Jobs at High Risk for Addiction

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jobs addiction riskWhat you do for a living can have big impact on your risk for addiction. This is because some jobs inherently have more stress, longer hours, a faster pace or easier access to drugs and alcohol – all which can make it harder to stay sober for some people. Some professions are just more demanding, especially if you’re responsible for the lives of others or work well over the typical 40-hour work week.

What’s more, people in these stressful or demanding careers often have higher rates of depression and isolation, which can lead to a desire to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

Medical professionals: People who work in the medical professional, including doctors, surgeons and nurses, often experience anxiety and depression due to high stress and swing and night shifts that interfere with proper sleep. What’s more, many medical professionals have easy access to many addictive drugs, including opioids and benzodiazepines.

Lawyers: High stress and long hours for long stakes translate into high rates of both addiction and depression for lawyers. In fact, roughly 20 percent of lawyers report having substance use issues at some point in their careers, often beginning in law school. A landmark study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that one in three licensed employed attorneys in the U.S. drink alcohol at levels similar to problem drinking.

Food services: The food service and hospitality industry tops the list when it comes to rates of substance use disorders and it also ranks the third-highest for heavy-alcohol use of all employment sectors, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Again, workers in this industry endure stress, long, odd hours and easy access to drugs and alcohol.

Manual labor: People who work in the fields of mining, timbering and construction often turn to drugs and alcohol to manage the physical pain and stress caused by manual labor. In fact, some studies say 15 percent of construction workers use illicit drugs and 18 percent participate in chronic alcohol use.

Other professions that have higher than average numbers for substance abuse include:

  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Law enforcement

Addiction Treatment for Working Professionals
Drug or alcohol misuse can negatively impact every facet of a person’s work life. NorthStar Transitions’ professional program takes into account licensure stipulations, career demands and personal goals. To learn more about the many benefits of treatment for working professionals, call today: 303-558-6400.