As a nation, we are beginning to better understand why addiction happens. Instead of believing it only occurs in the lives of people who are exposed to drugs at an early age or those who have no willpower, we are beginning to understand that there are many different factors associated with the issue of substance abuse and the subsequent addiction that can follow. One of these factors is one’s job, which Detox.com’s recent study shows can affect the likelihood of someone developing a serious mental health disorder like addiction.
Jobs that are high-stress, high-pressure, and provide regular access to substances of abuse can be more likely than any other to lead to addiction. In this study, the top three professions at risk of addiction were construction workers, healthcare professionals, and the mining industry.
Construction workers are often under a lot of pressure to get their jobs done quickly and safely. If someone working on a large-scale building doesn’t get everything just right, the building could be unsafe, leading to disastrous consequences. In addition, construction workers may get into accidents or get hurt on the job, which can lead to the frequent prescription of pain medications. Though many people take these drugs exactly as prescribed, those who don’t can quickly become addicted.
Healthcare workers are also highly susceptible to substance abuse because they work very long hours under extreme pressure. If they do not perform their jobs correctly, it can be a matter of life or death. 10 to 15 percent of nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers are said to abuse drugs, but almost 69 percent of physicians are said to do the same. This serious jump occurs because physicians have such easy access to prescription medications, leading to even more instances of dangerous misuse.
Miners have a higher alcohol abuse rate than any other profession in the country. This is true for a number of reasons. First, miners are likely to work very long hours and then to have long stretches of time off of work. This pattern can often lead to substance abuse. Second, there is a strong culture of heavy and binge drinking among the mining population, which can lead to workers feeling pressured to join in. Finally, the job is extremely stressful and requires serious physical exertion, which many miners will try to use alcohol to remedy at the end of a long day.
These are the jobs that create the highest risk for substance abuse, but there are also many other professions that can lead to addiction. From law practice to retail, agricultural work to professional entertainment, many people all across the country (from all walks of life and with all types of income ranges) are susceptible to addiction. This is why it is so important for employers to keep an eye on their workers and to help them avoid this issue as much as possible.
Still, if you think you may be suffering from addiction, either work related or not, seek help as soon as possible to make sure you can begin to recover safely.