Stressful Jobs that Could Lead to Addiction

So many factors contribute to addiction. Disappointment, depression or stress can adversely impact circuits in your brain and trigger cravings. That’s why substance abuse is diagnosed as a brain disease. It can’t be overcome by determination, will power or even a genuine desire to clean up your act. The only surefire weapon against addiction is professional help.


Did you know that even your job may put you at higher risk for addiction? People in certain occupations have especially high rates of alcoholism and drug dependency.


Healthcare Providers and Emergency Medical Technicians


The National Institutes of Health estimates that 10-15 percent of medical professionals will struggle with addiction during their careers. Even veterinarians are at risk. With a variety of drugs so easily accessible, it’s far too tempting to take the edge off with a painkiller or anesthetic substance. Faced with crucial decisions every day, not to mention grueling work schedules, caregivers lead unusually stressful lives.


According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, theft of drugs and subsequent abuse have risen dramatically among paramedics and EMTs. Workers are stretched thin due to a shortage on the force and a higher volume of emergency calls.


Bartenders and Food Servers


Drug abuse is rampant in restaurants due to servers and bartenders earning cash tips. Street drugs are hard to resist when users have the money in hand to pay for them. Restaurants typically have high staff turnover rates, so managers are reluctant to pre screen candidates and require drug testing.


The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reports that up to 64 percent of women and 68 percent of men in the industry are drinking unsafely. According to Business Insider, bartenders have double the risk of death by alcoholism.


Fishermen and Farmers


Addiction has long been a problem in rural areas and sparsely populated states like Wyoming and Nebraska. Researchers believe that this is partly due to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Also, long-term exposure to cold weather and harsh elements worsens the symptoms of depression. Far too many people who live in such conditions seek comfort in a bottle of whiskey or a hit of meth.


Professional fishing and farming are especially trying since they call for long periods of separation from family and friends. Performing the same few tasks over and over can also contribute to addictive behavior.




Any livelihood that’s dependent on commission is highly stressful. Most salespeople have to meet quotas, and they’re also on the road much of the time. Competition is fierce. Depression and loneliness invite substance abuse.


Stay-At-Home Parents


Keeping house or homeschooling can be very rewarding. One downside is feeling unappreciated for such demanding work. Working at home can be just as stressful as flying a commercial aircraft or running a corporation.


Lack of accountability opens the door to risky habits like drinking too much or taking tranquilizers. If you don’t have to come in on time, look sharp or meet the boss’ deadlines, it’s easy to get complacent.


Law Enforcement and Firefighters


Police officers and firefighters find themselves in tense or dangerous situations just about every day. They’re not superheroes; they’re ordinary people who feel fear and anxiety just like everyone else. The likelihood that they will start to self-medicate is high.


Injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder also put them at risk of becoming addicts.


Have you turned to drugs or alcohol due to the demands of your job? Is someone you love in a career that invites addiction?


Call an Amera Hope drug rehab center for help before life spirals out of control. Caring substance abuse experts can teach you healthier ways of coping with stress in any profession.

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