Does Your Job Increase Your Risk of Drug Addiction?

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) 70 percent of Americans who use illegal drugs are employed. And surprisingly in some cases, your occupation type can increase your risk of drug addiction.

A study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that individuals in food service and preparation have a 17.4 percent rate of substance abuse. Construction workers have a 15.1 percent rate of substance abuse, while entertainment, sports and media professionals have a 12.4 percent chance. In comparison, doctors and office/administration employees are about half as likely to abuse substances.

Some research has shown that individuals in the food industry are more likely to use drugs because fewer drug tests are used. Due to the lack of structure in these positions, employees are given more opportunities to maintain an addiction. For instance, the atmosphere provides for more breaks and strange hours. In addition, more cash is used to pay workers and thus they have large amounts to use for drug addictions.

For many similar reasons, the rate of drug abuse among construction workers is the second highest. Yet in contrast, more and more companies are enforcing drug tests. Because of this, some believe that this career will make its way down the list as time goes on.

The third highest category includes entertainers, athletes, and positions within the media. It is easy for these “celebrities” to find access to illegal drugs as well as prescription drugs. When in the entertainment industry, participating in such activities is often tolerated or even expected. Hence it is often difficult to go against the grain and avoid the lure of the pressure from others. A majority of the drug abuse that takes place in the sports industry stems from steroid abuse. Sports doctors must pay careful attention to ensure that their athletes are not requesting too many prescriptions.

Although the above careers tend to have the highest rates of drug abuse, this in no way means that other professionals do not also face drug addiction. Healthcare professionals still have about 7 percent chance of dealing with drug abuse and business people also have a similar probability.

All professionals must avoid relying on substances for their energy and need to ensure that they do not fall into the natural habits associated with their careers. Try to always be prepared for a drug test and set up boundaries. As an employer, you can help decrease the percentage of drug addiction in your industry by continuing to use drug tests and helping your employees seek help when they are not able to successfully pass.

Talbott Recovery offers a professionals program for individuals in professional occupations who may be dealing with drug abuse problems. Contact us today for more information about this program.

Share this Post