Drug abuse in the workplace is always a dangerous combination, but even when they are used off site, workers are more likely to participate in risky behavior, increase the cost of insurance and healthcare for the company, minimize productivity, and create more turnover. Sadly, some professions can even make workers more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, which is why employees and employers must all be on their guard for substance use disorders.
Construction workers have the highest rates of substance abuse based on their profession, according to a recent study conducted by Detox.com. Because this job often requires overwork in the physical sense and because many people in this profession deal with consistent pain or discomfort due to the necessities of the job, being a construction worker is very likely to lead to alcohol, prescription drug, or another type of substance abuse. Those who work in this profession should be constantly looking out for one another and should seek help if they feel their substance use has gotten out of control.
Many other professions that cause similar problems were included in the list of the top 10 jobs with the highest risk of addiction and substance abuse. Miners, as well as those who work in quarries, gas extraction, and oil extraction, put themselves at risk of addiction with physically demanding, stressful jobs. This is also true for waste management and agricultural workers. In addition, the latter can cause high levels of drug abuse because many agricultural workers are away from their families for long periods of time, potentially leading to depression, which many try unsuccessfully to cure with substance abuse.
Those who work regular, 9-to-5 jobs may also have a high potential for drug or alcohol abuse due to their at-work pressures. Sales or retail workers often experience intense stress, especially when their financial compensation is tied to how many sales they are able to get. Often, this is beyond their control and can lead to lean weeks with no way to remedy the situation. Hospitality workers face the same ebb and flow but are especially susceptible to substance abuse because alcohol and drugs are highly available around the workplace. What’s more, customers may gift these workers with alcohol or insist that they party together as a thank you for their hard work, which can be extremely dangerous, especially for someone who already has a problem.
Another profession that puts its workers at a high risk for drug abuse is healthcare work. These professionals face many of the pressures other workers do (including stress and long hours) as well as intense, life-or-death situations. In addition, they often have easy access to drugs, especially physicians. Lawyers, food service workers, entertainers (such as actors, dancers, etc.), and business managers also made the list.
When we look at these ten professions, we can see a pattern of high-stress jobs leading to substance abuse, but whether someone makes a lot of money or a little, it seems addiction is always a possible danger. This is why it is so very important to seek help for substance abuse when necessary.