Trusted Content

Can I Keep Working While In Drug Rehab?

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

Medically reviewed by

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

February 5, 2019

People often try to keep their addiction a secret for fear of losing their job. Unfortunately, that concern means that many people don’t get the help they need. Thankfully, it’s very possible to keep working while in rehab. However, maintaining the balance between the two may be a challenge.

The Short Answer

Simply put, you can keep working while you are in rehab. Treatment centers want to improve your life and they understand that keeping you away from your career is only going to hinder your progress. Outpatient programs are perfect for people who want to work while in rehab, as they allow you to stay at home and only require a handful of visits every week.

With inpatient rehab, work may be a trickier prospect. However, there’s still a good chance that you can enter a work-release program that will let you work when you need. Those kind of programs are usually available in most rehab centers, but the details vary depending on the center.

In fact, your job is usually required by law to allow you to attend rehab. That’s because there are a variety of employment laws regarding addiction that is designed to help you stay fruitfully employed while you recover.

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Your Job Is Legally Protected

In the past, people who attended drug rehab may have been in danger of losing their job due to the biases of their employer. Thankfully, that is no longer possible thanks to The Americans With Disabilities Act. This law classified drug addiction as a disability and helped protect people from being discriminated against due to their addiction.

As a result, you are protected from being fired if your employer finds out you are in recovery for your addiction. However, if your performance had declined or you have been disciplined in the past, you may still be fired on those grounds. But if you have no record of problems, your boss cannot fire you simply because you have an addiction.

With that in mind, it is important to remember that people who are actively using drugs are not protected by the ADA, because their drug use is illegal and may even put the people they work with at risk. So that’s why it’s especially crucial for you to get into rehab: it can save your career, not end it.

Staying In Touch Online

The great thing about many inpatient rehab centers is that an increasing number of them are now allowing electronic and Internet access for their residents. In this way, you may be able to work remotely while in recovery. This is perfect for people with an office job or for those who can’t fit their treatment schedule into that of a work-release program.

A few ways that rehab centers will let you stay in touch with your work electronically include:

  • E-mail
  • Social media accounts
  • Cloud drives
  • Video chatting

Make sure to follow the Internet usage rules of your rehab center or your privileges may be revoked. Most centers will have policies in place to limit your ability to talk to problematic people or actively search out drugs. And since you’re serious about your recovery, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Luxury Centers May Even Have Temporary Offices

If you’re a highly-paid executive in need of an office while in recovery, luxury rehabilitation centers offer a fully-furnished office. Here, you can keep track of your business, stay in contact with your associates, and stay on top of the important aspects of your business. These offices will have a variety of business items, including:

  • Phones
  • Fax machines
  • Internet access
  • Comfortable office chairs
  • Roomy office desks

Expect to pay a little more money for one of these centers than you would a typical inpatient rehab center. However, their luxurious trappings are worth the extra price.

Don’t Let Career Concerns Prolong Your Addiction

Worrying about your job before entering a rehab center is understandable, but as you can see, there’s little reason for you to be concerned. However, if you have any more questions regarding work and rehab or need help finding a center that works for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at to learn more.

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