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How to Help an Attorney Who Struggles with Problem Drinking Behavior?

Alcoholism and substance abuse are high among certain professions for various reasons. An attorney, for instance, who struggles with problem drinking behavior, is likely to experience this as a result of stress at work, performing to a high level, and other personal reasons. The rate of substance abuse is higher in this field due to self-medicating other symptoms. Find out more about why this occurs and how to support an attorney who is struggling with addiction. 

Alcoholism Rates for Attorneys

Substance abuse has plagued the legal industry for quite some time. Mental health problems, along with addiction, can be quite difficult to cope with alongside working in a stressful environment. The high rates are going up as more young lawyers are falling prey to the ravages of the drinking culture that comes along with some high profile work at big firms that use alcohol as a socially cohesive (and acceptable) form of doing business. Past research has concluded that older lawyers who are more at risk for developing substance abuse and mental health problems are not the norm as much now as it is younger lawyers coming up the ladder. Some of the issues they face include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Work stress
  • Fear of missing out (promotions, getting to the next level in career)

Why Rates Skyrocket

Alcoholism rates for lawyers are high for many reasons. Even when it has to do with their mental state, lawyers have other reasons why they fall prey to addiction. Some of these include:

  • Cultural norms within a firm that includes socializing with alcohol, client meetings with alcohol, after-hours socialization, dinners, and even daytime events where drinking is encouraged
  • The stigma around not participating in these events and drinking alongside colleagues
  • Many law students experience mental health issues during school because of its rigor and competitiveness
  • Self-medicating during school years can bleed into a career
  • People who are high achieving in personality may strive for things that put them in situations with high stress and anxiety
  • Young lawyers often graduate with lots of debt and pressure to keep up with everyone else

How to Help

Law firms and organizations can put together programs that support people with addiction. The first thing is to notice there is a problem. Companies and organizations can easily help deal with the problem of drinking behavior and not allow alcoholism rates to rise. There is no real solution or cure for drinking behavior. The cure is basically seeking support from companies and organizations that can offer treatment program costs offset by insurance along with time off to cope with recovery. This flexibility will have a better benefit to attorneys with addiction to alcohol or other drugs than letting them suffer silently, slipping away at work and in their personal lives until they truly hit bottom. If they can seek help before then, they can become better employees and provide great services to clients for years to come.

The Guest House is based on a Therapeutic Communty model. There is a great way to help people in need with addiction, which is to call us and let us help them discover their individual path to healing. We offer programs, tools, and support from professionals in the industry that will help them find hope. Call us to find out more: 855-483-7800.