Recovery Center Blog

Occupations Linked to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Written By Recovery Centers - July 18th, 2022
Occupations Linked to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that can affect anyone, regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality, or religion. While this condition does not discriminate, some environmental factors cause your chances of suffering from a substance use disorder to increase. One of those factors happens to be your career.

Your job affects a lot of different aspects of your life. From your ability to pay for a home to the free time you have to be social, your job plays a significant role in your life. Unfortunately, when you have a high-stress job, that stress tends to come home with you.

As a result, your job could be one of the factors that contributed to the development of your substance use disorder. With that being said, you should be aware of the occupations that are linked to drug and alcohol abuse.

Top 7 Careers With the Highest Rates of Addiction

What happens during work can bleed over into your leisure time, causing you to become stressed and emotionally exhausted. Without proper coping mechanisms, this can cause you to turn to substances to feel better.

Have you ever unwound from a hard day at work with a few beers? Over time, you may find yourself becoming addicted to the escape it provides you with. This is how the stresses of your career can lead to substance abuse.

Seven careers with the highest rates of addiction are:

1. Restaurant and Hospitality

Working in the food service industry is not easy. Dealing with angry or dissatisfied customers on top of the fast-paced environment of a restaurant could drive anyone to drink, and according to research, it does.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the restaurant industry has the highest rates of alcohol (16.9%) and drug (19.1%) abuse, making this the number one occupation linked to drug and alcohol abuse.[1]

Additionally, an article on the link between the restaurant industry and addiction shared that “One in six workers in the restaurant and hotel industries nationwide have reported a problem with substance abuse,”[2]

2. Legal Workers and Lawyers

Being a lawyer or working in the legal industry is difficult. The combination of monumental student loans and high stress during the work day creates the perfect storm for drug and alcohol addiction.

According to the American Bar Association, 1 in 5 lawyers is a problem drinker.[3] When this is compared to other people at the same education level, the rates of substance abuse are doubled, making this another occupation linked to drug and alcohol abuse.

3. Arts and Entertainment

It has been shown over time that there is a link between creativity and mental health issues, including substance use disorder. Big names in the art and entertainment industry suffer from issues with addiction, from Vincent Van Gogh to Johnny Depp and Steve-O. Studies have even found a link between creative people and a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder.[4]

According to research, 14% of individuals in this industry admitted to illicit drug use while 11.5% admitted to heavy drinking.[1]

4. Construction

Working in the construction industry is hard on a person’s body. This can cause individuals to turn to drugs like alcohol or opioids to numb their physical pain, making construction a top career with some of the highest rates of addiction.

Unfortunately, studies have found that people in the construction industry have the second-highest rate of heavy alcohol consumption at 16.5%.[1] Even further, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that between 2011 to 2015, construction workers made up 26% of all opioid-related deaths in the state.[5]

5. Health Care Professionals

Doctors and other healthcare professionals have one of the most high-stress careers in the world. Watching people go through serious illnesses and having their lives in their hands takes a toll. Additionally, the long hours that doctors and nurses have to work may drive them to abuse stimulant substances to help them stay awake during their shift.

According to research, 10 to 14% of health care professionals suffer from a substance use disorder.[1]

6. Military

Even though active-duty military members are drug tested, they still show some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse. This is probably because of their likelihood of developing PTSD during their career in the military. As a result of their mental health, they begin abusing alcohol to relieve their emotional pain.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 1 in 15 veterans suffers from a substance use disorder.[6]

7. Firefighters

Firefighters also have one of the most stressful jobs you can acquire. Running into burning buildings and watching people’s lives burn to ash can take a toll on someone’s mental health. As a result, they turn to alcohol for relief.

50% of male firefighters reported binge drinking in the past month, while 9% of them admitted to driving while under the influence.[7]

Finding Help for Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

If you have a high-stress career that has led to the development of a substance use disorder, it’s time to seek professional help. Recovery Centers can help you get connected with a rehab program for professionals, providing you with the privacy and treatment you deserve.

Contact us today to find an addiction recovery center near you.