How to Go to Rehab and Keep Your Job

an employee with issues at work

How to Go to Rehab and Keep Your Job

an employee with issues at workStruggling with drugs or alcohol can ruin your life. For most of us, the only way to stop the cycle of relying on substances is to take a break and go to rehab. And, while some 42.3 million Americans qualify as having a substance use disorder, only about 11% of those ever seek out rehab. Here, barriers like careers, family care, stigma, and funding clinical care can call get in the way. That’s especially true if you’re a professional with a reputation to uphold, where you might feel that calling in sick for a month to deal with a substance use disorder will get you fired.

Fortunately, the United States has a lot of law in place to protect you when you do seek out rehab. In addition, you’ll have the option to attend rehab without quitting work – which means you’ll never have to take time off. The following article reviews your options, and which might be a best-fit for your circumstances.

Consider Your Options

Most people think of rehab and immediately consider an inpatient clinic, where you stay for 30+ days to receive round-the-clock care. That’s one way to get treatment. However, you can also opt for outpatient care.

Inpatient Care – 30+ days at a rehab clinic, typically out of state where you’ll have privacy. Costs are high and only about 15-20% is covered by most insurance programs. However, you get one-on-one care, a break from stress and triggers, and the ability to fully focus on recovery. This option is often recommended for people with severe addictions.

Intensive Outpatient Care – Intensive Outpatient Care or IOP allows you to attend rehab for a few hours a day, after work, so you can continue going to work for the duration. This option allows you to avoid asking for time off, so you don’t have to tell your boss anything. In addition, outpatient care can be as effective as inpatient care – providing you stick to it and attend throughout the whole program. IOP also means you’ll stay in the same environment as before – which means that if you frequently drink or use at work, it may not be the best option for you. However, you can pair outpatient treatment with staying in a sober home for maximum support and a change of lifestyle, without having a gap in work.

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You’re Legally Protected

human resource discusses Sick leave the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Affordable Care Act to an employeeWhile you might not want to take a 30-day break from work, you are legally protected. Sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) all mean you are protected in case you seek out medical care for rehab. The ACA classifies substance use disorders as a temporary disability – firing you because of one is against the law. Of course, if you’ve explicitly signed away those rights or your employer catches you using on the job, that’s another story. The FMLA also allows you to take up to 12 weeks of free time for an undisclosed medical reason – with nothing more than a doctor’s note that doesn’t have to say what you’re taking the time off for.

Coincidentally, if your employer has over 50 employees, they’re also legally obligated to offer assistance and insurance covering rehab. This means you can go to HR, discuss your problems with substance abuse, and have them help you move into a program. You might not want to do so, as it may impact your reputation or your long-term standing in the company because stigma does still exist, but you do have the right.

In addition, Obamacare and FMLA both allow you to apply for short-term disability through your employer. You’ll have to request medical leave, sit through decisions, and possibly fight them. However, you don’t have to reveal why you’re requesting leave or temporary disability. It’s up to your medical professionals to determine if you need it, not your employer.

Keep in Mind that Disclosure Isn’t Required

If you’re afraid you’ll lose your job or reputation at your job for going to rehab, you don’t have to disclose. You never have to tell your employer why you’re taking sick or medical leave of any kind. In addition, if you’re going to rehab in the weekends or at night, you can keep this to yourself. You never have to tell your employer what goes on in your personal life. In fact, if they ask, you can report them to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Of course, your employer may be able to help. Many offer assistance with rehab, can offer ongoing rehabilitation programs, can offer financial assistance, etc.

However, whether or not you disclose is up to you and the amount of privacy you need.

employee getting help for her addiction treatmentIn Summary

If you’re struggling with drugs and alcohol, getting help is the best thing you can do for your future – with or without your job. But there’s no reason why you can’t go to rehab and keep your job.

What if I Can’t Take Time Off Work?

You definitely can take time off work. You’re legally protected by FMLA, which allows you up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off. If you stack that with sick days, you can likely limit that to about 3 weeks of unpaid time off. Your employer isn’t legally allowed to fire you for doing so.

What if I Can’t Afford Unpaid Time Off Work?

You can always take the route of going to an intensive outpatient rehab center. This allows you to go to work during the day and attend rehab at night or during the weekends. These programs are typically 3-6 hours per day – so your life will be busy. However, you will get the care you need without taking unpaid time off work. And, if you mix IOP with a sober living home, you can get most of the benefits of inpatient care without taking off work. Alternatively, you could apply for FMLA and temporary disability to ensure you receive some money to make up for the missed paychecks. However, this process can be quite lengthy.

If you or a loved one is struggling, there are always options. Whether that’s taking the hit and taking unpaid time off work or committing to a busy month and going to therapy while you work, you can mix rehab and your job. Most importantly, your employer isn’t allowed to fire you for getting treatment for a substance use disorder, even if you disclose that disorder to them.

