Artists among Professions with High Rates of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over nine percent of American workers abuse alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse leads to productivity losses, avoidable accidents, injuries, and higher episodes of sickness. The economic loss accumulates to billions of dollars. 

Some industries and professions have a relatively higher incidence of alcohol and drug abuse. Here is a list of 4 respected  professions in society where high rates of substance abuse problems are reported.

Health Care Professionals

As surprising as it may sound, 10 to 14% of doctors and medical professionals have a substance abuse issues. These occupations are among the most high-stress and demanding jobs in the world. They stress of being responsible for the lives of others can take its toll on the health care professionals. 

In addition to the stress, another reason that doctors and those in the medical profession may develop substance abuse problems is the easy access to prescription drugs and their need to relieve stress and emotional or physical pain.

Arts and Entertainment Professionals

Creativity and substance use have a long-standing connection. Creative people such as artists, musicians and performers are used to taking risks and thinking differently than others. They drink or use drugs to live with their own thoughts. Also, the creative freedom these careers have in terms of working hours and schedules could also contribute to the higher percentage of substance abuse reported among these kinds of professionals.

Lawyers and Legal Professionals

A study by the American Bar Association found that 20% of lawyers have alcohol abuse problems. This percentage is significantly more than in other professionals with a similar level of higher education. Among the legal professionals, younger lawyers with less than ten years experience seem to have the highest rates of substance abuse and mental health problems. This points to the possibility that the substance abuse might be a way to cope with the high expectation on the young lawyers for billable hours.

Management Professionals

Management professionals are also among those that show high rates of substance abuse. Though management is a broad term, it is generally referred to people who lead or supervise other people and could range from a supervisor of a small team to a CEO of a corporation. In a survey on substance use behaviors, 12.1% of management professionals studied said they’d used illegal drugs in the past month and 11.4% reported a substance use disorder within the past year.

Several treatment options including luxury and high-end facilities are available tailored to the busy high-ranking professionals. Many facilities also offer video conference services, so executives can continue to work as they undergo treatment.

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