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Talking To Your Employer About Drug Detox

When you are employed and seeking out places to drug detox, you will need to tell your boss that you need time off. You will have to tell them at least the very basics of why you are requesting time off. If you intend on using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you will need to provide documentation of your disability.

This article will help you prepare for the difficult conversation ahead.

Talking to Your Employer About Drug Detox

Talking to your employer about drug detox can be hard ... and tricky. Planning ahead helps.

Plan What Info You Will Share

When you start planning a conversation with your employer, you need to first ask yourself how much you are willing to share. Yes, you should let them know that you are needing time off for a drug & alcohol detox program, but that does not mean you need to tell them everything. 

Are You Going to Share Your Specific Diagnosis?

This can pose a risk. If you currently abuse illicit substances, you are not protected by federal law including, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You may want to limit the specifics of the diagnosis. It may prove more effective to simply say “substance use disorder.” As a category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), this should hopefully be enough information.

Will You Inform Them Where You Will Receive Treatment?

There are pros and cons to telling them your location. If your employer gave you an employment ultimatum, they could use this to verify your treatment. (Note: This is legal in federal jobs, according to the HHS). If you have received reprimands for impaired or intoxicated work, your openness about your treatment program may show your workplace that you are serious about getting better.

On the other hand, the name and location of your addiction center may make your boss feel entitled to all your private information. This could create a problem with setting boundaries.

Do You Want to Share How Much Time You Will Be in the Detox Facility?

Your employer needs to know how much time you will need off work. The length may include detox and drug rehab or just drug detox. Specifying how long you will attend detox could indicate factors like:

  • The type of substance
  • The severity of the problem
  • The duration of use

People may not know the specifics, but it gives them enough knowledge to make assumptions.

Ultimately, it is up to you what you do and do not share. Unless it is mandatory information, your comfort and safety win out over their curiosity. You need to make the best decisions for yourself and drug & alcohol recovery.

Write Your Script

When you are prepping to tell your employer you need time off, you might experience a variety of emotions. Rather than leading the conversation with your feelings, you should lead with logic.

After you have planned out what information you do and do not want to share, it is time to write out what you are going to say.

Create a script. It may seem a little silly at first, but this technique helps decrease the anxiety surrounding a serious situation.

How will you start the conversation? You could ask them about leave policies. You could inform them that you have a medical situation that needs addressing. You could say, “I need help.” Whatever approach you are going to take, put it down on paper.

Next, you need to explain that you need time off. The five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) are a good jumping-off point. Keep your words as brief as possible.

Then, add any extra clarifying information about the situation that you have decided to share. Remember: the first draft does not need to be perfect.

After you have finished creating your draft, go back through and edit the piece. Take in your words as if you were hearing them from someone else. What questions does it bring up? Add in anything that would make your points clearer. Read through it once more with the additions. Does it sound good? If you have a trusted friend who would be willing to help, this would be a good time to consult them. Ask them to give you feedback.

Often, a second pair of eyes can help you see things you missed.

Practice the Conversation

When your script is perfected, practice saying it out loud. Keep repeating it over and over until it feels completely natural. Record yourself saying the script. Listen to it in your car. Listen to it in the shower. Listen to it or practice saying it any free moment you get.

Try to memorize your script to the best of your abilities. If you cannot retain the whole script, attempt to remember the main bullet points. Also, you should read it to any trusted people willing to listen. Practicing with others will help you build confidence. 

When you are finally ready, start the conversation. You may be surprised at how well it goes.

After Talking to Your Employer, Find a Detox Center with!

One of the biggest considerations for most adults is their job. You'll need to talk to your boss about taking a leave of absence. Although you'll need to disclose the reason, you get to decide how many details you provide. While opening up about addiction and recovery is a good thing to do, it’s okay to set boundaries on what you will and won't share.

Once you've discussed your time off, you need to find a detox center. This sometimes-difficult process is made much easier with Our nationwide directory of detox centers across the US makes finding the right detox provider for you simple and easy.

Just register and search. You’ll find a detox center for your needs, budget, and history quickly and efficiently.

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