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Explaining to your boss

Drug Detox: withdrawal, treatment

Approaching your boss about your addiction

Although it might seem daunting, approaching your line manager, HR manager, or senior manager about your alcohol or drug problem is better done sooner rather than later.

It is natural to feel worried or concerned about what your employer will think and say if you tell them about your illness. You might be scared of losing your job or losing the respect and friendship of your colleagues.

Do not let your job be the reason that is keeping you from dedicating yourself to recovery.

Do not suffer alone or in silence. Call us today on 0808 1150 446.

Why should you tell your boss?

Jane Betts is qualified psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist
“Sometimes it feels as if life throws us in at the deep end, leaving us confused and lost. Perhaps it is time to change the person you have become”
Talk to a real person now.

The first and most important thing to remember is that your employer and colleagues will want the best for you and will be supportive throughout your process.

Discussing your desire for recovery and your need to seek help does not mean that you will lose your job or livelihood.

The reality is that your substance abuse is stopping you from fulfilling your true professional potential. And if you do not seek professional help, your illness will worsen, and you will lose your job.

Showing that you are actively and seriously considering help and recovery will demonstrate your pro-activeness and your initiative.

Are you concerned about an employee?

Prepare before approaching your employer:

The prospect of telling your boss about your situation is daunting enough, so it is essential to come prepared and know your employee rights.

Here are a few things to consider before you talk with your boss:

  • Your boss or colleagues may have spotted that you have a problem and already know about your issues. Read about the telltale signs of secret addiction.
  • Do not worry about being fired. Most company policies will recognise addiction as an illness like any other that requires sick leave to allow time for recovery. So in most cases, your job will be safe.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act: This outlines a legal requirement for the employer to ensure all their employees’ health, safety, and welfare.
  • Familiarise yourself with your company’s regulations on drugs and alcohol misuse.
  • Talk to your GP and get a diagnosis that you can present to your employer when approaching them.
  • Keep a file of all correspondence between you and your employer.
  • If you are dismissed without the offer of any help, then you have the right to claim unfair dismissal from an Employment Tribunal.

You do not have to share with your colleagues

Telling your boss does not mean that your whole company will find out.

You are at liberty to keep your situation as private as you like.

Who you tell in your workplace will depend on how comfortable you are with your colleagues.

This is your information and life, and you have the right to tell your work friends that you are taking some time off for ‘personal or family reasons’.

It is important that you feel comfortable about beginning your recovery journey.

Though there is so much social taboo and stigma about alcohol and drug misuse, there is nothing to be ashamed about, and you will be surprised just how much support and understanding you will receive.

There is so much support available

Here at the Executive Rehab Guide, we are committed to supporting and helping those in need.

If you, someone you love or a work colleague is struggling with drug- or alcohol-related problems, then talk to a specialist today.

Call us on 0808 1150 446.

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Last Updated on March 3, 2022 by Alison