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MAP Substance Use FAQs

Getting treatment

How can my union help me or my loved one address an addiction issue?

The Member Assistance Program is committed to your well-being. Apart from offering short-term counseling services, MAP offers confidential support around addiction with a trained professional who can assess mental health and substance use issues and provide specific recommendations for your treatment. We can also help you understand your workplace rights and file for a confidential leave. MAP’s team of professional counselors can work with union members and their families who are suffering from addiction behaviors. Contact MAP at 212-701-9620 or via email at MAPrecovery@uft.org.

What does treatment look like? 

Treatment varies depending on the addictive behavior being displayed. Recommendations for treatment are based on a thorough evaluation of the relationship you have with the substance(s)/behaviors you are engaging in. More intense treatment could involve going into an inpatient rehab facility for up to 28 days, where you will receive individual, group, and other forms of treatment such as recreational therapy, trauma therapy, or acupuncture. Less intense treatment may involve outpatient individual and group counseling.

Treatment for addictive behaviors typically entails group and individual therapy. There are also medications available, which can help with mental health symptoms or cravings. In group therapy, you will meet with others who are also struggling with addiction where you will learn strategies to manage what you’re experiencing and support each other. Groups are a crucial component of addiction treatment because it helps you to form a community in which you will hold each other accountable for the thoughts and feelings that can spiral into behaviors that increase the likelihood of relapse. Individual therapy is a way to have a more in-depth connection with one’s inner resources in maintaining sobriety.

What is the difference between “rehab” and outpatient treatment?

Rehabilitation services (or “rehab”) are meant to help a patient reset some of the patterns that have led to the cycle of the addiction process. Rehab is where you stay at a facility for a set amount of time (up to 28 days, but can be shorter or longer), but it is also voluntary. Voluntary means that you go at will and if you decide to leave before the clinical recommendation, you may be able to do so. Outpatient treatment means you go to a local treatment center and participate in scheduled group and individual therapy. Outpatient treatment can be done during the night or even on weekends, which will allow you to continue engaging in your daily activities.

What is detox?

Drug detoxification, or detox, is sometimes the first step in a comprehensive rehabilitation program, depending on what substances you are using. Detox can prevent unpleasant or fatal consequences that can arise from sudden cessation of use. It is often done in an approved clinical setting, under the supervision of a medical professional who will provide medication or other supports to aid with some of the uncomfortable aspects of withdrawal (the aftermath of stopping a substance completely). Because suddenly stopping a drug is dangerous, detox is often recommended in a site that is medically appropriate to address both your psychological and physical needs.

Where should I go for treatment?

Depending on the history of your use, it can be therapeutic to take a break from your everyday environment and go somewhere where you can focus on understanding the nature of your addiction and learn new coping strategies to deal with cravings and triggers. While inpatient rehab is typically recommended because it offers the most comprehensive support, there are outpatient and short-term inpatient programs that can provide less disruption to your everyday life. The Member Assistance Program has vetted and established relationships with several treatment facilities that can offer you the support you are looking for. 

How much does treatment cost?

While this varies with your insurance, usually if you go to an in-network facility, your insurance covers treatment and you will be responsible for a modest co-payment. Contact your insurance company to understand what your out-of-pocket responsibility would be. MAP may be able to help with insurance pre-authorization, allowing you to get the maximum benefit of being in treatment.

I’m a UFT member and have made the decision to go into treatment. What happens next?

The Member Assistance Program can help you understand the next steps. Everyone’s journey towards recovery looks different and it can feel overwhelming to navigate it. You don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to MAP at 212-701-9620, or email MAPrecovery@uft.org for more information.

Where can I find a support group for dealing with addiction for myself or my loved one?

If you need a more immediate resource with specific times and days for a group, you may look at the New York Inter-Group schedule. SMART Recovery is also a great source of support for those who do not align with a traditional 12-step model. The Member Assistance Program is also offering a free and confidential support group for members who are in recovery or seeking recovery.

How do I file for a leave and take time off from work?

Addiction is a disease of the brain and as such requires medical attention. If you decide to go to inpatient rehab, it is your responsibility to contact your payroll secretary and principal prior to your admission and inform them that you will be taking an extended leave and will be filing for it accordingly on the Department of Education’s Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS). The reason for your leave is your confidential medical information that is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and SOLAS will not share that information with your colleagues or administration. If you have questions about taking a leave, you may contact the medical division liaison between the UFT and DOE at 212-598-7711.

Who can be my ally in supporting my life after treatment?

Life is what happens after treatment, therefore aftercare is extremely important! Effective aftercare means attending support groups, having a sponsor and being in consistent therapy. Remember, addiction is a disease that requires attention. If you need any help with this, contact the Member Assistance Program at 212-701-9620, or email MAPrecovery@uft.org. We are here to support you on your journey to health and wellness!

How can I help a family member who is being affected by my addiction?

There are a number of community resources that can help those who are being affected by their loved one’s struggle with addiction. Traditional supports include Al-Anon  for families impacted by another person’s alcoholism, Nar-Anon  for families impacted by drug addiction, and Gam-Anon  for families impacted by problem gambling. Many inpatient facilities also offer family counseling sessions as part of the treatment plan.

If your family member is also a UFT member, short-term counseling is also available through MAP. Please email MAPrecovery@uft.org or call 212-701-9620 for more information.