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Together We Recover

Are you or someone close to you affected by Substance Use? MAP offers various types of assistance and referrals for members and their families. Please email Jenice Acosta, LMSW, at mapinfo@uft.org to arrange for a confidential conversation.

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"A little over a year ago, I met with you and you kindly and generously walked me through some of my options for treatments. You then helped me do intake at a facility, arranging the time and date of my stay.

When I came to the MAP office, I was terrified. I was afraid of losing my job and I was afraid of what it meant to go to rehab. Your calm disposition put me at ease. You made me feel respected and listened to. You were so welcoming and understanding. For my recovery, to have you on my side, for you to be one of the first people who helped me, it was exactly what I needed.

Today, I celebrate one year of sobriety.

Thank you so much for your professionalism and your humanity. You helped me get to where I am today."

- Member testimonial

Recovery support group

For those of us affected by substance use — directly or indirectly — this year has been especially challenging. If you are in recovery or seeking recovery, please join our conversation, share your experiences, support other members and find strength with our weekly recovery support group.

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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 that can assess mental health and substance use issues and provide specific recommendations for your treatment, as well as how to handle workplace-related leaves. You may contact Jenice Acosta, LMSW, who works both with union members as well as their families who are dealing with addiction issues. She may be reached at 212-701-9620 or via email at mapinfo@uft.org.

How long will I be in treatment?

Depending on what type of treatment that is recommended for your specific issue, time in treatment varies. Suggested treatment is based on a thorough evaluation of the relationship you have with the substance(s) of choice. More intense treatment could involve going into a rehab facility for up to 28 days.

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. Please refer to a MAP consultant or your insurance to note what that amount could be.

Where should I go to treatment?

Depending on the history of your struggle, it can be useful 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. If you want a more intense experience, rehab might be the best route for you. If you want to continue with minimal disruption to your daily living situation, other options such as a short course or rehab or outpatient treatment may be suitable as well.

What is the difference between rehab and outpatient treatment?

Rehabilitation services are meant to help a patient reset some of the patterns that have led to the cycle of the addiction process. Rehab is intense, where you go to 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 facility in the community and participate in both group and individual therapy.

What is detox?

Drug detoxification, or detox, is the first step in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that offers all the tools required for recovery. Detox can prevent unpleasant or fatal consequences resulting from sudden cessation of use and can aid the patient in becoming abstinent from drugs. It is often done in an approved clinical setting under the supervision of a medical professional to aid with some of the uncomfortable aspects of drug 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.

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

There are a number of community resources that can help. There are traditional in-person support groups such as Al-Alon. Short-term help if you are a union member is also available via MAP and its substance abuse liaison, Jenice Acosta, LCSW. MAP also offers support groups throughout the school year for family members affected by the addiction of a loved one. Please email mapinfo@uft.org or call 212-701-9620 for more information.

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

If you need a more immediate resource for specific times and days for a group, you may look at the New York Inter-Group schedule. If you go to a rehab, most facilities also provide family support days/groups to help your family members.

What does treatment entail?

Substance abuse treatment usually entails group and individual therapy. Group therapy means a collective gathering of others who are struggling with addiction and helping one another hold each other accountable of the thoughts and feelings that can spiral into behaviors that increase the likelihood of relapse. Individual therapy is a way to have more in depth connection with one’s inner resources in maintaining sobriety.

How much information should I tell my principal?

Addiction is a disease of the brain and as such requires medical attention. If you decide to go into rehab, your responsibility is to contact your payroll secretary and inform them that you are going to be out for several weeks while you seek medical attention for an issue that requires you to address it. You need not specify the medical issue that you are attending to. That is your private medical history. You must state that once you have medical documentation (which will go into a confidential part of your record) it will be uploaded on SOLAS (the system where you request a leave from).

Who should I contact regard type of leave I should take?

For concrete questions regarding your specific type of leave, you may contact the medical division liaison between the UFT and DOE at 212-598-7711.

Who can be my ally in supporting life after treatment?

Aftercare is important. This 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, where we can support you on your journey to health and wellness!