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Addicts Fear Job Loss

More Than Half of Employees Fear That by Getting Help for Addiction, They’d Lose Their Jobs

posted 04:20 AM EST, Wed January 27, 2010
Employees Fear Job Loss If They Get Help for Addiction © Photo Credit: Kyril

Although 40% of people believe their employers would be supportive or very supportive of treatment for mental health or addiction, a much higher number fear that admitting to such problems would cost them their jobs or harm them at work.

According to a research poll commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association, only 4 in 10 employees would feel confident of their employer’s support should they ever need mental health treatment.

According to the poll:

  • 73% of American workers fear that admitting to a need for alcoholism treatment would affect their work status
  • 66% say that a need for drug addiction treatment would harm their work status
  • 62% say that a need for depression treatment would harm them

According to the poll, employees say that privacy concerns and a fear of job loss would be barriers to getting help.

Alan Axelson, of the American Psychiatric Association's Partnership for Workplace Mental Health Advisory Council commented on the poll results, saying, “Research supports the fact that when people receive needed care, they are healthier and more productive – and employers realize the return on their health care investment.”

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