By T S • November 22, 2014
Attorney drug abuse, use and addiction
For some people, substance abuse is a slippery slope that can come at any moment. Prescription use can end up causing an attorney problems with their practice of law as well as problems at home and naturally the issues can come to a head in relationships. Attorneys who have drug addiction problems can feel isolated, ashamed and helpless.
Research has shown that attorneys hold heightened risk for developing problems related to abuse of drugs such as prescription painkillers and alcohol. One International Journal of Law and Psychiatry study published findings indicating that drinking problems are 18% of the population of attorneys compared when a 10% portion of the general population. It might seem a dumb question to some to ask why attorneys would be at higher risk for substance abuse and addiction problems. Some of the factors include higher workloads, social influences, and the co-occurring illnesses of psychological nature that face some attorneys.
If you have concerns about an attorney friend, a family member, or your own drug use as an attorney, help is always available. While avoiding drugs can be a good way for someone who knows they have a problem. Learning more about adduction and drug abuse and how this develops in the first place, what drug abuse looks like, as well as the reasons for addiction can be powerful in overcoming and offering understanding into the nature of the drug problem and solutions.
Understanding Attorney drug abuse, use and addiction
Just like non-attorneys, attorneys are possibly as likely to get into problems with prescription drugs due to multiple reasons. Some try drugs first out of a genuine need such as a surgery and having received prescription pain killers. Some start directly out of a desire to see and experience pleasure. Often this is because colleagues or family members are involved with it. Some are roped into addiction from athletic performance issues or because they are seeking to ease some other problem, like anxiety, stress, or depression. Drug use does not automatically constitute abuse, and it also does not always lead a lawyer to abuse the drugs they are taking. There is simply no specific use level where drug use is clearly problematic as opposed to being used properly, because this varies from individual to individual. Addiction revolves less around amounts as much as it revolves around the amount of the substance consumed as well as the overall frequency. Consequences of one individual’s drug use is also a big factor, because some folks are not affected by one drug, but others are immediately consumed by it and induced into serious issues. Regardless how often a person consumes, if an attorney is using a drug and it is causing issues in their life, within their legal practice, in their home life, and with relationships—it is likely the person has an addiction or abuse problem.