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. 10 Acre Ranch also has specialty tracks like our pet friendly drug rehab and couples substance abuse treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

My Loved One Refuses Addiction Treatment. Now What?

loved ones holding each other's hands discussing about going to addiction treatment center

My Loved One Refuses Addiction Treatment. Now What?

loved ones holding each other's hands discussing about going to addiction treatment centerIf your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you’re not alone. Today, an estimated 46.3 million Americans have a substance use disorder, meaning that almost 1 in 4 of us has a close friend or family member with a substance abuse problem. When your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, getting them into addiction treatment is a logical first step. But, what happens when they don’t want to go? Or if they won’t go?

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that just 4.1 million people, or less than 10% of the total number of people with a substance abuse problem, received addiction treatment in 2021. Most people aren’t getting help – although reasons for not getting help are diverse. Understanding some next steps, you can take will allow you to continue supporting your loved one and hopefully eventually get them into treatment as well.

Be There for Them

It’s important to try to avoid enabling behavior, such as paying for your loved one’s rent, lying to their boss, or otherwise making decisions that are likely to enable them to continue using. It is true that any kind of support and care will do this to some extent, however, you can be there for someone to help them stay safe without helping them to use.

Being there for someone might look like:

  • Picking them up at any time of night, no questions asked, providing they sleep on your couch after
  • Giving them access to sleep on your couch or in a guest room if they have to
  • Taking time to listen and offering emotional support
  • Offering to help with things like cleaning up (rather than doing it for them)
  • Offering to go to the doctor, to AA or NA meetings, and to other treatment

If you live with someone, it’s important that you don’t take on all of their responsibilities. However, you can offer to help, you can listen to them, and you can try to make it known that you’re trying to support them without overloading yourself.

Keep Learning

Addiction is a complicated behavioral disorder that can stem from a vast number of causes and vulnerabilities. Taking time to learn about addiction, doing so with your loved one where possible, and discussing what you learn with them can be helpful. For example, you can learn the basics of how addiction works, you can read books about recovery, and you can read about different types of therapy and treatment. You might not be able to get through to your loved one in this way. However, you will show them that you care, that you’re continuing to invest time and energy into them, and that you want what is best for them.

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Our expert & caring staff on site are available 24/7. Call us today.

Be Nonjudgmental

 a couple holding hands on top of the mountainBeing nonjudgmental can be extremely difficult. Most of us are raised with old-fashioned ideals about addiction as a personal failing, as poor choices, and as a disease, which is incurable. None of these ideas are correct. Instead, addiction is a behavioral disorder that’s often complicated and very often resulting from a complicated range of addiction risk factors including mental health, social situation, physical health, social standing and social behavior, stress levels, epigenetics, genetics, and other factors. People become addicted for a variety of reasons but it’s never a choice.

Understanding that your loved one isn’t flawed and that they can get better is an important part of approaching addiction nonjudgmentally. However, it’s also important to let go of what other people might think, to show concern for your loved one and not for other people’s opinions, and to invest in your loved one’s health not in whether or not they drink or use drugs. That can take a significant mindset change from you as well because you may have to let go of bias you might not even realize you have.

Why should you work on being non-judgmental? It will help your loved one to realize they can still have a relationship with you, that they have people who believe in them and continue to believe in them, and that they are more than an addiction.

Detaching with Love

Detaching with love is the process of stepping away from over-investing in someone who doesn’t have the capacity to give back or to not hurt you because of your investment. It does not mean dropping your loved one or cutting them out of your life. Instead, it means to expect nothing and to accept failure. That might mean refusing to stay up or hold dinner for someone who is habitually late. It might also mean expecting that your loved one will be drunk, even if you don’t think they have alcohol. It might mean expecting that they won’t come up with their portion of the rent, or that they will slack at their chores.

If you understand that someone is going to fail at their obligations and responsibilities, you can better prepare yourself for that. And, it’s also important that you don’t take up the slack for them, that could increase stress and push you to burnout. However, it is important that you don’t invest in your loved one changing, in them doing the things they say, or in things suddenly improving. If you can’t accept your loved one as they are now, you should probably be stepping further away until you can.

Continue Working Towards Addiction Treatment

Just because your loved one won’t go to addiction treatment now doesn’t mean that they will never go to addiction treatment. Instead, it means they have to have the motivation, the understanding of why they are going, and they have to be ready for change. Building those may require understanding that people in their life are there for them and they have a reason to get better. It may require understanding that addiction isn’t permanent, and they can change. It may mean learning about how addiction works. It might also be about them understanding that addiction treatment is about them, their health, and their future and not about their family and what their family thinks.

Over 10% of the U.S. adult population needs addiction treatment. Most of us never get that help. Still, it’s important to work with your loved one and continue to ask them to move into recovery, to get better, and to work on getting their life back. It might not succeed immediately or at all, but you can help your loved one to find motivation to get their life back.

If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

man sitting on a couch thinking about the Effects of Ketamine

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

Drug addict young woman with syringe action in dark roomKetamine is a club drug, popular as a “safe” alternative to other “uppers”. For many people, it’s considered a non-addictive alternative to drugs like LSD and even cocaine. That leads to significant use in clubs, where people assume that its low addictive profile means the drug is safe to use. Still, for heavy users, ketamine can cause significant damage to the body and can even result in behavioral addiction. And, if you’re facing a drug test at work or at school, ketamine will show up and you can get in trouble for it.

