It seems strange that having a certain job could lead to a higher risk of abusing drugs and alcohol, but that is exactly the case. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have identified certain career fields that have higher incidences of substance abuse. Furthermore, there are certain professions that tend to attract people that already have an issue with drugs or alcohol. It’s important to know this information, especially those who are in recovery or at especially high risk for substance abuse. Employers in these fields should be aware of the issue so they can act accordingly to help reduce substance abuse among their employees.
Jobs With Highest Alcohol Abuse Rates
Here are the job fields that have the highest alcohol abuse rates:
Mining is the career that tends to attract the most people who have a preexisting drinking problem. Furthermore, people who choose careers as miners are more likely to become alcoholics if they weren’t before. Experts attribute this phenomenon to the exceptionally harsh working conditions of mining. Miners also deal with chronic pain issues at a higher rate than other professions, and are likely to turn to alcohol and other substances to deal with the pain. Federal research estimates that 18% of miners are alcoholics.
Construction work also has exceptionally high alcoholism rates, with an estimated 17% of workers having a drinking problem. This includes those that have a preexisting drinking problem and those who develop a problem after employment. Experts attribute this to both harsh working conditions as well as sometimes unstable and unpredictable working schedules.
12% of restaurant employees have a drinking problem, and this field also has the highest rates of drug abuse. Experts estimate that 19% of restaurant and hotel workers have a drug problem. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that the industry has high turnover rates, low rates of background checks, and a constant need for new employees. These jobs can also be fast paced and high stress, which can drive many employees to drugs and alcohol.
Arts and entertainment is another industry that tends to attract a lot of drug and alcohol use. About 12% of employees in this industry use drugs. It’s a high stress, fast-paced industry which can create a risk for substance abuse. Job security is often uncertain, which can add significant stress which can lead to substance abuse.
These are are the industries that have the highest substance abuse rates. Not only are they more likely to influence a substance abuse habit forming, but they are more likely to attract people that have existing substance abuse issues.
Reducing Addiction in the Workforce
Employers need to take measures to reduce drug and alcohol addiction in these fields, as the national as a whole pushes for a drug-free America. Prevention and rehabilitation need to be promoted nationwide, but these industries need to strive for more competent and sensible work environments as well. Restaurants and hotels can implement better screening policies for their employees. Construction and mining industries can strive to make the work environment safer and less painful. The arts and entertainment industry needs to advocate for sobriety and abstinence. Employers need to take a stand to ensure that their workers are happy and drug and alcohol abuse free.