Do you know you need help, but are worried about your job?

If one of the things that keeps you from getting help is that you are worried about your job, then read our note farther down on this page about FMLA.  The law generally protects people from losing their job while they receive medical treatment.  

If you have short or long term disability insurance (you may have it through your employer) it might help to cover some or all of the leave time off.  

Do you know someone who needs help but don't know what to do?

Do you have a friend or relative who has an addiction and you don't know how to help them?  If so, read the section further down this page that talks about interventions.


Grandparents are cool. Relaxed. They’re not on the firing line every day. Some days a kid hates his folks. He never hates his grandparents. Grandparents ask direct, point-blank, embarrassing questions that parents are too nervous to ask:

“Who’s the girl?”

“How come you’re doing poorly in history?”

“Why are your eyes always red?”

“Did you go to the doctor? What did he say?”

The same kid who cons his parents is ashamed to lie to Grandma or Grandpa. Without betraying their trust, a loving, understanding, grandparent can discuss the danger of drugs and alcohol openly with the child he or she adores. And should. As a grandparent, you hold a special place in the hearts and minds of your grandchildren. Share your knowledge, your love, your faith in them. Use your power as an influencer to steer your grandchildren away from drugs and alcohol.

FMLA and ADA - your legal right to time off to get help

Addiction can be a diagnosable and treatable disease.  Since alcoholism and substance abuse are considered serious health issues that impede one's ability to perform normal daily tasks, the provisions within the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) may apply.  The best way to successfully combat addiction and the issues surrounding it is through substance abuse treatment.

FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave during any 12 month period to eligible, covered employees for the care of a serious health condition such as most addictions.  In order to be covered you must 1.  Work for an employer located in the US with at least 50 employees are working within 75 miles of each other.  2.  Have worked at least 1250 hours over the past 12 months.  3.  Have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months.

Everyone who applies for FMLA leave must fill out forms and have them signed by the treating doctor or health care provider.  The specific information required is restricted by law.  The employer must comply with the law in requests for additional information and certification.  

Before you apply for FMLA, make sure to understand how your company classifies absences under the FMLA and what you need to do before leaving for treatment to protect your position.  Also, it is important to note that termination based upon inappropriate or poor onsite behavior prior to treatment is legitimate.

The information provided here is not all-inclusive.  We encourage you to look further into this yourself.  Below is a link to FMLA information.

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Everyone and every situation is different

Every person and every situation is different, and the suggestions found in this site might not work for you.  Don't hesitate to seek professional help.  Don't give up.  Keep trying!