Occupations with the Highest Drug Addiction Rates

Substance Abuse in High Stress Work Environments

There is no question that living in the modern world is stressful. There are bills to pay, families to take care of, careers to think about, friends to see, meals to be prepared, exercises to be done, and so on and so forth.

While all of this has been true for time immeasurable, with the creation of the technologies that we now have all of this occurs at breakneck speed. At certain points, it may appear as if there is no way to step back and just relax, and as a result, many people suffer from stress and other mental health issues that lead them to alcohol or drug addiction.

Keep reading to learn more about the occupations with the highest drug addiction rates in comparison to the general workforce. And if you recognize yourself or a loved one while reading, we will also review how to get effective help if you are struggling!

Stress Can Lead to Drug Addiction

Stress Can Lead to Drug Addiction

This is not to say that stress in and of itself causes an individual to become an addict, as addiction is an illness that has biological components, but being under a tremendous amount of stress can cause the onset of drug addiction, or even help propagate it in an individual.

With this in mind let’s take a look at the occupations with the highest rate of drug and alcohol use disorders so that if you are in recovery or have a tendency towards addiction, you can prepare yourself if you are getting ready to join any of these career paths.

Occupations with Highest Drug Addiction Rates

Using data gathered by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Data, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recorded rates of illicit drug use and alcohol abuse and diagnosed substance use disorders by occupation.

Below, we have compiled a list of careers and work environments that have the highest substance abuse rates.

24 Hour Alcohol Rehab Hotline – Get Help Now!
(877) 959-7271

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Amongst Doctors and Health Care Providers

One of the most stressful jobs that an individual can have is being a doctor or working in the healthcare industry. People who choose to go into this field do so with the understanding that they will literally have people’s lives in their hands, and because of this they often time work long hours under stressful conditions.

This coupled with the fact that doctors and nurses have access to a plethora of controlled substances and prescription drugs leads to a situation where addiction can set in. In particular, nurses and doctors who work in the ER have a very high instance of addiction.

While other healthcare professionals certainly have their fair share of stress, emergency room doctors often deal with people who have been through something disastrous. More often than not, these doctors have to deal with watching their patients die. This can be incredibly damaging to their mental well-being.

With easy access to prescription medications, prescription drug abuse has become increasingly common among healthcare workers. In particular, opioid abuse has become a prevalent issue within this field. Studies have found that over half of physicians abuse prescription drugs that they have prescribed themselves.

Of course, heavy drinking is also a fairly normal occurrence among those who work in this field. No matter what type of substance misuse, even those working in the medical field may need to look for professional help, such as a physician’s health program, to overcome their substance abuse problems.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse In the Legal Field

Drug and Alcohol Abuse In the Legal Field

Contrary to why you may think that there is a high addiction rate among lawyers, some of the cited reasons that this occurs is because young lawyers, in particular, work an enormous amount of hours, have to deal with very stressful situations, usually have large amounts of debt from school, and are faced with a job market that is saturated with competition.

All of these factors play into why addiction is fairly common among those who choose to practice the law for a profession. Heavy alcohol consumption and the abuse of illegal drugs are not uncommon past-times for those working in this field.

The American Bar Association (ABA) found that around 33% of those working in the legal field have dangerous alcohol use patterns. Problematic drinking behavior may include binge drinking, or having five or more drinks at once, or using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Mental disorders are also common among lawyers, with 28% suffering from depression, and 19% struggling with anxiety.

Substance Abuse in the Arts and Entertainment Industry

It is no secret that many of those who are in the arts and entertainment field suffer from addiction. It seems that just about every band has at least one person who is either addicted to drugs or alcohol, and many of America’s most well-loved actors have a tale or two of how they used to abuse drugs or alcohol.

Why this is, and why it appears that creative types suffer from addiction, possibly more so, than people without a creative inclination cannot be said for certain, but it may have something to do with the way that creative individuals’ brains work.

When you are driven to create there is also a tendency to slip towards the depressive side as well or to even be unable to stop racing thoughts that come with creativity. When this occurs in an individual, they can run the risk of using illicit drugs or alcohol in order to self-medicate.

According to SAMHSA statistics, the entertainment industry ranks in second place for past-month illicit drug use, third for past-year substance use disorder rates and fourth for past-month heavy alcohol use.

24 Hour Drug Rehab Hotline – Get Help Now!
(877) 959-7271

Drug and Alcohol Use Amongst Construction Workers

Unlike the other professions on this list, many construction workers develop substance abuse issues for purely physical reasons. Working in the construction and mining industries is a very tough and strenuous job and because of this many of these workers wind up either suffering workplace accidents or suffering from physical ailments as the result of their work. The use of opioids and other painkillers is common in the trades, despite frequent drug testing by many employers.