In fact, ketamine is a Schedule III controlled drug, meaning that it’s illegal to use it without a prescription and medical supervision. It’s been illegal since the 1970s, because of its high potential for psychological addiction.

How Long Does Ketamine Show Up on Tests?

Ketamine can show up in a drug test for up to 30 days in a urine test. However, it will show up for different amounts of time depending on your age, metabolic rate, health, and even sex.

In addition, the type of drug test you’re taking will impact whether or not ketamine shows up in your system.

  • Saliva/ Mouth Swab – 18-24 hours on average
  • Blood test – 24-72 hours
  • Urine test – 14-30 days
  • Hair test – 4 months

Most workplace drug tests are either mouth swab and saliva tests or urine tests. This means that if you haven’t used ketamine within 24 hours and you have a saliva test, it won’t show up. On the other hand, a blood test will show ketamine usage from up to 3 days ago. Most people will show traces of ketamine usage in the urine for up to 14 days after usage. However, if your liver or kidneys are damaged or you have a high amount of body fat, which stores metabolites from ketamine, it could show up as much as a month later.

What Affects How Long Ketamine Shows Up on Drug Tests?

Drugs stay in your body based on diverse factors like metabolism, liver health, body fat, age, health, and sex. Here, the most important factors are metabolism and body fat.

Why? Your age, health, sex, and body fat percentage all impact your metabolism. The higher or “faster” your metabolism, the faster you metabolize ketamine. That won’t have a huge impact on how long drugs show up but it can make the difference of a few days. For example, people under 27 normally have a faster metabolism, people who are physically active tend to have faster metabolisms, people with more muscle have higher metabolisms, and people with higher testosterone production tend to have higher metabolisms. 

Body fat is also a major consideration. That’s because when your body breaks ketamine down or metabolizes it, it creates “metabolites”. These metabolites are stored in the fat until they move to the liver and quite often stay there for a long time. People with very low body fat are more likely to immediately process metabolites (which stresses the liver more) but it means that they’re less likely to show a positive result on a drug test. That’s also true in the liver itself. If you have more fat in your liver, such as from a high body fat percentage or if you drink a great deal or even if you take a lot of acetaminophen, your liver might retain metabolites for longer. This could mean ketamine is detectable in your urine for up to two weeks longer than if you had a healthy liver.

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How Long Do the Effects of Ketamine Last?

man sitting on a couch thinking about the Effects of KetamineKetamine has a half-life of 2.5-3 hours, meaning that you will normally metabolize about half of the ketamine in your system by that time. Afterwards, the high will start to go down, usually peaking at around 2.5 hours and then declining. However, when you “come down” depends on several factors, such as whether you took more doses after the first and how much you took. Half-life means that you metabolize the drug at a set rate of half per 2.5-3 hours. So, at 2.5 hours, you have half of the original dose. At 5-6 hours, you have a quarter of the original dose. Chances are, you won’t have taken enough for the half-life amount to still make you high.

However, the hallucinatory effects normally only last 30-60 minutes depending on the dose and your metabolism. That doesn’t mean it will be safe to drive a car after or that people won’t notice you’re high, just that your body is no longer responding to the hallucinogenic.

It also depends on how you take the dose:

  • Injection – Onset of 2-3 minutes, and then 20-30 minutes of anesthesia
  • Orally – Onset within 20-30 minutes with highs lasting 60-90 minutes
  • Intramuscular Injection – Onset within 10-15 minutes with highs lasting 30-120 minutes.

Most people who abuse ketamine take it orally. Here, it’s often sold as a powder which can be drank, swallowed, or even snorted. Here, it’s metabolized more quickly than other routes, because ketamine is very easily digested in the intestine.

Can You Be Addicted to Ketamine?

Most people view ketamine as a safe alternative to other party drugs. To an extent it is, it has a low physical dependence risk. However, it has a high psychological addiction risk. As a result, it can have a significant risk factor for psychological dependence and addiction – to the point where several thousand people using ketamine have to go to rehab each year.

Here, signs and symptoms of ketamine usage are almost entirely behavioral. For example:

  • You can’t stop using despite having tried to quit or cut back
  • You recognize ketamine is harming your personal, social, or work life and yet continue using
  • You cannot afford ketamine but keep buying it
  • You hide usage from close friends and family members
  • You disassociate
  • You spend a significant amount of time looking for, thinking about, or planning to use ketamine

Most people with significant habits will also see increases in physical symptoms. For example, ketamine causes side-effects like drowsiness or lethargy. You might also start experiencing insomnia with regular and heavy use. Many people who use daily will start to experience incontinence. And, it’s not uncommon to develop skin rashes.

Getting Help

Ketamine is a controlled substance for a reason, it can be dangerous and it can result in addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can ask for help. That’s even more important if you’re combining ketamine with other drugs or alcohol, which increases risks. Substance use disorders are legally listed as temporary disabilities. If you go to rehab, you’re protected, you’re entitled to help, and depending on whether your premium supports the rehab facility you go to, your insurance has to cover at least part of the care.

Ketamine is less dangerous than many other drugs, but like any other drug, it can be addictive. If you need help, that help is there.

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