How to Get Help After Losing Your Job to Addiction

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD, MPH

Table of Contents

Why Drug and Alcohol Use is a Big Issue for Employers

Many individuals across the United States use different addictive substances in their free time. Although they may assume the drugs will not cause any problems in their work life, it can happen. This is a common misconception that can lead to being fired.

Many drugs remain in your body for a long period, meaning a drug test could come back positive. This can lead the user to lose their job by having the drugs in their system.

Furthermore, using substances while on the job is even more dangerous. These kinds of actions can lead to injuring yourself, or worse, injuring others. If you have used addictive substances, there is a good chance your ability at work has suffered. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found several symptoms to be aware of while working if you are abusing substances.

Signs of substance abuse include:

  • Performance at work has gotten worse over time.
  • Quality of work is inconsistent, unproductive, and lacks focus.
  • Being absent or disappearing while working increases. Additionally, being at work physically but not mentally.
  • Judgment during work is poor.
  • Disregard for the safety of yourself and others around you.
  • Unpredictable behavior while working.
  • Irresponsible money habits.
  • Complaints from coworkers and customers become regular.
  • Personal appearance becomes inappropriate for a work setting.

These are the most common red flags, according to the DEA. Often, these factors lead to being fired. Accepting that there is a problem can help reverse the course of action that you’re on. Being fired from your job creates other problems, often related to family relationships.

Obtaining Treatment While Unemployed

Untreated addiction habits will begin affecting workability, leading to unemployment. A company will not want to keep you employed if you are disrupting the workflow of yourself and everyone around you.

The National Library of Medicine has conducted several studies finding that unemployment creates a harmful cycle of substance abuse. Individuals who get fired resort to using substances to combat depression and anxiety, making hiring for new work harder.

Seeking treatment might sound like a difficult task without work-provided insurance, but there is help out there. Free drug rehab or affordable rehab provides you with options worth considering. However, you must research which federally provided program is supported by your state.
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Addiction Treatment: Become Ready to Return to Your Career

Untreated addiction habits will begin affecting workability, leading to unemployment. A company will not want to keep you employed if you are disrupting the workflow of yourself and everyone around you.

The National Library of Medicine has conducted several studies finding that unemployment creates a harmful cycle of substance abuse. Individuals who get fired resort to using substances to combat depression and anxiety, making hiring for new work harder.

If you previously carried insurance through your employer and you were recently let go, you may be able to have coverage under what’s known as COBRA.

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, seeking treatment might sound like a difficult task without work-provided insurance, but there is help out there. Free drug rehab or affordable rehab provides you with options worth considering.

However, you must research which federally provided program is supported by your state.

Medicaid

Medicaid has attempted to help the problem that substance use disorder (SUD) has caused. The official Medicaid site has reported that 12 percent of beneficiaries over 18 have a SUD. In 2010, drug overdose was the leading cause of death and injuries among people between 25 to 64 years old.

If you are fired from a job because of substance abuse, there are ways to get help for addiction without insurance from a private benefactor or job.

Medicaid helps individuals without company-provided insurance. It is one of the largest federally funded programs that assist individuals with SUD. In 2009, Medicaid was responsible for 5 billion dollars worth of treatment payments.

For Medicaid to assist individuals and receive funds from the government, they must cover all necessary inpatient treatments for detoxification.

Regarding anyone under the age of 21, Medicaid is required to cover all substance disorder services. This is due to the early periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services (EPSDT). Depending on the state, Medicaid programs can help with extra treatment options.

Services include specialized treatment, methadone treatment, case management, and outpatient care. Research your state’s Medicaid program to learn what they will provide for you.

Medicare

Medicare is often mistaken for Medicaid but provides health coverage for those who are over the age of 55. Medicare is used specifically for inpatient stays for detox, rehabilitation, and outpatient treatment for substance abuse.

It assists with treatment at a freestanding clinic to help with drug and alcohol abuse, along with narcotic recovery using withdrawal treatment and alcohol treatment using aversion therapy.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant

Another way to obtain access to addiction treatment is through a special grant. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant is a federal program that aims to plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat different SUDs. The grant is one of the largest programs dedicated to treatment assistance.

