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Can Our Job Put Us At Risk of Addiction

Nearly 23.5 million Americans struggle with addiction to alcohol or drugs, so that it crosses demographics like age, race, gender, and socioeconomic background, in fact, more people are susceptible to addiction than ever who are professionals because of the levels of stress they experience on the job. People in high-powered roles may have high functioning addiction (lawyers, doctors, nurses) but are keeping it hidden from loved ones. Some jobs leave people more vulnerable than others. Find out who that may be and how to get support for addiction.

Professionals Struggle with Addiction

Addiction can change the way people behave, think, and feel. The disease impacts the way they function at work and handle themselves in stressful situations. Even though they may take substances to try and handle them better, they don’t realize the impact it has on their job performance over time. Many people with active addiction are secretive about their use to hide from loved ones. Those in professional situations may struggle with mental health and substance abuse. This can be any profession:

  • Nursing
  • Pharmacists
  • Therapists
  • Lawyers
  • Bankers
  • Construction and mining workers
  • Veterans in military

Many professionals believe education will keep them immune from addiction. It is not about being educated so much as it is about a mix of things from genetics to the environment. Tremendous pressure on people to make bigger, better sales, to train more people, to face their high-risk, high-reward culture means they, and many others, do drugs or drink to keep up. 

Qualities of Leaders

When looking at the qualities of leaders that can create a perfect storm for addiction, successful leaders tend to be compulsive risk-takers. They also have a high degree of novelty-seeking behavior. They derive pleasure from things that make them feel extraordinary, which means drugs and alcohol may appeal to them more. Anyone that works shifts, stays on call for long periods of time and is under lots of pressure like surgeons and anesthesiologists, and anyone who is working around the clock under pressure can be more susceptible to drug use as a means of coping. 

When people who work in high powered jobs seek help, they may feel stigma or shame. The key is to remember that they are human, too, and need some support. It is likely they are at the top of their profession for a reason and are not replaceable easily. This means they can take some time away then jump back in once they have had time to get clean and sober. This might mean a few months of time away to detox and do rehab, then some aftercare planning. Professional treatment centers will provide support on restoring a career and reputation, licensing issues, triggers at work, and staying connected to aftercare programs. This makes a huge difference in getting professionals the support they need for addiction.

The Guest House is based on a Therapeutic Communty model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 855-483-7800.