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How Professionals Can Seek Help for Addiction Without Affecting Their Career

Updated: May 14, 2021

By Eva Benoit

Facing an addiction--and making the decision to seek treatment for recovery--is a major turning point that can affect many different aspects of your life, including relationships and your ability to perform at work or at school. For professionals, it can be an extremely difficult decision to seek help, because they may feel their job is on the line, and after working hard for so many years, it’s terrifying to think that one mistake could ruin it all.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can seek treatment for addiction without it negatively affecting your career. Keeping in mind that your health and well-being are the most important thing that will help you focus on your needs and decrease worry and anxiety, which will aid in the healing process tremendously. Do some research on what your rights are in the workplace and talk to your friends and family about your plan to move forward so you’ll have support.

Read on for some great tips on how to seek help for addiction when you are a business professional.

Know your rights

It’s imperative to get familiar with what your rights are in regards to taking a leave of absence from your job in order to seek treatment. The Family Medical Leave Act includes individuals who need to take time off for recovery and prohibits employers from giving your job to someone else in your absence. Be sure to look through the employee handbook so you can get familiar with the workplace policies that are already in place.

Talk to your employer honestly

While it can be a scary thing to announce your addiction to someone else--let alone your boss--it’s imperative that you talk to your employer openly about your needs and be honest about your goals. You don’t have to give specifics, and employers are not entitled to know them. But the more open you are, the better chance you’ll have of keeping trust between you in the future. It will also help your employer find the best way to help you.

Find a treatment that’s right for you

Finding the right treatment takes a lot of thought and careful planning, and it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to get started. You may need outpatient care if you have young children or if you need to maintain a professional presence at work. Inpatient care can be highly beneficial to many individuals in recovery because it allows you to get away from the stresses of everyday life, away from temptations, and away from people who can be a bad influence. With inpatient care, you can let go of the fear and anxiety that may be holding you back and focus on getting well.

Learn how to manage stress in a healthy way

Stress, anxiety, depression, and different types of mood disorders can all contribute to addiction, so it’s important to evaluate the causes of your stress and learn how to cope with it in a healthy way. You might take up a new hobby, practice yoga and meditation in order to relax, or join a support group where you can talk openly about your feelings with people who understand what you’re going through.

Seeking help for an addiction is a long and winding road, and for many people, it lasts a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to find a treatment path that’s right for your needs. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for you, and prepare a plan that will keep you looking forward.


Eva Benoit is a contributing writer to SignalHarmony and began her career as an office manager which started her journey to becoming a life, career, and wellness coach. She left the office for the last time 6 years ago to pursue her passion. She specializes in helping people with anxiety but welcomes the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life.

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