Could Your Career Path Put You at Risk of Developing Addiction?

career path and addiction

Careers that are associated with high addiction risk are careers that are considered to be highly stressful. According to research from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, stress affects the dopamine, glutamine, and GABA systems in the brain that are responsible for the experiences of pleasure, reward, stimulation, and relaxation. Stress interrupts these systems and creates uncomfortable and undesirable feelings of agitation, anxiety, depression, anger, and helplessness.

Drugs are chemical substances that interact with and stimulate these substances, causing a return to pleasure, reward, stimulation, and relaxation, which is what makes them desirable to individuals who are dealing with career-related stress. Unfortunately, these are false feelings as the drug forces the body to produce these hormones into the body—thereby creating a need in the user to continue to take them to “chase” that false feeling once more.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, some of the careers that are considered highly stressful and therefore pose high addiction risk include:

  • Hospitality and food service. This includes careers in hotels, restaurants, and other places that are involved in providing food and lodging. Restaurant Business Online indicates that this career field has the highest rates of drug abuse and addiction. Some feel that it may be the long working hours, the low pay, and the need to constantly be positive and helpful in order to provide the best customer service possible is what makes this career stressful and at high risk for addiction.
  • Construction and mining. Construction and mining careers are dangerous, risky careers that have very high rates of driving workers to alcoholism. The Construction Executive Risk Management magazine indicates that 15% of construction workers engage in illicit drug use while 18% engage in chronic alcohol use. Some engage in both, which can be a deadly combination—especially when the worker is under the influence of these substances while on the job.
  • Arts and entertainment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, individuals working in the arts and entertainment fields have the fourth highest rate of alcohol abuse, the second highest rate of illicit drug abuse and the third highest rate of diagnosed substance use disorders. Individuals in these fields are putting themselves on display for others to judge, which is highly stressful, especially when they feel pressured to control how they look all the time. Drugs can be an appealing way to escape stress, especially if it is seen as acceptable in these fields since “everyone does it.”
  • Business management. It is common knowledge that business management is highly stressful for many individuals. Managers are essentially expected to run perfect control all the time, managing a variety of situations in order to keep the business operating smoothly and customers or clients happy. Drugs can seem like a perfect way to escape from the stress of business management.
  • Healthcare. Individuals who work in the healthcare field can find their jobs to be stressful and emotionally taxing, which drives them to look for ways to experience relief and at least a brief escape. Since these individuals are surrounded by drug medications, they can often find a move into drug use smooth and easy.

Signs of Drug Abuse

Some individuals feel that their drug use is under their control and therefore not of concern. They may not recognize when they step over the line from casual drug use to drug abuse—which is directly on the path to drug addiction. So what are the signs of drug abuse? Different drugs cause different reactions in the individual’s body, but here are some common and basic signs of drug abuse:

  • Cravings
  • Physical dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Poor judgment
  • Drug-seeking
  • Financial difficulties
  • Neglect of responsibilities
  • Unhealthy friendships
  • Isolation

When an individual is suffering from drug abuse or addiction, no matter the reason, they need help in order to recover and to discover the underlying causes of addiction in the first place. Some individuals who are high-functioning addicts may feel that simply abstaining from further drug use will allow them to recover, and then they are disappointed when they relapse back into drug use again in the future.

There are 5 signs of addiction recovery that an individual will experience when they are truly stable in their recovery. For more information about how to achieve and maintain stable recovery, contact Narconon Ojai today.



Jessica Bradham

Jessica is a Registered Drug and Alcohol Technician with a desire to help others find real solutions to the ever-growing problems associated with addiction.