What Recovering Addicts Should Know About Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NCIf drug or alcohol addiction had a hold on your life for some time, you may be finding yourself either in alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC, or newly sober and starting over. For many recovering addicts this can include finding a new job. While this can be an exciting time, a chance to revisit those skills you excel at, and an opportunity to do what you love, that enthusiasm and excitement can be hampered by the fear and anxiety associated with passing a pre-employment drug test. The majority of employers in the United States require candidates to take, and pass, a pre-employment drug screening as part of their job offer. Knowing the type of test your potential employer is using can help you understand what drugs will be visible on the test and what your rights are regarding these tests.

It is important to note that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those who are receiving treatment for drug addiction and those who have completed rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol successfully are protected from discrimination by the ADA on the basis of past drug addiction or abuse. However, in the case of specific occupations, like law enforcement, an employer can refuse to hire someone with a history of illegal drug use even if that person no longer uses drugs. The employer must prove that this policy is job-related and is consistent with the necessity of business. The ADA also provides guidelines for employers on how to accommodate employees with a history of drug addiction. These accommodation solutions include altering job requirements or accommodating further treatment needs after employment begins.

Disclosing your recovery status to a potential employer can be a daunting task. Experts agree that disclosing your status as a recovering addict before the return of a positive drug test adds to your credibility with a potential employer. The reason for this is that potential employers are not allowed to ask you about former addictions because under ADA laws history of illegal drug addiction is protected. The rub comes when you fail a pre-employment drug screening, but you are newly sober or still in recovery. Addressing this topic at the right time during the interview and selection process is key.

Before beginning your job search prepare for the discussion of your addiction and recovery. If you need help with addiction, call Legacy Freedom for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC you can trust.

  • Get a letter of reference from your recovery counselor. This letter should include your treatment status and your recovery process. Discuss with your counselor what information is relevant and appropriate to share. Also, make sure that you are comfortable with the information that is being shared.
  • When you speak about your addiction, only use positive terms. Phrases like "used to be addicted" and "have been in recovery" make it evident that you have put your troubles behind you.
  • Focus on the successes in your recovery process like the length of time that you have been sober or reaching goals that you set for yourself.

Avoid getting into too many specifics about your addiction. There is no need to share details about events that happened during your addiction or discuss how you became addicted. Employers do not have the right to ask for specifics about your addiction.

Employers may utilize a variety of drug tests to screen a potential employee. The most commonly tested for substances are:

  • Barbituates
  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Amphetamine
  • Opiates
  • THC
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Propoxyphene

alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NCDrug tests may be conducted on an applicant's blood, urine, nails, hair, and saliva. Each of these samples provides a different time frame information on the applicant's drug use. Blood and saliva testing provide the most current snapshot of a potential employee's drug use. These tests are most often used to determine if a person is under the influence at the time the test is collected. Urine tests will provide accurate information about drug use history in the past week to ten days. Nail clippings and hair samples provide the longest and most complete picture of an applicant's drug use for a potential employer.

It is important to know when a drug test can be conducted. There are clear laws about when an employer or potential employer may drug test:

  • Scheduled, periodic tests
  • When an employee returns to work after addiction treatment
  • After an incident or injury on the job
  • Once a conditional offer of employment has been made
  • Employers are not allowed to use drug testing as part of a pre-screening process
  • Random tests on random employees
  • When an employee is suspected of being under the influence on the job

Returning to the workplace after overcoming your addiction takes careful planning and courage. Being honest with potential employers about your history and your recovery process is important. Making positive choices and rebuilding your life after addiction can be scary. Rely on your support system of family and friends to help you cope with the anxieties and stresses that you feel as you begin to rebuild.

Holistic Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NC

Do you or someone you love struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Legacy Freedom of Raleigh NC can help. Our holistic approach to treating substance and alcohol addiction is unlike any other treatment program you have tried before. This is not a twelve step program. We believe in addressing the underlying causes of your addiction. Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mental illness and are using drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate, or you are using to numb the pain of abuse or other trauma, Legacy Freedom can help.

Our holistic approach to addiction treatment is focused on you. Together with your Life-Purpose coach and your care team you will design a treatment plan centered on you and your needs. Our staff dietician and physical therapist will help you heal your body through proper nutrition and exercise. One-on-one and group therapy sessions provide time for reflection and understanding of your addiction and what causes you to use. At Legacy Freedom, we encourage clients and their families to heal together by offering group sessions and involving the family in treatment when appropriate. Alternative therapies are utilized in our addiction treatment plans as a way to help you learn to cope and manage your underlying issues. Through therapies like equine therapy, tai chi, yoga and acupuncture, you will learn to live without the weight of addiction and find new sober ways to channel your energy.

Living a healthy and sober lifestyle begins with the choice to make a change. Our professional and compassionate staff is ready to help you overcome your addiction. Whether you struggle with cocaine, marijuana, pain pills, methamphetamines or alcohol, Legacy Freedom offers you a way out of addiction. Start your journey towards a purpose filled life by calling or clicking to connect for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC you can depend on!

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