Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate: Why Successful People Need Help, Too.

Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate: Why Successful People Need Help, Too.

Contrary to popular belief, addiction can happen to anyone, even successful lawyers, doctors and surgeons. While some people are more likely to develop an addiction than others, this has to do with genetics and environmental factors. Addiction does not discriminate based on race, socioeconomic status, age, religious beliefs, education, gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Despite all the advancements in medical science and our understanding of addiction, there’s still a stigma that addicts are somehow “less” than others. This is just not true. Anyone can get trapped in the cycle of addiction and require outpatient rehab in Denver. Those with successful jobs and clean records are not exempt.

Addiction Rates Among Professionals are Alarming 

Addiction is a common problem in many industries. For example, in the healthcare industry, as many as 100,000 medical professionals have a substance abuse problem. This includes 12-19 percent of dentists, 11-15 percent of pharmacists and 10 percent of nurses. Overall, healthcare workers are 10-15 percent more likely to develop an addiction than the general population. 

Aside from the healthcare industry, addiction also affects the following industries

  • Construction. The construction industry is heavily affected by drinking and drugs, particularly opioids. Construction requires long hours, stressful working environments and intense labor. When people get hurt, they tend to take opioids to improve symptoms and return to work sooner. 
  • Mining. In the same way as construction, miners work long hours in uncomfortable environments. They typically work for weeks at a time away from their families, contributing to their substance abuse. 
  • Attorneys and lawyers. Problematic drinking is common among lawyers and often starts during law school. A study from the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that 28 percent of lawyers suffer from depression, 33 percent drink problematically and 19 percent have anxiety. 
  • Food service. Working in hotels, restaurants and bars is high-stress and often involves long hours, young employees, irregular work times and high turnover. As a result, these workers are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol to relieve stress and stay awake. 
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation. Entertainers, musicians and athletes work in high-pressure environments where drugs and alcohol are accessible. Substances are typically used to stay awake or perform better. 

Although professionals tend to have good insurance and strong incomes, outpatient rehab in Denver is often delayed. Professionals fear being labeled an addict. So, they cover up their problem until they can’t any longer. 

construction worker

Factors that Contribute to Substance Abuse Among Professionals 

It’s not a mystery why substance abuse affects young professionals. These individuals face pressures that other people don’t have, and they tend to have an upstanding reputation they want to protect. Let’s cover the reasons why professionals sometimes struggle with addiction.

  • High-stress jobs. For some professionals, substance abuse starts as a way to cope with job-related stress like tight deadlines, long hours and complicated projects.
  • Negative self-talk. It’s common for successful people to be critical of themselves. Living with a negative inner voice can be emotionally draining, leading some people to cope in unconventional ways. 
  • Fear of judgement. Professionals are sometimes viewed as heroes to those who depend on them. While flattering, these individuals may view their shortcomings as a sign of weakness and turn to addictive substances to cope. 
  • Extensive financial resources. Successful people have greater disposable incomes that allow them to buy the things they want, including addictive substances. They can also more easily afford the legal repercussions that can come from their behaviors. 
  • Easy access. In addition to excess money, successful individuals tend to have easy access to substances. For instance, addiction rates are higher among doctors, dentists and surgeons because of their accessibility to prescription medications. 

Why Do Professionals Delay Outpatient Treatment in Denver

In almost every case, addiction requires some type of professional intervention. Willpower and determination will not stop addiction. An effective treatment program and willingness to work the steps will. Once a professional admits their problem, they can move on to getting the help they need. Unfortunately, there are unique challenges for high-functioning addicts. 

  • Denial. Denial is a common symptom of addiction. However, professionals are often more convincing because they use their success and ranks to deny their problem.
  • Inability to take time off work. Most successful people work hard and may not be able to take time off to seek inpatient treatment. 
  • Privacy. Most successful people don’t want anyone knowing of their addiction. Leaving for an extended period of time may leave people in the community to speculate. 
  • Unable to relate to others. People with successful jobs sometimes feel like they won’t “fit in” with other addicts because they don’t fit the stereotype. But, not all addicts struggle with unemployment, homelessness or poverty. 

Denver Treatment Centers for Professionals 

Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado offers compassionate, private treatment for all addicts, including individuals who want to maintain their image and privacy. We are sensitive to the unique needs of this population and the types of accommodations they feel most comfortable with, such as confidentiality, flexibility and holistic therapies. 

As an outpatient alcohol rehab in Denver, you do not have to uproot your life to participate in our treatment programs. You will attend therapy multiple days a week for several hours. This gives you time to work on your recovery and meet others while still tending to your responsibilities. Of course, taking a leave of absence under FMLA allows you to focus all of your attention on healing, which we often recommend. 

To learn more about the substance abuse treatment programs through Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado, contact us today.