treatment and keep your job.

What Your Union Can Do For You During Substance Abuse

While there is no guarantee that your union will be able to help pay for your detox or ensure that you are compensated for any wages that will be lost while you’re away from work, it does help to have them on your side. Before you seek treatment for your addiction, contact your union representative to find out how they can help you. At the very least, they will be able to stick up for you and ensure that you will be able to return to your job once you’ve completed your detox. Depending on the type of health insurance you have through your union or your employer, some or all of your detox and treatment may even be covered. When you do have this conversation with your union, explain the situation in as much detail as possible. If you haven’t had any disciplinary issues due to your substance abuse, make that clear. Even if you have had issues with your employer in the past, let your union know that it was due to your drug and alcohol use, and that you are checking into a rehab center to become clean and improve your job performance.

Whether you are a member of a union or you simply want to be free of your addiction once and for all, don’t hesitate to contact Genesis House at 800-737-0933 if you have any questions.

Listen to Podcasts
Season 3, Episode 31: 29 Years of Recovery w/ Andy V.