10 Jobs That Commonly Drive Employees to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Patterns and trends for drug use are usually not random. There are certain professions with lots of drug abuse, and there are almost always obvious, definitive reasons why these those working in these industries struggle with substance use. While there are myriad factors that contribute to jobs that have drug problems, most of these workplaces feature some combination of stress, heavy workload, physical toll, and long hours.

While this list focuses mainly on illicit drug abuse, heavy alcohol use is also considered, as alcohol addiction in the workplace can be highly dangerous. The following professions either drive workers to abuse these drugs on the job, in their free time, or both.

Some professions with high drug abuse rates are predictable, such as the entertainment industry. Others have less predictable patterns. For example, positions in the real estate sector are among the jobs with highest drug abuse rates. From the predictable to the bizarre, here are the industries in which substance abuse highly likely to occur.

1.Food Service

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Cocaine
. Amphetamines
. Alcohol
Drug use in food service is well-documented, with books, television shows, and movies frequently depicting the substance abuse of servers, bartenders, and chefs. While it may seem hyperbolic, the frightening reality is, nearly 17% of workers in the food service industry suffer from a substance abuse problem.

Drug abuse is common in food service largely because of the hectic work environment. Workers often have extremely long shifts that go deep into the night, and the pace of the work is usually fast and frantic. This environment is conducive to substance abuse, which in turn creates a culture in which drug use is accepted, and sometimes even expected. Many people with preexisting substance abuse problems opt to work in food service because of this culture, which only perpetuates the use of drugs in the industry.

2.Construction

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Commonly Abused Substances:

. Alcohol
. Painkillers
The physical toll of the construction industry drives workers to abuse drugs and alcohol. Construction workers often work long hours doing manual labor, which puts strain on the body. This strain makes it easy for workers to get hooked on substances, especially alcohol and painkillers, both of which help numb. Construction is a dangerous job to begin with, so substance abuse in the workplace is a huge concern for workers and employers alike.

Thankfully, construction companies have started implementing drug testing and alcohol prevention measures, and abuse in the industry has started to diminish.

3.Entertainment

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Cocaine
. Alcohol
. Opiates
It’s no secret drug addiction is popular in the entertainment industry. Celebrities die every year from overdoses, and many musicians document substance use in their songs. Drugs are part of the Hollywood culture, and substances such as cocaine and MDMA are casually consumed at parties, after-parties, and even on movie sets. The entertainment industry never sleeps, so it’s common for those who are a part of it to turn to substances to try and keep them going. Even though the use of many drugs is diminishing nationwide, use holding strong in the entertainment industry, where it has been a staple of the culture for decades.

4.Mining

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Painkillers
. Opiates
. Alcohol
There are two primary reasons why the mining industry has many workers who abuse drugs. The first reason is, mining’s a physically taxing job, and miners tend to be frequently exhausted and in pain, which can be alleviated with drug use. The second reason is, many of the states with coal mines – specifically Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania – have drug epidemics. As long as substance use is rampant in mining communities, chances are miners will continue to abuse them. However, mining still has a much larger problem with alcohol use than with illicit drug use.

5.Management

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Cocaine
. Amphetamines
. Alcohol
The management industry is one of the rare industries that has a higher rate of illicit drug abuse than alcohol abuse. Both the high-stress and high-power nature of management jobs contribute to drug use. Substances such as cocaine are often used to help workers maintain the energy needed for such demanding positions. Illicit drugs and alcohol are used with some regularity on site, as well as outside of it. Although managers are responsible for creating a drug-free environment, they themselves often struggle to stay drug free.

6.Information Technology

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Cocaine
. Amphetamines
. Painkillers
. Adderall
Substance abuse in the information industry is driven by a multitude of factors. The work atmosphere tends to be fast-paced and highly competitive, with tight deadlines. Workaholic personalities are common in the information industry, and the drive to maintain high levels of productivity may lead to the use of Adderall and cocaine.

Additionally, young age and wealth are two characteristics that commonly lead to drug abuse, and many information industry workers have one or both of these traits. Whether it’s to keep the motor running, unwind after a crazy day, or fit into a unique culture, many in this industry abuse substances, and the number is unfortunately growing.

7.Investing

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Cocaine
. Adderall
. Sedatives
In The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was perpetually high, living life on the edge. Turns out that the movie was a fairly accurate portrayal of the investing industry.

Those in this industry live an extremely high stakes life, which goes hand in hand with substance abuse. The adrenaline of high stakes investing leads many to use drugs such as suppressants to alleviate the resulting stress and anxiety. Conversely, many use drugs to maintain the rush they find in the workplace. Investing is also an extremely lucrative profession, which often leads to an extravagant lifestyle with seemingly endless parties.

8.Real Estate

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Alcohol
. Painkillers
. Cocaine
Real estate is a highly volatile business, which is why many realtors have an unhealthy relationship with drugs. One month a real estate agent may have multiple big sales, and might end up abusing uppers in celebration. The next month, perhaps a dry spell hits the market, and agents abuse downers to deal with the downswing. The real estate industry also has high stakes and long hours, which contribute to substance abuse, though the unpredictable nature of the industry alone is enough to lead many to drugs and alcohol.

9.Retail

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Alcohol
. Cocaine
. Adderall
For many in the customer service industry, success depends on the ability to sell goods or services. These workers are subject to the moods and emotions of their customers, which creates an unpredictable work environment. This leads to stress, which commonly results in substance abuse. Additional contributors are disrespectful treatment from customers and the need to maintain energy and focus for long hours.

10.Utilities

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Commonly Abused Substances:
. Alcohol
. Painkillers
. Amphetamines
The utilities sector has had high levels of alcohol abuse throughout history. Even in the 21st century, heavy alcohol use is more prevalent than illicit drug use. The reason for alcohol abuse is simple: those working in the utilities industry have long, physically taxing days, which often drives people to drink.

Drugs such as amphetamines and painkillers are on the rise in the utilities industry, especially among those working in gas and oil. The cause of amphetamine and painkiller abuse is also simple: much of the utilities industry is in the rust belt, where the drug scene is rampant. As a result, alcohol abuse has been steadily decreasing in the industry, while illicit drug use has been rapidly rising.
Content Credit: Ranker.com

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