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Could Your Job Support Your Addiction

December 3rd, 2013 · 1 Comment

If you or a loved one has struggled with drug or alcohol abuse, you know that it’s a complex, hard-to-understand circumstance. It can be difficult to make sense of the situation, and finding answers can be a seemingly impossible road to follow. Recently, however, studies have revealed that drug and alcohol abuse could have a common underlying link that was previously unexplored: career choice.

The video info-graphic below provides details to support this claim, but keep reading for a brief overview.

The Statistics

While no one wants to be a statistic, in certain cases, especially this one, statistics bring certain trends and commonalities to light.

  • 73% of illegal drug users work full or part time.
  • 3.1% of professional workers have used drugs before or during work hours.
  • 60% of the world’s illegal drugs are consumed by Americans.

Individuals struggling with drug and alcohol abuse are professionals. They are trying to maintain a productive lifestyle, but something holds them back…could it be their employment?

Which Careers Are Most Conducive to Drug Addiction?

While there are individuals struggling with drug abuse across a variety of industries, those listed below have the highest rates:

  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale
  • Food Service
  • Protective Service Workers
  • Community and Social Service Workers.

What do they have in common? More than what appears to be on the surface.

Stress and Its Link

According to a recent study, Americans are working harder than ever. Americans work longer hours with more stress, less vacation time and a later average retirement age than at any point in history. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that over 20% of the American workforce – 25 million – works a minimum of 49 hours a week, with 11 million of those working over 59 hours a week.

In the video info-graphic below, the fact that high stress, fatigue and long hours contribute to addiction is illustrated, which brings the aforementioned facts to light. If Americans are working more than they have ever worked before, in high-stress industries, it makes sense that there is more than a casual link between career choice and drug addiction.

The Impact of Drugs on the Workplace

The American economy is impacted by increasing levels of addiction. In fact, 500 million workdays – 4 billion hours – are lost annually due to substance abuse, with the average drug user calling off 2 days per month. Furthermore, the situation is dangerous, as 10-20% of workplace deaths have a direct link to drug or alcohol use.

It’s important to note that careers do not cause drug addiction. There are many professionals employed in the industries listed that do not struggle with addiction. Genetics, family life, the environment and numerous other factors often contribute to addiction.


The good news is that help is available. Those struggling with addiction do not need to face the situation alone. Taking the time to evaluate contributing factors is one of the first steps to recovery. Check out the video below to learn more.


Tags: News - Addiction and Alternative Health

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sheila // Jan 6, 2014 at 15:58

    I do agree that all of those jobs are high stress jobs, but something else comes to mind along with the stress. In reading the list of jobs I can’t help but notice that most of those jobs involve working with other people as well as having your performance evaluated on a daily basis. Many addicts use drugs and alcohol as a way to escape reality for whatever reason, but many addicts feel that they are not good enough so they use to escape those feelings. Social works and the likes might not always feel that way, but I can understand the need to take a drink after seeing some of the horrors that they have to endure.

    But something else that I see with this list is that the people in these types of jobs are usually middle class, but some of them are also considered poverty levels. And in looking at that it ties in with the fact that addicts use to escape their pain, there is always a reason why addicts are using even if they aren’t really aware of what it is.

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