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Balancing Work and Detox: Is It Possible?



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Navigating the process of detoxing from drugs and/or alcohol, while maintaining employment can be a daunting task. Detox is a challenging although essential step towards overcoming substance addiction, and it takes significant physical and emotional commitment. However, thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), balancing work and detox is not only feasible but also legally protected. If you’d like to learn more about keeping a job in detox, continue reading or give our treatment specialists a call at (816) 208-8106.

The Essential First Step: Understanding Detox

Detoxification, typically referred to as detox, is the crucial first step in the path towards recovery from substance addiction. It’s the process by which your body removes the toxins accumulated during substance abuse. Not only does detox provide a necessary cleansing of the body, but it also lays the groundwork for therapeutic interventions, paving the way for long-term sobriety and healthier living. Undergoing detox is not just about freeing your body from harmful substances; it’s an extensive process that involves managing withdrawal symptoms, providing medical assistance, and offering emotional support. While detox can often be an uncomfortable and even difficult process, it’s an essential step towards healing. The journey of detox will equip you with resilience and readiness, preparing you to face the upcoming phases of recovery.

It’s important to understand that during detox, your ability to function at your usual capacity will likely be compromised, which could impact your work performance.

The Duration of Detox: An Essential Consideration

Detoxification, or detox, is a necessary first step to take. The length of the detox varies widely as it depends largely on the type of substance you have been using, the duration of use, your physical health, and lastly your level of dependency. Generally, detox can last from a few days to a few weeks. For example, detox from alcohol or benzodiazepines typically takes longer than detox from opioids. This is an important factor to consider as it can have a significant impact on your work schedule and overall recovery planning.

The Continuum of Care: 30/60/90 Day Programs

Once you’ve successfully completed detox, the journey to recovery is far from over. In fact, detox is only the beginning. To increase the chances of long-term sobriety and decrease the risk of relapse, it’s critical to follow detox with comprehensive addiction treatment. This is where 30, 60, or 90-day programs come into play.

30-Day Programs: These short-term programs provide an intensive focus on recovery after detox. They offer a structured environment to learn coping strategies and relapse prevention techniques. A 30-day program can be an excellent start, particularly if you cannot commit to a longer-term program due to personal or professional obligations. 

60-Day Programs: A medium-length program provides you more time to adjust to a substance-free life, work through any underlying issues related to addiction, and develop a solid recovery plan. They offer a balance between intensive treatment and time commitment.

90-Day Programs: Research suggests that longer programs, like 90-day treatments, have higher rates of success in promoting long-term sobriety. These programs allow ample time to detox, address underlying causes of addiction, and develop new healthy habits, all while receiving continuous medical and psychological support.

Each of these programs offers a different level of commitment, and the right choice will depend on your personal situation and needs. However, regardless of the program’s duration, participating in a structured treatment program post-detox is essential. It offers a continuum of care, necessary support, and guidance needed to navigate the path of recovery successfully.

The Role of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Understanding the importance for employees to take leave for medical and family reasons, the United States government enacted the FMLA in 1993. This law allows employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, yet job-protected leave in a 12-month period for family and medical reasons. Fortunately, this includes seeking treatment for substance use disorders. One key thing to note here, is that your employer does NOT need to know the specific reason for the leave, as this right is protected under HIPAA law.

Here are a few key points to note about FMLA:

  1. Eligibility: To qualify for FMLA, you need to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and completed at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months before the start of your FMLA leave. Also, the company must employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.
  2. Job Protection: Under FMLA, your job is protected. This means you must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position once you return from your leave.
  3. Health Insurance: While FMLA leave is unpaid, your health insurance coverage continues during your leave under the same terms as if you had continued working.

Start Your Recovery Journey

As you stand at the crossroads of seeking health and preserving your livelihood, it’s crucial to remember that detox is a profound act of self-care and a positive step towards a more fulfilling life. Embracing this process with the support of the Family and Medical Leave Act ensures that you do not have to choose between your health and your career. The road to recovery begins with understanding the importance of detox, continues with finding the right treatment program, and is safeguarded by the FMLA, allowing you the time and space necessary to heal. Although DeNovo recovery does not provide detox services, contact our team today to learn about how our team can guide you through recovery.