Ready To Start Your Recovery? Have Insurance?Call Now (877) 267-3646

Are You Working In a Stressful, Addiction-Prone Job?

You are here:
Home Addiction Are You Working In a Stressful, Addiction-Prone Job?

Addiction is caused by various factors such as stress, anxiety, trauma, financial issues, and mental disorders.  For many people, their job is the main cause of stress and anxiety.  Even so, not everyone who works in a stressful workplace will develop a substance abuse problem.  

Workplace substance use is not uncommon, and it often goes unreported.  However, it is one of the leading causes of absenteeism, accidents, and lost productivity.  So, how much influence does your job have on your stress levels and will it lead to substance use?  Knowing the risks of developing addiction due to job-related pressures can help you resist using drugs or alcohol as a coping tool

Occupational Risks for Substance Abuse

Substance AbuseSubstance use in the workplace is more prevalent in some professions than others.  Environmental risk factors are among the top causes of work-related substance use.  They may include:

>  Long hours and poor working conditions – Individuals who work under these conditions are prone to developing substance use problems.  Some will even engage in using the substances during work hours.

>  High-risk environments and specialized jobs – Specialized jobs that place employees in jeopardy include working with heavy equipment, driving at high speeds for long distances, or other high-risk environments.  These employees are at increased risk of being injured on the job.  If they use drugs or alcohol on the job, the risks of injury increase significantly.

>  Job insecurity – Unstable jobs such as construction and manufacturing can cause employees to feel insecure.  Their job insecurity can lead them to turn to drugs or alcohol for comfort.  

>  Peer influence – When confronted daily by co-workers who use drugs or alcohol, some people go along with the crowd, even though they know it’s wrong.

Of course, a person’s job is not the only thing that influences their decision to use drugs or alcohol.  However, when someone already has other conditions that often lead to substance use, a stressful work environment exacerbates the problem.

Jobs With Higher Than Normal Addiction Rates

Some careers and professions have a higher-than-average risk for addiction.  These jobs are typically among the most physically and mentally demanding.  Will you find your profession among those with the highest risk factors for substance use?  

The following jobs are considered to be addiction-prone:

Construction Workers and Substance Abuse

Research shows that 16.5% of construction workers abuse alcohol.  About 11.6% reported past-month illicit drug use.  More than 90% of construction workers are male and more likely to use drugs or alcohol.  Also, the physical demands and stress of the construction industry may contribute to the worker’s susceptibility to substance use and addiction.

Quarrying, Mining, and Oil Workers

These types of jobs include above and below-ground work such as oil riggers, excavators, rock splitters, and drilling, to name a few.  The nature of this work involves 12-hour shifts for two or three weeks, followed by one week off.  This tedious schedule combined with the stress and physical demands often contributes to substance use.  These jobs have a high rate of alcohol use with about 17.5% of workers reporting past-month alcohol use.  

Food Service Jobs and Substance Abuse

The restaurant and food industry is the 3rd-largest employer in the U.S.  It encompasses a range of jobs and careers such as waiters, hosts, chefs, sommeliers, managers, and more.  This industry is considered one of the highest-paced work environments and causes the highest stress levels of any profession.  About 12% of food service workers report past-month alcohol abuse and 19.1% report using illicit substances.

Entertainment, Arts, and Sports

This is a broad category that includes artists, entertainers, athletes, musicians, sports figures, and many more.  These jobs or careers have always been associated with substance abuse.  For instance, studies show that more than 14% of people in these industries reported illicit drug use and 12% reported alcohol abuse.  

Healthcare Professionals and Substance Abuse

Few professions are as demanding as those of doctors and other healthcare professionals.  Approximately 14% of healthcare professionals meet the criteria for SUD.  Many of these individuals abuse prescription drugs, and about 50% of doctors abuse alcohol, according to the Mayo Clinic.  Nearly 35% of them misused opioids.

Management Professionals 

Management careers are often demanding jobs that create high stress levels.  About 12.1% of management professionals reported using illicit substances in the past month, according to NSDUH data.  Approximately 11.5% reported a substance use problem in the past year.  These individuals are often unlikely to seek help for fear of losing their jobs.  

Attorneys and Lawyers

A survey conducted by the American Bar Association shows that one in five lawyers abuse alcohol.  The survey also reveals that younger lawyers have the highest rate of substance use problems.   

First Responders

The term first responders includes a range of jobs or careers such as EMTs, police, firefighters, and paramedics. These devoted individuals face horrific challenges daily and provide care, support and medical services after accidents, crimes, or natural disasters.  Unfortunately, this stressful profession often leads to drug and alcohol abuse.  The US DOJ estimates the number of police officers with SUD is around 20 to 30%.  A study conducted by SAMSHA shows about 50% of surveyed male firefighters reported binge drinking in the last month. 

Information and Communications

This job class includes people involved in the processing, production, and distribution of information.  People who work in marketing, publishing, telecommunications, or broadcasting are at risk of substance abuse.  Studies show that 12% of workers in these professions reported using illegal substances in the past month.  According to a SAMHSA survey, 19.3% of these workers reported misusing prescription drugs.

Sales and Real Estate Workers

More than 11% of people in these professions reported using illicit drugs in the past month, according to SAMHSA.  About 10.5% met the criteria for SUD. These jobs are demanding with tight deadlines and long hours which may explain the high rates of drug and alcohol use.

Substance Abuse Treatment for People With Job-Related Substance Use Disorders

We realize you may be avoiding treatment due to fear of losing your job.  With this in mind, we offer several outpatient programs that can adapt to your schedule.  Our outpatient programs provide the same high-quality, evidence-based treatment as an inpatient program.  The main difference is that you can continue working while undergoing treatment.

Contact Design for Change Recovery to learn more about our full continuum of care.  Our treatment advisors will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that aligns with your unique situation.  

Sources: – Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry

Are You Working In a Stressful, Addiction-Prone Job?