Some jobs have much higher addiction risk than others. This is something to consider if you are struggling with addiction, or you have gone through treatment and are trying to stay sober. Factors that often increase addiction risk include high stress, irregular hours, and easy access to drugs and alcohol. Many people find that in order to stay sober, they have to make a career change, or at least a job change. Here are some of the jobs that are most likely to lead to addiction.
Medical professionals tick all the boxes for addiction risk at work. These are often high stress jobs that require working with patients during the worst times in their lives. Hospital and emergency workers often have to work swings shifts and night shifts, which can interfere with sleep and increase stress, anxiety, and depression. Medical professionals also have ready access to many drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines. Many medical professionals, especially doctors, feel overconfident they can safely use addictive drugs because they know how they work. Although the addiction rate among doctors appears to the be similar to the general public–around 10 to 12 percent–doctors are far more likely to keep their substance use issues a secret and less likely to seek help, which can lead to worse outcomes in the long run.
The law is a very high stress profession. Not only do lawyers work long hours for high stakes, but they must also be vigilant and constantly try to anticipate things that can go wrong. This tends to prime them to notice negative signs, which is surely compounded for anyone working in the criminal justice system. Many lawyers feel ambivalent having to represent clients whose actions conflict with their personal values. As a result, rates of depression and addiction are very high among lawyers. Alcohol use disorders are about twice as common among lawyers as in the general population. About 20 percent of lawyers report having substance use issues at some point in their careers and these problems typically start in law school.
Food service is another high stress job with odd hours and access to drugs and alcohol. This is especially a problem for kitchen staff and bartenders. Chefs often work incredibly long hours and sometimes rely on stimulants and alcohol to get them through tough shifts. They typically work late and often have to be back in the kitchen the next morning. Bartenders are always around alcohol and customers often buy them drinks. At higher-end bars, bartenders are forbidden to drink while working, but spending so much time around alcohol can still be triggering.
In states where opioid deaths are the highest, such as West Virginia and Ohio, many people become addicted on the job. Jobs like mining, timbering, and construction often have tough working conditions away from friends and family. Many workers use drugs and alcohol to manage the physical pain and stress of the job.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.