Is My Job Driving Me To Drink/Drug?

11. April 2016

You’ve probably heard the well-worn saying “This job is driving me to drink” many times. Perhaps you’ve said it yourself. If so, you could be right. While drug and alcohol problems can happen regardless of your career choice, there are jobs that have a higher rate of substance abuse among employees.

If you struggle with substance abuse and want to get free from it, you may need to take stock of your lifestyle and see what areas need to change. In some cases, a change in careers may greatly increase your chances of recovery. If you’re already in recovery, you may need to steer clear of certain jobs, or exercise extreme caution to avoid a job that drives you to drink.

Careers That Have The Highest Rates Of Substance Abuse

You may or may not be surprised to know that some careers have a higher rate of substance use and abuse. For example, sitting at the top spot are jobs in the food and hospitality industry. This includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels and resorts. Other jobs include management, construction and sports, entertainment and media.

Why are these industries associated with higher rates of substance abuse? Is it that the jobs themselves are conducive to drinking and drugs, or is it that the industries attract people who already have problems? It could be a little of both. Either way, a person who is in recovery may want to take extra caution before pursuing a career in these industries.

Is Your Job Putting You At Risk?

Whether or not you work in any of the above industries, your job could be a problem for you as an individual. There are many factors that contribute to substance abuse in the workplace, here are a few:

  • High levels of stress. All jobs are stressful from time to time, but some are non-stop. Constant stress can lead you to feeling you need to escape, which can turn your once a week trip to the bar into a daily ritual, or lead you to abuse drugs in an effort to “relax.”
  • Long hours are another culprit. If your job has long or odd hours, fatigue becomes a problem. It isn’t unusual for night time workers or people who work extra long shifts to either abuse stimulants to stay awake and alert, or to abuse alcohol or downers in order to catch a few hours’ sleep when they can.
  • Coworkers who use. If you are surrounded by people who drink a lot or use drugs, you run the risk of following suit. The people you work with do have an influence on you. After all, you spend more time at work than just about anywhere else. If you are surrounded by people with unhealthy habits, you could be at risk for adopting those habits yourself.

Are You Using Substances As A Coping Skill?

If your job is literally driving you to drink or use drugs, then you may be using substances as a way to cope with stress, fatigue or other issues in the workplace. Ultimately, this only makes things increasingly difficult. Problems with fatigue and stress will continue to escalate, and substance abuse leads to missed work, poor performance and in some cases accidents and injury.

business man getting high

Recovery And Employment

If you are someone in recovery from addiction, how do you handle a stressful job, a job with long hours or a job where there is drug or alcohol use? This is a tricky situation. Of course you need a job, but you may have to make a tough decision if that job means risking your sobriety. For most recovering addicts, a relapse means a downward spiral that can cost everything — including employment, housing and even family. Vigilance is necessary in order to maintain the sobriety you’ve worked so hard for, and this may mean avoiding jobs that put your recovery at risk.

Do You Need To Quit Your Job?

Only you can make that call, but if you are getting caught up in substance abuse and addiction, you have to ask yourself if you can really afford to stay. Are there other options to quitting? Sure. First, you can look at things like hours and working environment. Is that something you have any control over? If so, can you arrange a schedule or situation that allows for a more balanced lifestyle? Can you look to healthier activities to help you manage your stress, such as diet and exercise, meditation or yoga? Self-care is important no matter what your field, and running on empty is a recipe for disaster. Just remember, if your job is so stressful or exhausting that it’s contributing to substance abuse, there’s a good chance you’ll lose it anyway, so why not consider getting some help and moving on to something more sustainable?

Is Someone You Love Struggling?

Are you concerned with a loved one and their drinking or drug use? Is your spouse, child or parent in job that is creating an unhealthy lifestyle? It’s difficult to see when you are having a problem, and for most people, the idea of quitting their job or taking leave to get help for addiction is anxiety-provoking. After all, work is a big part of a person’s identity and their means of supporting themselves and their family. It’s common for people to get so wrapped up in work and addiction and simply not see the toll it’s really taking.

If you’ve not been able to get through to your loved one, an intervention is the next step. An intervention, when facilitated by a professional, can break through the denial and fear and lead to healing and recovery. Intervention Services, Inc. can help your family heal and offer your loved one the help that they need to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle. Call Intervention Services, Inc. today at 1-877-478-4621 to learn more.