Which careers and groups of people do you think are most affected by Addiction and Mental Illness?

Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate. It affects children and teens, young adults and seniors, men and women. The disorder affects people of all races, demographics and socio-economic backgrounds.

But some people have an increased risk for developing a substance use disorder. Rates of addiction fluctuate among different professions, and some careers have more workers battling addiction than others. Which are these, why is that so, and most importantly, how best we help reduce the rates of addiction and mental problems in these groups of fellow country men and women? Thank you!

Regular User Asked on October 11, 2018 in Addiction case.
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Thanks Charles for this complex yet very important question. Knowing which careers are pron to which diseases can help safeguard us from common vices that may result in such life threats.

Matt Gonzales offers wonderful perspectives on the matter so, from his research at drugrehab.com I find your question very meaningful:


Anxiety and depression permeate the American workforce. Poor sleep habits, difficult work schedules and access to drugs have contributed to high rates of addiction among a number of professions, from construction to health care. Here are common ones:


Athletes have struggled with anxiety, depression and injuries that have resulted in their use of substances such as painkillers and performance-enhancing drugs. A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that 52 percent of 644 retired NFL players reported using opioids during their playing days, and 71 percent of these former players reported misusing these drugs.


A host of celebrities have developed an addiction. Many high-profile musicians and actors have abused various drugs from cocaine to heroin. Substance abuse has led to countless treatment stints, overdoses and deaths among celebrities.

Construction Workers

Construction is one of America’s largest industries. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, construction workers had the second-highest rate of past-month heavy alcohol use among adult full-time workers from 2008 to 2012.


Doctors are not immune to addiction. Research estimates that 10 to 15 percent of doctors misuse alcohol or drugs at some point in their career. Physicians who practice under the influence of drugs or alcohol jeopardize the safety of their patients.


Irregular work schedules, lack of sleep and dangerous exposures to fires cause stress among many firefighters. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse & Alcoholism indicated that 56 percent of career and 45 percent of volunteer firefighters reported past-month binge drinking, an activity associated with addiction.


The demands of the profession have resulted in anxiety, depression and substance abuse among many lawyers. A 2016 study by the American Bar Association showed that one in three practicing lawyers is a problem drinker. Lawyers working in law firms had the highest rates of alcohol abuse.


Nurses often grapple with stress, fatigue and personal problems that contribute to drug or alcohol abuse. A number of nurses self-medicate with painkillers, such as hydrocodone, and alcohol to relieve headaches or reduce insomnia.


Law enforcement can be physically and mentally taxing. Many officers often deal with arduous work schedules, mental health problems and life-threatening situations. These conditions have contributed to addiction among police officers.


Addiction is prevalent among people who have chosen a career in the military. Countless veterans who have experienced the horrors of war have developed post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, causing many to misuse drugs and alcohol to cope.

Others Pron to Addiction

Addiction isn’t always associated with work-related problems or stress. In recent years, older individuals and those in unfortunate circumstances, including homeless people and prisoners, have experienced high rates of substance abuse.

Homeless People

Substance abuse is common in the homeless community. A survey of more than 30,100 homeless people across the country found that 24 percent of participants had concurrent mental, physical and substance use problems. Alcohol, opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine misuse is often associated with homelessness.


About half of people in prison or jail experience substance abuse or dependence, according to a report by The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. Treatment can save lives, but many prisons do not provide inmates experiencing addiction with proper evidence-based treatment.


Many older Americans rely on medications to maintain good health. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 80 percent of adult patients aged 57 to 85 use at least one prescription medication daily. But this has resulted in many baby boomers misusing their medications, leading to higher rates of addiction among seniors.

Why they use, I believe, is mostly due to stress, intensive work, cumulative heap-up of disappointments, pain among others.

How best this can be remedied is a million dollar question, as this takes a high level of discipline for each individual in each group affected. In each group, you’ll still find so many who do not use drugs or who do not suffer mental problems, and in most cases this is attributed to each individual’s level of discipline and skill in handling their stress and day to day work.

I hope this helps. Thanks!!

Regular User Answered on October 11, 2018.
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