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4 Jobs with High Addiction Rates

4 Jobs with High Addiction Rates

Industries With The Highest Rates of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The chances that someone will turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping skill and develop a substance use disorder can depend on many internal and external factors, from whether or not that person has a family history involving substance abuse to demographic factors such as living in an area where drug use is common and there’s limited access to recovery resources. Other contributors typically come in a form of stress such as PTSD or sexual assault which can increase the likelihood that you will develop substance use disorder. 

A great source of stress for many people, unfortunately, is what they do for a living. Researchers and mental health professionals have noticed a pattern in certain jobs with high addiction rates, and they share the commonality of being in high-stress positions. This increased level of exposure to stress, combined with the idea that individuals in each of these jobs have an image of “perfection” to maintain, along with ease of access to drugs and alcohol (even encouraged access in some cases) creates a disastrous recipe for substance abuse disorder for as many as 1 in every 3 people in some of these industries.

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Those who practice law are the perfect example of individuals who are expected to practice and preach perfection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That level of dedication is how many of these solicitors feel that they must give to their job as well, putting in long hours and sacrificing time with their family and loved ones. Some high-powered lawyers have reported feeling isolated and depressed because of their inability to maintain interpersonal relationships because of the work they do, another risk factor for developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

These are people who have mountains of responsibility on their backs, they very effectively hold the lives of their clients in their hands. If a lawyer does not perform well in litigation or the courtroom, they also put their reputation at risk, leading to poor client retention and the possibility that they will lose their practice, or be forced to change the area of law they pursue to one that makes less money. 

On that note, Lawyers do get paid very well for the work they do, which gives them plenty of resources to obtain drugs or alcohol and even the means to hide it and manage it better than most. However, they do not use these financial resources to enter rehab or recovery, because a lawyer with a known drug or alcohol problem would be hard-pressed to find clientele to trust them with important legal matters. These factors all tie into why being a Lawyer is on the list of jobs with high addiction rates. 

People in Entertainment

It’s no secret that actors, musicians, singers, and other people in the entertainment industry have a high chance of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but this occupation is a little different from other jobs with high addiction rates because the entertainment industry provides unique and unsettling access to illicit substances that other occupations do not. There is also an added element of encouragement to drink and party as a part of socializing and networking as an entertainer

People in entertainment are also very much in the public eye, under close scrutiny, and at risk of being criticized for everything they do. This applies to substance use disorder two-fold, in being a significant contributor to stress, and also a reason to hide any drug or alcohol use and delay getting help or entering rehab. 

Aside from the social access to drugs and alcohol, entertainers live lavish lifestyles and make a lot of money, giving them access to not only illegal street drugs but the sometimes more-dangerous prescription medications that are used to maintain their lifestyles and ability to work long days on set, fit in the required hours of industry networking with late dinners or parties, then do it all again the next day with the same energy and personality they are selling. 

Addiction to stimulant medications or “uppers” among actors and musicians is very high for this reason, and many also need depressant medications to counter the effects when they do have time to rest and need to on demand. This cycle of pill use puts a large amount of stress on the body and has been said to be the cause of death for some of the biggest names in entertainment like Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. 

Members of the Military

Trauma has been found to be one of the largest contributing factors to substance use disorder. Studies have shown that those who are exposed to trauma are 2-4 times as likely to develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This makes enrollment in the military one of the jobs with the highest rates of addiction, some say the highest when taking into account the likelihood that substance use disorder will develop after experiencing the violent trauma of warfare. 

Addiction rates, particularly to alcohol, among members of the military are so common due to the combination of the social culture in the military related to drinking and some illegal drug use, as well as the shared mindset of isolation from “outsiders” and help because of the incredibly difficult-to-understand circumstances where trauma is experienced in active duty. Very few veterans with PTSD seek help through therapy or rehab because they strongly believe help is out of reach for them. 

Fortunately, recovery centers and other mental health professionals realized this disinclination and saw fit to employ psychologists and counselors who are veterans themselves. These individuals are able to understand the unique experiences of these members of the military with substance use disorders and guide them through recovery and therapy. There have even been outreach programs to put veterans through the required schooling and training to become behavioral therapists, support group leaders, and social workers to help those with substance use disorder who have PTSD from active duty or military-related trauma. 


Politics can be a stressful topic just to discuss, let alone as a field to work in as a politician. The stress of the job and the high level of profile many of these individuals must maintain in order to uphold their own, and their constituent’s, standards of moral correctness lead to the development of substance use disorder when they turn to alcohol or mismanage drugs in an attempt to deal with the stress. 

The political jobs with high addiction rates can start at the entry-level of press assistant or government relations manager and extend all the way up to the President of the United States. In fact, it has been learned after the fact that several high-level politicians, such as Senator Ted Kennedy, President Nixon, and President Grant, all had heavy-to-problematic drinking problems as a result of the stress of the job. 

Executive Alcohol and Drug Rehab at Resurgence California

When you work in an industry where you’re expected to perform and deliver to a high standard, you should get no less out of your drug and alcohol treatment program. Here at Resurgence Behavioral Health in California, we specialize in treatment that just works. Our compassionate and highly trained team of doctors and therapists are prepared to meet you where you are in your recovery journey with a customized treatment plan that takes a real-world approach to addiction recovery. 

Our goal is to help you put your addiction behind you and transform your life and your health for the better. Your plan will incorporate medically sanctioned, evidence-based therapies that are based on your unique medical, social, and environmental history to make your time in treatment as effective and impactful as possible. 

We have also developed an environment for recovery that allows clients to exclusively focus on their therapies, new goals, and recovery journey in safe, relaxing, and discreet locations that promote healing as they complement our clinical treatment programs. 

If you or someone you care about is struggling with drugs or alcohol due to the stress of working in an industry that consists of jobs with high addiction rates, their recovery journey can start today. Reach out to our experts at Resurgence Behavioral Health for more information and to begin the admissions process as early as that same day. Wherever you are in your recovery journey, let us help you take that next step. 

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