The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has altered its normal bus and subway schedule to accommodate the recent global viral outbreak. As the novel COVID-19 outbreak continues to claim hundreds of lives daily, extreme measures are being taken to stop its rapid spread. National business closures have left thousands without jobs and any viable source of income. Unemployment offices are slowing to a halt, overwhelmed by a constant influx of requests for government assistance. Millions of lives have already been gravely impacted by the virus in one way or another. At first, the number of bus and subway cancellations was due to the number of MTA employees that were getting sick.
Exposure is extremely high for those working in the field of public transportation, and great numbers of MTA employees have already been diagnosed. Not only do the employees who have come down with the virus need to take extended and mandatory medical leaves, but many healthy MTA employees have been furloughed due to the altered schedule. Overall, the circumstances lend themselves to exceptionally high-stress levels. Unfortunately, many MTA employees who have been laid-off and are experiencing extreme stressors like financial insecurity, an inability to find other work and potential exposure are turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms – such as drug and alcohol abuse.
MTA Employees and Substance Abuse
As a public transportation employee, those working for the Metropolitan Transit Authority must stay drug and alcohol-free at all times – if they don’t, they risk putting lives at risk. Before being hired they each sign an agreement stating that they will remain sober (especially while at work), and that if drug or alcohol abuse is suspected that they might be asked to undergo a random drug test. This in itself is reason enough for most employees to stay away from illicit drug use and the misuse of alcohol.
However, with newly compounded stress levels and because addiction is a non-discriminatory disease, there are MTA employees who do still struggle with substance abuse. A recent study found that within the last 16 months, there was a rail accident once every 10 days somewhere in the country that directly involved a rail employee misusing a chemical substance. Out of these accidents, 370 individuals were seriously injured or killed.
If you are an MTA employee who has been struggling with a substance abuse disorder, or if you have been self-medicating with drugs or alcohol due to a recent layoff, you need to know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you get started on the road to recovery without jeopardizing your career.
At Garden State Treatment Center we offer confidential and comprehensive treatment options for those working in specialized fields. We understand that MTA employees are just as susceptible to addiction and that they want and need their anonymity protected. For those who work full-time and cannot afford to take time away for inpatient treatment, we offer intensive outpatient treatment and partial care.
Drug Treatment Programs for MTA Workers
As it stands, it is illegal to fire someone indefinitely for discriminatory purposes. Additionally, drug and alcohol abuse treatment is considered a valid reason to take medical leave. Unless you were caught intoxicated on the job, you have every right to take time off and enter into an inpatient treatment program. At Garden State Treatment Center we accept many forms of insurance and will work closely with you to ensure that you are getting the treatment you need and deserve at a reasonable price.
Amidst these stressful and unstable times, rates of substance abuse are climbing dramatically. Fortunately, substance abuse treatment is considered an essential medical service. For more information on our treatment services or for answers to any questions you might have about drug rehab programs for MTA employees, please reach out to us today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon.