No matter where you are on an economic level, addiction does not discriminate. It affects the poor, rich, black, white, Hispanic, young, old, white-collar, blue-collar, no-collar, educated, and uneducated. However, there are certain factors that can make particular professions more challenging when it comes to addiction. Stress and environment have been shown to be high causes of addiction. Science indicates that stress is a well-known risk factor in the development of addiction. Additionally, environment – including community, family, school, work, and friends – can contribute to a higher risk of addiction. It’s no wonder, then, that there are a number of professions that – largely because of stress and environment – can lead someone to addiction.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed some informative statistics regarding which professions are at the highest risk of addiction based on alcohol and drug consumption. Whether you are struggling with addiction, know someone who is, or are going into any of these fields, it is important to be informed and prepared and, if necessary, seek treatment.
Mining and Construction
Mining and construction workers made up the highest rates of alcohol consumption. Although no specific cause for this was reported, a study done by VicHealth of Australia showed “One in five respondents reported drinking more when they were with their construction work colleagues (compared to drinking with other social groups) and some workers reported that drinking with construction workers was more relaxing, enjoyable and socially comfortable than drinking with other groups.”
Accommodations and Food Services
While mining and construction workers accounted for the largest number of American workers’ alcohol consumption, the accommodation and food services industries took the lead for the most illicit drug use. Professional chefs have come out and candidly recounted their struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, and say because of the level of stress, high-energy, and hours, the restaurant industry is ripe for addiction. According to them, it is simply a “part of the culture.”
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
From artists to agents, the field of arts, entertainment and recreation (amusement parks, gambling facilities, musical groups, museums/theaters, spectator sports) came in second among the highest ranking professions to take illicit drugs and fourth in the consumption of alcohol.
Administrative, support, waste management and remediation services like waste management, travel agents, employment agencies, and security services ranked third in the country for illicit drug use. Over one in 10 of employees in these careers struggled with a drug addiction.
Any kind of management is a high-stress profession so it comes as no surprise that business management – was the fifth highest ranked profession for drug and alcohol abuse. Because these careers can be demanding, it can be a challenge to find time to justify seeking treatment for any addiction.
Health Care and Social Assistance
The medical field is an incredibly stressful place. Healers ranging from physicians to health care assistants work arduous hours and carry heavy burdens. Members of the healthcare industry struggle with addiction at a rate at or above the national average. In fact, approximately 10% to 12% of physicians will develop a substance use disorder during their careers. Easier access to prescriptions and the need to work long and strenuous hours, make this profession is a very high-risk career.
Additional professions that the study found to have significant alcohol or drug addiction risks include:
• Retail Trade
• Other services (except for public administration)
• Real Estate/Rental/Leasing
• Professional/Scientific/Technical Services
• Public Administration
• Educational Services
There are signs to look for if you think your career is leading to addiction and if your or someone you love is showing any of these symptoms, it may be time to take a break and seek help. If you are considering a career in any of these industries, being informed is the first big step towards avoiding addiction. Being prepared is the second. Remember that stress and environment are major contributing factors in the workplace for addiction. By keeping your stress levels down and aligning yourself with the right colleagues, you are better positioned to avoid the risk of addiction.
Addiction is a difficult hurdle to jump by yourself so it’s important to know you are not alone. There is almost always an underlying reason for addiction and it’s imperative to explore your world and determine what it may be.
Contact us today and let’s discuss which of our treatments would benefit you most and get you back on the career path you want.