Emergency Responser Addiction: Ready for Rehab

Getting Ready for Rehab

If you’ve made the important decision to enter a residential rehabilitation center, there are doubtless many concerns and considerations weighing heavily on your mind, including how to plan for your time away from home, work, friends, and family.


Getting ready for a stay in a residential rehabilitation facility is much like preparing for any period away from home, with one very important difference. Unlike relaxing vacations or holiday trips to visit loved ones, rehabilitation requires hard work and an unwavering focus on getting and staying sober.


Given that, it’s important for you to do everything you can to leave work worries and domestic doubts behind. So, once you’ve arranged the details of your stay, here are some other things to consider.


Making Arrangements at Work


Although you can certainly lose a job if your performance suffered because of drug or alcohol abuse, it’s against the law for an employer to fire you  because you’ve announced intentions to enter an addiction treatment program. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, protects those struggling with substance abuse as long as they are seeking treatment.


Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take an unpaid leave of absence of up to 12 weeks within a 12-month stint, according to an article in the Huffington Post. However, employers may request that you sign a return-to-work agreement that outlines their performance expectations for you when you return from rehab.


Caring for Your Pets and Home


If you are fortunate enough to live with a trusted friend or family member who can handle household duties, this may not be a critical consideration. But if you have pets you’ve also got to factor in the responsibilities that will keep pets healthy and happy in your absence.


So, for those who live alone or share a home with someone who has limitations — perhaps physical or schedule-related — that keep them from caring for pets consistently, you may want to consider pet sitters who can care for animals in their own environments. There are also dog boarders who can  take pets in rather than looking after them a crowded canine camp. In some cases dog walkers who can fill in when friends and family are working long hours may fit your furry friend’s needs. Fortunately, there are many options available to give your pets physical and mental stimulation while you are away.


Dealing With Other Details

Make sure all your recurring bills have been paid in advance or are set for an auto payment option. It may also makes sense to suspend services such as newspaper deliveries, cable television, or gym memberships that you won’t be using for a while, according to advice from SmarterTravel. While these monthly fees may not seem substantial, you might be surprised at the savings you realize, and the cash could come in handy when you return from rehab.


While these considerations may seem small, you should be aware that you may not be able to take care of them once you arrive at your chosen rehabilitation facility. Many limit access to smartphones and other methods of communication during your stay. If you are unsure, it’s wise to check in advance. Rehabilitation centers often offer a list of what to bring and what not to bring on their websites. Be sure to carefully review these lists while preparing and packing. If your chosen center does not offer a list online, ask a member of the staff if they have requirements and recommendations about what you should and should not bring from home.


Tackling these tasks may be the last thing on your mind as you ready for rehab, but eliminating some everyday worries will help you focus on your most important objective — overcoming addiction.


Guest Blog Post by Caleb Anderson

About romduck

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder, author, and educator with more than thirty years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, hospital healthcare systems, and private emergency medical services. Rom is a career fire captain and paramedic EMS Coordinator for the Ridgefield (CT) Fire Department and director of the New England Center for Rescue and Emergency Medicine. Rom holds a master’s degree in public administration, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program, and is the recipient of the NAEMT Presidential Award, American Red Cross Hero Award, Sepsis Alliance Sepsis Hero Award, and the EMS 10 Innovators Award. Rom is the author of "Duckworth on Education," as well as chapters in more than a dozen EMS, fire, rescue, and medical textbooks and over 100 published articles in fire and EMS magazines. A member of the NAEMT Board of Directors, as well as other national and international advocacy and advisory boards, Rom continues to work for the advancement of emergency services professions. Contact Rom via www.romduck.com