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What Jobs Have the Most Addiction?

There are some jobs that have higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction than the general population. There are several factors that contribute to these higher rates. What most of these jobs have in common are erratic hours, high stress, unpredictable pay, and a lot of travel or working away from home. Often these jobs are physically demanding and have a high risk of injury. Jobs that are mostly done by younger people, especially males, have a higher risk of addiction built in demographically. If you work in one of the following jobs and you want to get sober, you may want to think about a career change.

Food service.

This industry is notorious for drug and alcohol abuse. Chefs have to work long hours under intense conditions. They frequently rely on cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol to get by. Wait staff have to work erratic shifts for erratic pay. Bartenders have to work late hours under sometimes stressful conditions and they have easy access to drugs and alcohol. It’s also an industry in which the workforce skews young.


Like food service, construction employs a lot of younger people, but most of them are male, which automatically means a higher rate of drug and alcohol addiction. Add to that the frequent travel, the erratic work due to weather and economic conditions, and the physical pain of demanding and sometimes dangerous work, and you are bound to get a high rate of drug use and addiction. Alcohol and painkillers are especially common.


There aren’t as many miners as there used to be, but it’s a thriving profession and its workers are prone to higher rates of addiction, especially to alcohol. Miners have to work in dangerous conditions, usually away from home for weeks at a time. The isolation and physical toll of the work drive up addiction rates.


There are also not as many lawyers as there used to be. Fierce competition, high stress, and long hours make law a difficult field, especially during the first few years. Lawyers have a high rate of depression and suicide. Around 30 percent of lawyers have struggled with depression and about 20 percent develop an alcohol addiction–that’s about twice the average rate.


Like law, medicine is a high stress profession. In addition to high stress work, medical professionals often have erratic schedules and easy access to a variety of addictive drugs. Addiction rates differ depending on the specific job. Surgeons, for example, have low rates of drug abuse but high rates of alcohol addiction–about 15 percent. Also, female surgeons are actually more likely than male surgeons to be addicted to alcohol, whereas in the general public women are about half as likely as men to be addicted to alcohol. Psychiatrists are more likely to be addicted to benzodiazepines.

Unfortunately, many people have to take whatever job they can get. If you have any choice in the matter, choose a job that makes recovery a little easier.  If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.