Can My Job Affect My Risk of Substance Abuse?

Unfortunately, your chosen profession can help determine your risk of substance abuse, as certain jobs actually carry a higher risk of addiction. Many individuals begin abusing drugs or alcohol because their jobs are stressful, take them away from their home and family for a long period of time, or even give them increased access to dangerous substances. If you are among one of the individuals in any of the professions listed below, it is especially important to be aware of this problem in your life and in the lives of your co-workers.

According to’s latest study, construction workers, healthcare professionals, and miners are the most likely individuals to develop substance abuse disorders by their profession. All these individuals have stressful jobs, which can make using drugs and alcohol an easy coping mechanism. In addition, construction workers and miners are likely to experience serious accidents and other issues that could require them to take prescription medications. Pain medications and other prescription drugs can be highly addictive, so this puts these groups at an unfair disadvantage. Finally, while doctors and nurses are under a lot of stress at work, they have more access than anyone else to prescription drugs that can be abused.

Beyond these first three professions, the other seven jobs with the highest risks for substance use disorders run the gamut from food service workers to lawyers, actors and entertainers to retail workers, and waste managers to business managers. As you can see, addiction is rampant in so many professions. So how can we help people who need to make a change?

Many people are unwilling to admit that they need help, often because they are afraid they will lose something by doing so. Those who have high-stress jobs that led them to substance abuse in the first place will be among the population afraid of losing their professional income if they admit they are struggling with an addiction. As such, it is highly important that employers do everything they can to encourage employees to seek help rather than to keep their addictions quiet. This can mean providing treatment options through the workplace, which will guarantee they will be able to continue doing their job after they get help.

Others may be afraid they will have to take time off of work in order to seek treatment but will not want to do so. This is why outpatient centers exist where individuals can schedule their care around their daily commitments so they can get help without having to put their lives on hold. Also, some individuals do not want to admit to their substance abuse because they hold a high-powered position like a CEO or a famous actor. In these instances, treatment can occur in a private facility where the patient can count on anonymity.

No matter what the case, stressful jobs can lead to substance abuse. As a society, we need to tell people who are struggling with this issue that help—and recovery—is possible with the proper treatment.

 Top 10 Jobs With Risk of Substance Abuse