Do workplaces support an alcoholic’s trip to alcohol rehab?

If you have been to alcohol rehab due to alcoholism, you know that ongoing support and participation in group meetings are key factors in your sobriety and putting a handle on your alcoholism. Outside of the alcohol rehab setting, you may be able to find this support during off-work hours, there may be times when you need to call your sponsor to discuss cravings or when the crew goes out to the bar and you’re in need of moral support to avoid the temptation. There are many actions that workplaces can take to help you in your quest to remain sober.

Stay Sober While Socializing

Getting back to work after alcohol rehab can by difficult, especially if your workplace or team has a custom of going out to the bar to celebrate completion of a project or winning of a big account, missing out on the activities could negatively impact your social networking and your visibility with superiors. On the other hand, you don’t want to fall off the wagon and succumb to alcoholism. One strategy is to designate yourself as the official company driver for the evening. You can still go and socialize with your colleagues while maintaining your sobriety and showing how responsible and dedicated you are.

Find a Workplace Mentor

Having a mentor in your workplace can help you advance your career and maintain your sobriety. When you feel anxious, frustrated or stressed over work, having a conversation with your mentor can help you cope with the situation rather than having a drink. If possible, find a mentor who is also committed to sobriety or who has experienced alcohol rehab for himself or herself.

Host Support and Informational Meetings

Ask your human resources department if there is currently a group for Alcoholics Anonymous or another type of social support group for addiction in your workplace. If there is not currently a group in place, ask if one can be started. Even if your workplace declines to be a host site, you can ask if the employee assistance program or the health insurance company can provide speakers about the subject of alcoholism. You may be starting something that can help countless others on the same track.

Insurance Coverage

Employers that offer health insurance coverage can work to ensure that there is coverage for services such as inpatient alcohol rehab and ongoing aftercare after release from full-time rehab. Insurance coverage for individual and group therapy can also help workers maintain control of alcoholism and be productive in the workplace. Employers that do not offer health insurance coverage may instead opt to provide employees with information about local resources on sobriety maintenance, low-cost therapy services and support groups.

Time Off

If you have a relapse and need to participate in another round of alcohol rehab, it is important that your employer allow the time off without the risk of losing your job. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), sick time, personal leave and vacation time may all be options for you to consider. Employers may limit the amount of unpaid leave allowed to you for rehab services so be sure to check with the human resources department for limitations.

Stress Relief Programs

Stress is a significant trigger for relapse in alcoholism and drug addiction. Employers that offer stress relief programs such as on-site fitness centers, health coaching and employee wellness programs can help you identify your stress triggers. You may be able to learn coping strategies to deal with workplace triggers as well as situations outside of work that increase your urge to drink.

If you are facing problems in the workplace due your need to attend alcohol rehab or if this is happening to someone you love, call for assistance now. There is help available so that you or your loved one can get the support you need to beat alcoholism and enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

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