Drug and alcohol addiction can be a serious and even life-threatening battle. People who have access to union benefits are often offered the option of a treatment center that is contracted with their union. This is often the most affordable path to recovery. However, these facilities come with many disadvantages as well. In some cases, going to a union treatment center is the only way to keep your job. This is especially true if you have had an incident at work involving your substance use. However, these treatment centers are not always the best choice. Understanding the pros and cons of union treatment centers is key to getting the care that you need to fight your disease.
What Are Union Treatment Centers?
Unions offer a variety of benefits to members that can make life a great deal easier. Many unions contract with drug and alcohol treatment centers so their members can get free or low-cost rehabilitation services. This benefits unions by promoting a happy and healthy workforce. These centers are usually not run by the trade union but rather a contracting entity. However, they often will communicate with unions and have specialized programs for people in certain professions.
This can be an advantage, particularly if the program is tailored for people with your own educational and career background. The trade union often covers most or all of the cost of these contracted programs. In exchange, people who go into the centers have to be signed off by a staff member in order to return to their job. This can be a benefit as it ensures that you only go back to work when you are at the right stage in your recovery. However, it can be a drawback as well.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Union Treatment Center
The main advantage of a union treatment center is that members can get services for little or no cost. Cost is often one of the barriers to high-quality treatment, so this can be a huge advantage. In addition, going to one of these centers often can protect your job. If you have had an incident at work related to your substance abuse, many unions will offer rehabilitation rather than firing you. In addition, most unions will protect your job if you voluntarily decide to get treatment. This allows you the time off that you need to get healthy without worrying about whether you will lose your livelihood.
However, there can be disadvantages as well. Sometimes the treatment center covered by your union is not the best choice for you or does not offer programs that meet your needs. Because many unions require a clearance from the center before you can resume work, some people feel trapped in a program that is not meeting their needs. It is important to advocate for yourself with your union. Consider all of their options, but be clear about your own needs in recovery. Talk to your steward and other representatives about your situation. These people also can let you know which options will protect your job and your union membership.
Treatment Options for Union Professionals
Union treatment centers can be a good option for many people. However, they are not the only option. Many unions offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that cover more than one program. You may have some choice in the level of care that you choose. In addition, union health insurance is often top-notch. Your insurance may cover a good portion of other treatment programs even if that program is not specifically contracted with your union.
Ultimately, drug and alcohol recovery is a fight for your life. You need to consider which programs will give you the best possible chance of recovery. The option that is the lowest cost for you may not be the right one. Sometimes it is worth it to pay out of pocket for a treatment program that will give you the tools you need to attain a sober and healthy life. If you are interested in finding out more about your options in drug and alcohol treatment, contact us today at 833-762-3739. Our qualified drug and alcohol counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss your options for a successful recovery.