By: Ava
April 9, 2019

How to Tell Your Boss You Need Rehab

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Telling your employer you need to go to rehab can be a daunting task. Going to rehab is a big decision, an important one that can change your life for the better. Before you go, though, it is important to have your house in order, so to speak. This means paying bills, making arranging for someone to feed a cat or dog, take care of children, etc., and it includes telling your boss you are going to rehab. Make sure you are prepared before you confront him or her. Have a plan, and know your rights.


Here are some tips that can help make talking to your boss easier.

  1. First, know your rights. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows employs who qualify to take 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave due to a specific family or medical reasons within a 12-month period. The FMLA will allow you to receive treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. This will also help keep your job safe while you are in rehab.
  2. Talk to your human resources department and find out if your company offers any Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Some employers offer these programs to help employees with personal problems. If your company does have an EAP, it can be used for referrals to a rehab facility or for counseling sessions.
  3. When you speak with your boss, be honest. Your boss may already know you have a substance abuse problem, it’s not always as easy to hide as you think. But whether they know or not, be as honest with them as you possibly can. This honesty will show that you are committed to the company and that you have integrity. If you have the support of your boss, you will have a better chance of a successful recovery, because you will know you don’t have to worry about finding a new job when you return from rehab. One less thing to worry about.
  4. Present your boss with a plan to cover your responsibilities while you are away. This is a great way to guarantee your job is safe while you are gone. Talk to your coworkers about your current clients or projects, and delegate some of your work to them so you won’t come back to an overwhelming amount of work when you return.

Enter Rehab

Once you have spoken with your employer, the next step is to enter rehab. Make sure to follow your full course of treatment, this is important for your personal recovery. After you have completely recovered, make sure you follow the post-treatment aftercare plan provided for you. Attend any 12-step program prescribed and join a self-help group like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. These ongoing support groups provide you with the nonjudgmental help and friendship you need to stay on track during your recovery. You will have difficult days maintaining your sobriety, and these groups are there to help. Life in sobriety is worth the work.


This aftercare is typically provided on an outpatient basis and is often offered on weekends so you can go back to work and resume your responsibilities. Post-treatment plans provide you with access to ongoing counseling, therapy (individual, group, and/or family), life skills courses, and more. Post-treatment care will enhance your chances of a successful recovery and will make returning to your job much easier. Remember, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, prohibits workplace discrimination against those with disabilities. It protects recovering drug addicts and alcoholics from discrimination. Once you have been successfully rehabilitated, you will be covered under the ADA. Once you are back at work, speak with your employer and discuss the ADA and how you will reintegrate into the workplace.

Addiction treatment is very serious and when it comes to you or your loved ones, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us today for more information.