In 2009, the grant program was only 5 percent of treatment spending, according to Pew Data research. In 2013, it totaled 1.6 billion dollars in treatment. The grant is distributed each year to both local governments, and non-governmental organizations. Certain populations are the main target for these funds, so contact your local treatment programs to see if you qualify for treatment help.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

There are lots of different treatment options available for individuals to partake in. Inpatient and outpatient are popular because they offer different ways to recover. Each person is unique, so treatment needs to cover as many bases as possible without sacrificing success.

There is no such thing as a one type fits all treatment, so you will likely go through many kinds of treatment options. According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), inpatient and outpatient recovery are effective treatment options. The best kind of treatment will be personalized to your needs and history of substance addiction.

Inpatient

Inpatient treatment is often conducted in a supervised location that can track your recovery progress. A free inpatient rehab is an option, especially if using government sponsors programs.

 Inpatient treatment is time-consuming, often lasting one to six weeks, but it is a successful recovery. You will work through individual or group therapy to change how you behave and react to drugs. Often, inpatient recovery will transition to outpatient recovery.

Outpatient

Outpatient recovery is more relaxed than inpatient because you are not living at a medical facility to recover. Instead, you are held accountable to attend group or individual therapy at a doctor’s office or other agreed-on medical location. The meeting will occur either daily or weekly to check in and continue recovery. Additionally, 12-step programs are included in outpatient recovery to ensure an individual stays on track for sobriety.

While unemployed, getting sober should be the first step before trying to get back into the workforce. Many employers will not hire you if you test positive for drugs. Taking the time to get clean will make the difference between rejection and getting hired. It is also important not to give in to temptation if you are rejected.

Rejection Pitfalls: Remaining Sober While Trying to Find a New Job

Rejection is hard for everyone. If an employer does not hire you, you can use the tools you learn in treatment to avoid relapse. In case relapse occurs, you must reenter treatment which may delay getting work even longer. To maintain sobriety, stay connected with family and other newfound connections from treatment. Accountability is crucial when maintaining sobriety.

Similarly, if you know someone who was rejected, hold them accountable for their recovery. It is tempting to use rejection as a reason to use addictive substances again. While going through treatment, you will learn what kind of triggers affect you. Rejection will likely be a trigger.

Furthermore, to retain sobriety after a work rejection, keep going to your treatment program. Likely, you will still be involved with a free inpatient rehab program, so continue going. Additionally, the medical professionals that work with you will keep you focused on recovery and getting back into the workforce.

If you are involved with outpatient treatment instead, make sure to stay involved with the individuals that will support and help you. Do not engage with the people from your past who may trigger you.

 Eliminating the chance of relapse can provide a way to find work and retain sobriety while still looking. No matter what happens, stay on course for sobriety and do not let rejection be the reason for relapsing.

Take the Next Step to Regain Your Life and the Career You Love

Losing a job because of addictive substances is an awful feeling. Negative consequences at work are one of the first signs of substance dependency. Participating in free drug rehab can get you back to work and not cost you an arm and a leg. Getting help through affordable rehab is also an option before attempting to get a job.

Substance abuse does not have to be the end. Getting the proper help to overcome addiction takes strength. Denial is one of the many reasons individuals will not get help.

 Start by researching the available treatment options and how they will assist your journey to sobriety. Treatment is not an easy endeavor, but with the right support, you can overcome addiction.

Call Today

Accepting the challenge of recovery is the first step in improving yourself and your life. To start this journey, call us at the number listed below. 

Get a personalized program that will best assess your situation and the severity of the addiction. We want to ensure you get clean and have the best chance of getting hired. Call us at (888) 906-0952 for more information.

Sources

[1] Just Think Twice

[2] Barriers to Employment among Unemployed Drug Users: Age Predicts Severity

[3] Medicaid: Substance Use Disorders

[4] Substance Abuse Disorders and The Role of The States

[5] Alcoholism is the Workplace a Handbook for Supervisors

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Susana Spiegel

Susana Spiegel

Susana has experience writing about addiction, treatment, mental health, and recovery. She holds a Bachelors in Arts of Theology from GCU, and has a deep empathy for those who are struggling with addiction, as she is in recovery herself.

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