The Stress of Leadership:
What to Do When it Causes Addiction in Executives

executive addiction

Contrary to what some may believe, drug addiction isn’t something that just happens to a few select individuals as a result of their struggle to survive in a rough environment. Drug addiction can affect anyone, no matter their age, their nationality, their upbringing, and even their success or failure in life. This is because any individual can encounter a problem in their life that they feel either unable or unwilling to address and resolve, and drugs can appear to be the perfect solution. Unfortunately, drugs fail to actually solve any problems—they only work to suppress undesirable sensations for a brief period of time. However, this can be solution enough for the individual, who simply continues to take drugs on a regular basis in order to continue experiencing their desirable effects. This is what leads to addiction.

Executive Addiction and Drug Rehab

While the specific problem each individual experiences that drive them into drug use can vary widely, they often have one basic thing in common: stress. It is therefore not surprising that even successful executives can sometimes fall into drug use and then addiction. They are, after all, subjected to large amounts of stress due to the fact that they have to successfully lead others and keep a group working well together. Needless to say, the demands of their job can often feel overwhelming and cause them to look for any sort of solution that will help them to relax. This does not mean that every executive, or even every stressed executive, will definitely turn to drugs—it simply means that it can and does happen to some.

When an executive has fallen into the trap of drug use and addiction, they may recognize that they have a problem and they need help. Unfortunately, this too presents them with a major problem: how to get addiction treatment in a secure and private way so that it does not adversely affect their image or career. The social stigma connected with addiction can make it very difficult for an executive to consider getting the addiction treatment they need, as they are worried about the public cost of going into treatment. This is where executive addiction treatment comes in.

Executive Drug Rehab

Executive drug rehabs are designed to cater to the unique and specific needs of the working professional. They provide the security and privacy needed to help the individual relax, disconnect from their stressful lives and focus on recovery. In addition to addressing the physical causes and effects of addiction, executive addiction treatment will aid the individual in uncovering the root causes for their drug use as well as learning the skills necessary to better cope with stress in the future without becoming overwhelmed and turning to drug use. Some examples of coping skills can include:

  • Recognizing what types of work-related tasks are overwhelming and taking action to prevent overwhelm from occurring.
  • Stepping away from a work-related task when needed to take a break and better review the situation calmly.
  • Delegating more work to other team members so that one doesn’t feel pressed to complete all necessary tasks on their own.

Many executives who do seek some form of addiction rehab can find it difficult to balance their leadership tasks, stress, and recovery, and may, therefore, abandon the latter point in an attempt to hold onto the first point. Executive drug rehab can help enormously by drawing the individual away from leadership tasks and stress so that they can fully recover. When they do recover and learn how to better avoid or cope with stress, they can return to work and focus exclusively on smoothly running their team.


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.