This means that many people who work in the construction industry wind up having to take opiates to manage their physical pain at some point. SAMHSA also found that those working in the construction or mining industry ranked first in past-month heavy alcohol use. For an individual who may have addictive tendencies, this is a recipe for disaster.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rates in Finance and Accounting

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rates in Finance and Accounting

In the 1980s, it appeared that cocaine and Wall Street were basically synonymous. You couldn’t see a depiction of a Wall Street trader on TV or in movies without seeing cocaine somewhere in the shot and for good reason too.

During these years, drugs became a staple of the world of high finance, and the working conditions and general atmosphere of finance allowed for this to happen. Today drug dependence and addiction still run rampant in finance, although many have switched from cocaine to opioids or benzodiazepines as a way to deal with the stress of their jobs.

24 Hour Substance Abuse Treatment – Call Now!
(877) 959-7271

Rates of Substance Abuse in the Accommodations and Food Service Industry

Anyone who has worked in the hospitality or food service industry can attest that this field is not for the faint of heart. Whether serving in this field as a part-time or full-time worker, having to deal with low pay, unruly customers, and poor working conditions can be enough to push anyone to the point of drug or alcohol abuse. Not to mention a workplace culture that often openly endorses drinking and other forms of substance use.

Recently, the food services industry (as well as the hospitality and recreation industries as a whole) have seen a major uptick in lost productivity and employee absenteeism, as many of these individuals no longer fear losing their jobs and are becoming more pronounced in their protestations of these conditions.

SAMHSA found that those working in the accommodations and food service industry ranked first in past-month illicit drug use, and third in past-month heavy alcohol use.

Understanding the Reach of Substance Abuse and Addiction

These fields represent only the most widely known occupations with high addiction rates, and it should be stated that addiction does not discriminate along lines of race, religion, or socio-economic background. People from any walk of life can suffer from addiction. If you think that you may have a problem with addiction, then please seek help today.

Recognizing the Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

Recognizing the Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are several signs that you can look out for when determining if you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol use disorder. These include:

  • Consuming a substance in larger amounts or for longer than originally intended.
  • Wanting to cut down or stop the use of a substance, but being unsuccessful in attempts to do so.
  • Spending large amounts of time acquiring or using a substance, or recovering from its effects.
  • Having cravings when not currently using a substance.
  • Declining ability to fulfill work, school, or home obligations due to substance use.
  • Continuing to use a substance despite this causing social or interpersonal issues.
  • No longer participating in recreational, social, or occupational activities due to substance use.
  • Engaging in potentially dangerous activities while under the influence of a substance.
  • Continuing to use a substance despite this causing or worsening physical or psychological problems.
  • Developing a tolerance to the substance, or needing to use it in higher doses and more frequently to achieve a desired effect.
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when no longer using a substance or reducing the amount taken.

If you recognize any of these behaviors, whether in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to seek professional help for your substance abuse habits. Speak with a Find Addiction Rehabs representative today, and we will help you find a treatment program that is right for you!

Find Freedom From Your Drug or Alcohol Abuse Today!

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, understand that you are not alone in your struggles! If you are ready to change your life and finally be free of your addiction, then Find Addiction Rehabs can help.

We can give you the jumpstart you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted by providing referrals to accredited facilities that are matched to your needs. A confidential call with our compassionate recovery representatives can provide options, often within minutes.

If you or a loved one are struggling and grinding through the days of a high-stress occupation by the skin of your teeth, why not reach out now and get choices that can help you find recovery?

24 Hour Substance Abuse Hotline – Call Now!
(877) 959-7271

FAQs on High Stress Jobs and Addiction

Can an Employee Assistance Program or EAP Help with Rehab Placement?

While in some cases an EAP program can help provide care up to the point of inpatient rehab, in many instances privacy and confidentiality are better served by selecting an outside option for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Because your employer can more easily access records in relation to an EAP program, the selection of external facilities, and the use of FMLA leave, can often grant more insulation from the scrutiny of your workplace when seeking rehab services.

Are Active Duty Military Personnel Allowed to Attend Rehab?

In short, yes, many active duty members of the Armed Forces are allowed to attend addiction treatment. There are more stringent requirements for service members than for the general public, however, and it is best to look at TRICARE eligibility and make certain that the proper leave requirements have been met before attending a facility while in active military service.

Get Alcohol Treatment Options Nationwide – Call Us Now!
(877) 959-7271

Medically Reviewed By

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Call Now (877) 959-7271