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Jobs that can lead to addiction

Jobs Likely to Cause Addiction

When first starting with choosing a career, one of the questions you wouldn’t usually think to ask yourself would be, is this career path setting myself up to become an addict? Staggering results however, show an alarming correlation between particular careers and addiction. For the purposes of this post, the general term “addiction” will encompass both alcohol abuse and substance abuse (the usage of illegal drugs).


Industries with Highest Rates of Addiction

Lawyers and Attorneys – 20%

Accommodation & Hospitality Industry – 19.1%

Nurses and Healthcare Professionals – 15.3%

*Including alcohol abuse/alcohol dependency and drug abuse
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Lawyers and Attorneys were the highest performing career likely to have an addiction as stated by the American Bar Association in 2018. Their research states that 1 in 5 law professionals had an addiction to alcohol or suffered alcohol dependence, roughly twice the national rate. However the top performing occupation was closed followed by the Accommodation and Hospitality industry workers that were behind by a mere 0.9%.


Industries with Highest Drug Abuse

Accommodation & Hospitality Industry – 19.1%

Arts & Entertainment Industry – 13.7%

Management – 12.1%

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Although the overall top performing addictive occupation overall was Lawyers & Attorneys, the closely followed occupation of Accommodation & Hospitality industry was for the use of illicit drugs rather than alcohol abuse/alcohol dependency. These worrying statistics mean that some of the workers we may come into contact on a daily basis may be fighting the effects of substance/drug abuse. A few of these may occupations include maids, custodians, waitstaff, bartenders, cooks, counter workers and many more.


Jobs with Highest Alcohol Abuse

Lawyers and Attorneys – 20%

Nurses and Healthcare Professionals – 15.3%

Mining Workers – 11.8%

Source:, American Bar

These staggering statistics of occupations having the highest alcohol abuse range from all types of work. Many alcohol consumers claim to not have a drinking problem when in fact they may meet the criteria of being an alcoholic. An annual average of 8.7 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 inside the study used alcohol heavily in the past month. Find out some of the symptoms of alcohol use disorder or use our free alcohol dependency test to identify your alcohol dependency levels.


Primary Causes of Addiction in the Workplace

A strong argument as to the causes of addiction in the workplace has a tendency to lead towards stress-related issues. Common types of occupational roles this tends to play a part in is Manager positions, backed up by our study that resulted in an average of 12.1% suffering from the affects. This statement is also backed up by, Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Oct whose research states exposure to severe stress is popular trait behind the initial taking of illegal substances; which then prompts the start of an addiction.


In other occupations such as construction workers, other reasons are given as to why addiction becomes likely in this area.  “It makes sense that we see higher rates of construction workers using pain-relieving substances such as opioids and marijuana, given the labor-intensive nature of their work and high rates of injuries,” said Ompad. The same research piece also suggested that types of work that saw irregular or unstable working hours was linked closely to the consumption of substance abuse.



The effects caused from addiction span from medical to psychological affecting nearly every area of your life. Studies found that in a study declaring that 9% of American workers partake in either abusing alcohol or drugs; all of which lead towards an counterproductive, medical issues and economic downpour. Part of which contributes towards the $180.9 billion lost to the US economic from drug abuse in 2002 alone.

Source: ONDCP, 2002

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