There are mechanisms within most medically related workplaces that are geared toward early intervention in the addictive process. They allow the person to keep their professional licenses and lives intact, while maintaining dignity and respect. When medical professionals access meaningful, dedicated treatment, they generally return to a supportive, caring work environment. Ongoing recovery management can be a crucial piece of recovery, and aid in a smoother transition back into the work environment. There is a great deal of support from other medical professionals who have sought and received help.
Most legal professions experience relatively stressful job requirements. When the addictive process begins, many within firms or private practices believe the unmanageability exhibited is related to the stress laden environment, and don’t generally realize there may be other issues. Once the nature of the problem is identified, it may become very difficult to effectively intervene in the process through channels within a firm or practice. In most cases, a group within the firm will “confront” their colleague, and invariably the professional will suggest that they can get the issue “under control” through the same means, intelligence, motivation, and willpower that serve them so well professionally. Unfortunately, this almost always results in more difficulties for all concerned parties. Early intervention, holistic treatment, and an adequate recovery plan are the means to ongoing wellness, and continued recovery. LAPs, managing partners, and administrators can all be helpful in the process, although most times, they are “too close” to the situation to be effective. A professional can be very helpful in developing a prudent plan of action, and advising other firm members as to how they can be supportive and helpful in ways that actively promote recovery.
Addiction hits all workplaces, affecting the “addict”, their families, co-workers, managers, and employers. This results in lower productivity, missed time, missed deadlines, increased health related costs, and worse. Many times the employee, manager, or partner have been “talked to”, and made repeated promises to “take care of it”. This usually doesn’t pan out into any sort of sustained recovery. The fear of job loss prevents many from accessing treatment programs and following through with a recovery program. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and FMLA generally protect most people from job loss or loss of promotional opportunities who suffer from addiction when they seek help.
Many businesses are family owned and operated. When addiction comes into the picture, it can seem daunting to try to help somebody realize the nature of their difficulties, and to seek help. Means of succession can be impacted, and many family business owners are reluctant to transition their business into the hands of some one who may be impaired in their decision making or leadership abilities.
We have worked with many business partners, family members, and managers in developing strategies that will result in managing a stressful situation in better ways. Most times, the “addict” will seek help, and maintain a prudent recovery program, but this almost always requires a change in the approach to being “helpful”. We will steer you through this process with professionalism, confidentiality, and respect. You can then refocus on the tasks at hand within the business, and have a valued member of the business team returned to healthier interactions.