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Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) & Drug Rehab: Will Your EAP Help?

Written by Melissa Carmona

& Medically Reviewed by Jenni Jacobsen, LSW

Medically Reviewed

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This article was reviewed by a medical professional to guarantee the delivery of accurate and up-to- date information. View our research policy.

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Last Updated - 2/13/2021

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (561) 340-7269 now.

Updated 02/13/2021

An EAP program can link you to addiction treatment services and start you on the path toward recovery so addiction does not jeopardize your job.

Trying to fulfill your duties at work while also managing an addiction can be difficult. Drug use may be significantly impacting your life, making it challenging to give your best effort on the job. You may be thinking about going to treatment but are worried about losing your job, or you don’t know where to go for help. If you are thinking about taking time off work for rehab, your company’s EAP can probably help.

What is an EAP?

EAP is an acronym for an employee assistance program. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an EAP can link employees to services that can address personal problems, including addiction, that can negatively affect their work performance. Organizations are not required to offer an EAP, but many choose to help their employees be at their best. If you access your EAP for help with substance abuse, the provider will usually offer the following services:

  • Assessment
  • Education
  • Short-term counseling
  • Referrals to other services

The EAP provider will likely perform an assessment to determine what treatment you need. They can probably also provide a limited number of counseling sessions. If you live with a mild addiction, short-term counseling or educational programs may help you reduce your drug and alcohol use. If you require intensive or ongoing services or inpatient rehab, your EAP can refer you to a provider who offers these treatment options.

The philosophy behind an EAP is that by addressing personal problems, you can alleviate them before they start to seriously hinder your performance at work. Employers have a vested interest in their EAPs because they can improve workers’ effectiveness. At The Recovery Village, we are proud to offer EAP assessments. We provide companies with best practices and guidance to address the effects of substance abuse in the workplace. We also offer new hire training, same-day referrals and assistance with managing insurance issues and medical leave paperwork.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

According to the National Safety Council, an employee with an untreated addiction can cost the workplace up to $13,000 per year. This is because workers with addictions miss almost 50% more work than their non-addicted peers do, which negatively affects productivity.

Fortunately, other substance abuse in the workplace statistics show that employees in addiction recovery are less likely to miss work, create job turnover or visit the doctor. Ultimately, treating an addiction saves money on costs related to healthcare and lost productivity.

Related: How Employers Are Helping – Or Not – Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health (Study)

EAP & Drug Rehab

If you need EAP services for drug rehab, your human resources department can help you access your EAP for services. The EAP will schedule an assessment to determine your needs, and an EAP provider can counsel you over the short-term. If you require intensive or long-term services, you may be referred elsewhere.

Whether or not you can choose where you go for addiction treatment will depend upon the type of EAP your employer users. As SAMHSA explains, some employers may offer in-house EAP programs in which staff provide services onsite. While in-house EAPs typically provide services to larger organizations, smaller workplaces may have an off-site EAP. In this case, an intake professional within the EAP refers employees to services within the EAP network. These services are outside of the workplace, so you may have a choice among providers in the network. Your HR department or EAP intake specialist will be able to tell you what your options are.

Benefits of Using an EAP

The benefits of using an EAP for addiction treatment are numerous:

  • Convenience: By contacting your HR department or EAP intake specialist, you can quickly access treatment. Your EAP provider can also link you to any additional services you may need outside of what the EAP can provide.
  • Diverse resources: You can access services beyond just substance abuse treatment. EAPs can assist employees with locating childcare, coping with relationship problems and managing financial or legal issues.
  • Confidentiality: The law protects the privacy of substance abuse treatment information, so your EAP cannot give your employer information about you specifically. Your employer may receive generic reports of what services were used, but your name will not be tied to services. If your employer has mandated that you use the EAP for substance abuse treatment, the EAP can only give the employer basic information about whether or not you are attending treatment.

Qualifying for EAP Benefits

Your human resources specialist or EAP intake specialist can provide you with information about qualifications for participating in the EAP, such as being at your company for a certain period of time. Your intake specialist can verify your eligibility via phone. EAP services are often free for employees. In some cases, you may pay a small fee or copay for using services.

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction?

Our Recovery Advocates are available 24/7 to help.

How To Use Your EAP To Find Help for Addiction

If you are ready to get help for your addiction, the first step toward using your EAP is asking your human resources department for EAP contact information. Once you have this information, you can reach out to your EAP intake specialist to discuss your situation and determine what services are needed.

The intake specialist can help you schedule an assessment with an EAP provider to determine your specific addiction treatment needs. Following the assessment, you can receive short-term counseling services through the EAP. Your EAP may also refer you to another provider if you require long-term treatment.

Regardless of whether your substance abuse is resolved through short-term EAP counseling or long-term services at another provider, contacting your EAP is a good starting point. EAP services are usually provided at little to no cost to you, and they can link you to the help you need to begin your recovery journey.

If you are looking for substance abuse treatment, The Recovery Village offers a range of services and has locations across the country. Reach out to us today to discuss your needs and to determine how we can help. We accept most major insurance plans and are happy to provide you with a free insurance verification to determine what you can expect to pay for treatment.

EAP & Drug Rehab FAQ

Is EAP drug rehab free?

EAP services are typically provided at no cost to employees, but some may require a small fee. Keep in mind that EP services are usually short-term, but your EAP provider can to refer you to long-term services, which may be covered by your health insurance plan.

Will you lose your job if you go if to rehab?

Going to rehab doesn’t mean losing your job. In fact, there are legal protections in place that allow you to go to rehab and keep your job.

How do I take off work for rehab?

If you meet the qualifications, you can take leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend addiction rehab.

Should I Go to Rehab During COVID?

You may be concerned about seeking rehab during the COVID-19 pandemic because of health-related concerns, but rehab centers are following safety protocols to keep patients as healthy as possible. If you need treatment, it is important that you get the help you need. In fact, a recent survey by The Recovery Village found that the stress associated with COVID-19 can cause people to increase their substance abuse, which can make treatment even more vital than ever. If you are concerned about seeking in-person treatment, The Recovery Village also offers teletherapy for addiction so you can receive services from the comfort of home.

View Sources

National Safety Council. “Drugs at Work: What Employers Need to Know.” Accessed November 19, 2020.

Society for Human Resource Management. “General: What is an employee assistance program (EAP)?” Accessed November 19, 2020.

Society for Human Resource Management. “Managing Employee Assistance Programs.” Accessed November 3, 2020.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Provide Support.” Accessed November 19, 2020.