Could Working In Law Trigger Alcoholism And Addiction?

In 2016 the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association produced on of the largest and most in-depth studies on the prevalence of substance abuse in law, The New York Times reports. Just 175 lawyers short of 13,000 responded to questions for the analysis. Of that 12,825, a mere 3,419 lawyers chose to respond to questions about drug and alcohol abuse, meaning 75% of the lawyers who participated in the study did not respond to that section. Here are some of the findings:

  • 21% of lawyers are problem drinkers
  • 28% struggle with mild to severe depression
  • 19% struggle with anxiety
  • 85% used alcohol in the previous year
  • 21% used drugs in the previous year
  • 3% had severe concerns about their drug use

For the 3,419 lawyers who did answer the questions about drug abuse, the findings reveal:

  • 5.6% use cocaine, crack, and other stimulant drugs
  • 5.6% use opioids
  • 10.2% use marijuana and marijuana derivatives
  • 16% use sedatives

Law is a high-stress jobs. Lawyers have a remarkable amount of pressure on them from the minute they choose to become lawyers. Studying for and passing the LSAT is not easy. Applying to law schools, having interviews, and hoping that a school accepts you to become a lawyer is stressful. Law school is notoriously high stress for three years including rigorous academic discipline, high levels of competition, internships, and more. After graduation, lawyers have to take the Bar exam and hope that they pass in order to be practicing lawyers. Lawyers then compete to be hired by law firms, work to become partners, and once they are there, deal with constant work loads of unimaginable quantity and stress. To cope and to reward themselves, lawyers turn to drugs and alcohol. Law often completely consumes someone’s life, taking them away from home, busy with long work hours, and having to deal with high stress. Drugs and alcohol can quickly become a problematic crutch for practicing law. Meeting with clients involves a drink, networking involves a drink, after hours involves a drink, coping with stress involves a drink. According to the research all parts of being a lawyer and practicing law also includes drug use.
Lawyers can find recovery when they enter a treatment program which works with their responsibilities to their job while supporting their effort to detox, manage stress, and learn to recover.

Oceanfront Recovery Center is a men’s addiction treatment program offering a specialized executive track for business professionals in need of maintaining responsibility to their jobs while receiving treatment for an addiction. We uphold the highest ethics of privacy and accommodate the treatment experience to be as comfortable as possible. You do not have to be the addicted or alcoholic lawyer. Let us help you change your story from addiction to recovery. For information on our programs, call us today: 877.279.1777