Employee Assistance Programs Can Help Assess Need For Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

Thinking about using your employer’s assistance program? You’re not alone. While acknowledging you need treatment can be intimidating, employers offer these services because they want you to have access to quality treatment. If you do have access to an EAP, you should consider using it along with residential treatment. EAPs and residential treatment facilities complement each other and can work hand-in-hand to provide the comprehensive treatment that will help you not only heal, but thrive. The sooner you take that first step, the closer you’ll be to recovery.

Emma was a Project Manager at a software development company who felt overwhelmed by her substance abuse problem. She was under a lot of pressure to perform at work, and that pressure, in turn, fed into a drug habit that soon became an addiction. She wanted to go to a residential treatment facility to get help, but was worried that her career would suffer.

An employee assistance program (EAP) identifies and assists employees who have emotional or personal problems that are hard to face alone. These programs indicate your employer’s concern over your emotional life and mental health. In the past, most employers only provided health insurance and other programs geared toward physical illness; the recent growth and development of EAPs are a move in a positive direction.

If your workplace offers an EAP, it shows how much your emotional well-being is valued by your employer. Seeking treatment through an EAP, via a residential treatment center, or through both, is the first vital step toward recovery.

Using Your Employer’s Assistance Program


You don’t need to feel uncomfortable when asking about your employer’s assistance program. Emma was worried that asking HR to enroll her in her company’s EAP would give them the wrong impression or cause them to label her as unprofessional. This is a common concern employees have, but it should not be a barrier between you and your recovery. Know that it’s okay to ask questions about what happens to your career after you use your employer’s EAP service.

If your employer offers an EAP, it’s because they don’t want the challenges you face in your personal life to become so overwhelming that they affect your job performance. So many people have struggled with common issues—such as substance abuse, family conflicts, or marital, financial, and emotional problems—that employers began offering their employees treatment services as a means of helping them cope. It’s in an employer’s best interest that their workforce uses counseling and treatment services to maintain a productive work environment, and it’s in your best interest, too.

EAPs tend to offer a wide variety of services. They are a wonderful first step in helping you find the right residential treatment facility, and can help you find outpatient treatment for long-term care.

  • Begin by requesting your EAP’s contact information from your company’s HR Specialist. Some companies have HR websites where you can look up an EAP’s contact info.
  • Contact your EAP and ask what resources are available.
  • In particular, if you’re not sure whether your benefits include reimbursement of residential treatment expenses or paid sick leave, ask!

After discussing the details of your situation, your EAP representative should be able to help you decide if residential treatment is a good fit for you, and if so, which ones may work best for your particular needs. Bonus: employee assistance programs for substance abuse are often paid for entirely by the employer.

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How EAPs and Residential Treatment Facilities Compliment Each Other


There are many therapeutic needs you can discuss with your EAP provider. Do you need detox, possibly medically assisted? Do you need ongoing medical treatment as a result of an overdose? Is trauma, which requires its own treatment, one of the causes of your addiction? Are there concurrent diagnoses that also need treatment, such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders? The best residential care facilities offer treatment for all of these needs and ensure someone is there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A residential care facility is a calming, safe environment that gives you space away from work, family and financial or other worries to focus on your healing. This enables you to work on sobriety skills and heal traumas or any other emotional problems that may be driving your addiction. In residential care, you will be able to connect with a community of people who truly understand what you’re going through. Not only will a team of medical professionals provide counseling and healing therapies, but you will meet other people working on the same issues that you are working on. Being around others who know the pain of addiction and who are doing the hard work of healing can help you feel less isolated. And when you return to work, you’ll be in better shape to achieve your career and life goals.

Let Your EAP Help You Take Your First Step Towards Recovery


Ultimately, your employer offers an EAP because they believe in you and know you’re an asset worth retaining. If you’re hesitating, just remember: it’s okay to let them help. After all, it takes a large support network to help you through recovery. Friends and family are essential. But you can extend your network of caring supporters to include your employer, too. With their support, you can begin to move forward and work toward positive growth, encouraged by the knowledge that there are people at home and in your workplace who are rooting for you.

When Emma learned her employer offered an employee assistance program, she felt a flood of relief wash over her. She realized that help wasn’t so far out of reach after all. Not only would her employer support her decision, he could actually help her get treatment. After working through therapy, emotional skill building, and intense healing at a residential treatment facility, Emma’s recovery was bolstered by her employee assistance program when she returned to work.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.