A man takes a leave of absence while in recovery

The prospect of approaching our employer about our addiction and asking for a leave of absence to seek treatment can truly be an overwhelming thought. For one, the shame we typically feel right before we decide we need help is often quite powerful.

This shame is then coupled with a tremendous fear of what our admission might mean for our reputation and job security. In reality, there is no greater threat to our livelihood (and life) than untreated alcoholism and/or addiction.

Here we take a look at why taking a leave of absence in order to undergo treatment for alcoholism and/or addiction may be the best decision you ever make.

1) Addiction is a progressive fatal illness

Alcoholism and addiction are defined as progressive illnesses, that when left unchecked, A man asks his coworkers about taking a absence leaveultimately prove to be fatal. (1) In other words, our disease only gets worse over time when left untreated. This is usually quite clear in our own history if we simply take an honest look at our past use.

While many feel inclined to keep pushing off seeking treatment for the problem to a later, more “favorable” time, the truth is the sooner the better.

2) The government is on your side

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers protection in a lot of circumstances for alcoholics or addicts who are seeking treatment. The ADA was put in place to protect employees against discrimination for disabilities in which they might have.

While the ADA does not protect employees who are currently engaging in illegal drug use, exceptions are made for those who “successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use”. (2)

3) The stigma is lifting

Surveys have found that approximately 10% of Americans have had a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. (3) This staggering statistic demonstrates just how serious the problem is in our country.

While we often times feel alone in our addiction, the truth is that the stigma of addiction is lifting in this country as more and more families have loved ones effected by this disease.

True Recovery

4) Anything we put before our recovery, we lose

A common warning heard in the rooms of recovery is that anything we put before our sobriety, we ultimately will lose.

This has been demonstrated countless times for us. While we may have the desire to keep putting off receiving treatment in favor of work, the reality is our work performance will only continue to decline as our disease worsens.

5) How True Recovery can help

A number of facilities utilize case management to help support clients with vocational training and job acquisitions. Also, the clinical staff are able to provide clients with letters to their HR departments if needed for progress updates and can help with FMLA paperwork.

Additionally, time can be carved out during the day for computer usage so that clients can stay in touch with work.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.ncsbn.org/Understanding_the_Disease_of_Addiction.pdf
  2. https://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-and-current-illegal-drug.html
  3. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/10-percent-us-adults-have-drug-use-disorder-some-point-their-lives