Does Work-related Stress Play a Part in Addiction Risk?

A recent study from found that not only can work-related stress help lead to substance abuse and addiction, but there are several jobs that have an incredibly high risk of leading to these problems. Nearly all of the jobs on this list are linked by the common thread of stress.

According to the study, people who work long hours in high-pressure situations are at an unfair disadvantage when it comes to avoiding substance abuse. Many people who have demanding jobs are likely to try and relax with drugs and alcohol, which can be dangerous. In addition, these jobs create a culture of substance abuse, which makes it very hard for employees to say no.

Certain jobs may be more taxing because they require intense calculations for life-or-death situations. Construction workers run the risk of creating buildings that are not up to code, which can be highly dangerous, just as healthcare workers are constantly asked to put the lives of others into their own hands every day. This type of pressure can wear on a person over time, and those who try and medicate the issue with substance abuse are only putting themselves in more danger.

Many of the jobs on the list of high-risk positions for substance abuse include those in which the employee is asked to work long hours. Construction workers, healthcare professionals, lawyers, retail, and hospitality employees are all asked to work for 12-hour shifts (or longer) at times, and this can be brutal. Some people try to take the edge off with drugs or alcohol, but this can only make dealing with the next long shift harder. Also, anyone who works long hours and then takes lots of time off can experience problems with drug use as well because of the large fluctuations in work and free time.

People who have minimum wage jobs as well as working professionals deal with stress that can lead to addiction. For example, 29 percent of lawyers grapple with excess drinking during their first 10 years of practice, and doctors are even more likely than lower level healthcare workers to abuse drugs. However, those who work in retail, hospitality, and waste management can experience intense strain at work as well, which can lead to substance abuse. In general, income does not divide those who have a high risk of addiction and those who have a low risk when it comes to demanding jobs.

Avoiding stress at work is one of the best ways to keep these side effects from occurring. Although this isn’t always possible, it is important to try your best when it comes to managing work pressures in safe, effective ways rather than self-destructing with drug or alcohol abuse. If you think you are already in too deep, though, make sure you reach out for help. You deserve to be able to perform your job safely and to avoid the problems associated with addiction. You can start putting your life back together the second you admit you need help for substance abuse.

Top 10 Jobs With Risk of Substance Abuse