Making the decision to go for treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction is tough. You should be commended for your wise choice. Now you must discuss your situation with your employer. Here’s some steps to take to strengthen your relationships and maintain your career.
Ask Yourself Why
Why do you feel you need to discuss your treatment with your coworkers? Is it because you will be absent from the office for 30 days? Is it because your behaviour was disruptive to the team and you want to apologize? Knowing why you want to tell your coworkers will help you determine who should know. When you tell your supervisor about your upcoming absence, you could say that it is for medical reasons. However, if you do tell him that it is for alcohol or drug abuse, he could become a great ally. Both of you could work together to determine who else needs to know.
Get Advice from Human Resources Representative
The professional staff in the Human Resources Department are trained experts. They can advise you of your legal rights as well as other relevant information. You have a right to privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act , HIPPA, prohibits employers from accessing patients’ records because it could subject employees to discrimination.
Practice Your Conversation Skills
What you tell your coworkers and how you deliver your message is pivotal. ln the bestselling book Crucial Conversations, the author distinguishes the difference between a crucial conversation versus an ordinary conversation. A crucial conversation has “varying opinions and emotions run high.” The results — maintaining your career and key professional relationships — could have a huge impact on your life.
Help Them Understand
Your coworkers may be entertaining ideas that are not true. You can’t expect them to know about the latest medical advances in substance abuse treatment. Education is necessary. Share brochures from the treatment center with your coworkers. Answer questions and let them know what to expect.
Be a Role Model
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs are the cause of crime, lost productivity at work, etc. totaling $740 billion annually. Only 10 percent of people seek the help they need. You are one of those people. Your stance could not only save your life but help other people also. Sharing information about your alcohol or drug addiction will not be easy. Overcoming stigmas about substance abuse takes time and accurate information. Disclosure is a step in the right direction.
Oceanfront Recovery is a men’s & women’s addiction treatment center offering residential programs and a full continuum of care to help men begin a new life of recovery. Each therapy and modality we offer is designed to help men change their story. We believe when you change your story, you can change your life. Call us today for information: 877.279.1777