The Prevalence of Business Professional Addiction
For many years, there has been an assumption that drug addiction was the purview of degenerates. When asked to picture a drug user, people might conjure up an image of someone in an alleyway or dirty room, passed out on the floor. Someone who is poor and desperate enough to steal for their addiction. Someone who never achieved much. An article published by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation blows that stereotype out of the water, reporting that 18% of lawyers surveyed professed to being problem drinkers. That’s nearly twice the national average for adults in the United States. 19% of these lawyers also battled with depression, a far higher number than the 3% to 9% average in many parts of the world. Business professional addiction is a serious public health concern that is finally starting to get some attention.
“My Breakfast Consisted of Red Wine and Cocaine”
Lisa Smith, a lawyer in New York City, recently published an essay in the Washington Post that described just how common business professional addiction is today. She relates the ways that high pressure, constant stress and a culture of binge drinking had her addictions spiraling out of control almost as soon as she entered the profession. The “work hard, play hard” attitude found in so many high-pressure careers is a direct cause of business professional addiction. Shopping addiction, exercise addiction, and eating disorders are also common in handsomely paid, high-stress positions.
Feeling Alone and Trapped
Continuing to describe her experience, Lisa related in the essay that she felt alone. She was afraid to let her coworkers know about the chronic disease she was struggling with. Even years after her recovery, she sees in her profession a community that is only beginning to acknowledge the problem of business professional addiction. She recommends caution when it comes to disclosing your addiction to your office peers, but is firm in her encouragement for those struggling with addiction to get help. Employee Assistance Programs are often in place to help professionals privately and confidentially get the help they need. So many feel that they are completely alone. They often think there is nowhere to turn for help. The truth is that addiction affects millions of people in the United States, and help is more available than ever.
The Help You Need Is Here
It’s time to fight against business professional addiction. The stigmas are loosening now that addiction has been recognized as a chronic health condition that requires treatment. Know someone who needs help? Stepping Stone Center for Recovery is here to answer your questions and provide the tools and treatment that can get professionals on the path to recovery. Lasting sobriety goes hand in hand with a strong career – don’t wait any longer to call us at 866-957-4960.