How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Addiction

When it comes to having an addiction, it can be like of like jealousy…

It is that big green monster so rudely lurking in the closet. You don’t want anyone to know it is there.

So, when it comes to talking to people about your addiction, it can be extremely difficult. It is not something you are proud of – in fact, you are ashamed – and you don’t want people to think of you any differently because of it.

Even something as simple as discussing it with your spouse or your children can prove to be far too much. But, when it comes to discussing it with your employer the game gets even harder. You really don’t want to taint the image your employer has of you…

However, if you are considering going to an addiction recovery program, you need to discuss everything with your boss first.

Otherwise, there could be some miscommunication later on and if they honestly did not know what was going on, they might just think you are slacking or have lost your punctuality.

An important thing to remember when talking to them:

  • They probably already know that you have a problem. Although most people don’t think that anyone but them knows what is going on, oftentimes, people around you are all too familiar. A lot of signs of distress, especially with addiction, are not easily hidden no matter how hard you try. So, they probably already know at least that something is going on, even if they don’t know exactly what.

Now, under some laws in certain parts of the world, employees are protected from being fired if they choose to go to rehab. So, before you decide to go talk to your boss, start by finding out what your rights are.

There is a chance you might also have access to paid time off for an event such as this. Either way, know what you are going up against so you are prepared for the worst and best case scenario.

Then, when it comes down to actually discussing the issue with them, ask to speak to them in private. Let them know what is going on and ask that they keep it confidential.

Typically, your boss should honor this as they usually just want what is in your best interest. But, go prepared with all of your information, any questions you might have, and a plan with your next steps in mind so that no stone is left unturned in that office.

You can do it! Your recovery matters.

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