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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Brought on by Executive Stress?


As a group, business executives are generally placed under conditions of intense stress. Executives and business professionals are typically burdened with unhealthy workplace cultures that demand high performance at all times. Consequently, executives and others working in high-paced business environments are very likely to abuse substances.

This situation, with the associated mental health costs, is draining American employers of at least $100 billion each year. Whether it be Adderall in the morning to improve performance, painkillers after work as a means of relaxation, or alcohol to take the edge off throughout the day, the costs of habits such as popping pills and heavy drinking manifest in social, financial, and ultimately deadly ways.

For one thing, 40% of all Americans treated for depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues cite workplace stress as a strong contributing factor. A surprising 8% of working adults are considered alcoholic, and that statistic is likely even higher if you factor in unreported cases. Combined with the fact that at least 60% of adults in the US know someone who uses drugs or alcohol at work, these numbers paint the picture of an unhealthy, risky business culture.

For executives who are in a high-income bracket and consequently have much to lose, divorce is a particularly pertinent threat. It should hardly be surprising that drug addiction is among the top 10 reasons that Americans get divorced. Business executives who work long hours and sacrifice family life for workplace success are disproportionately susceptible to divorce. Divorce is in itself strongly tied to the likelihood of depression and drug abuse. It's all a recipe for a dangerous downward spiral.

An even worse risk to high-flying executives is the prospect of fatal overdose. Cocaine abuse is rampant in business culture, and combined with alcohol, it can create a compound called Cocaethylene which significantly increases the likelihood of overdose fatalities. Many oft-abused stress-reducing and pain-relieving prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines and opiates are similarly dangerous when combined with alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone were attributed to 11,500 deaths in 2011. Overall, about 40,000 fatal drug overdoses occur in the United States each year. Clearly, the high-pressure world of the business executive contains many dangers.


Alcohol and Drug Abuse Can be Treated

Fortunately, there's hope for executives and businesspersons who struggle with drug abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs have extremely encouraging success rates: 40 to 60% of those treated for drug or alcohol abuse are still sober a year later. Rehab is a worthwhile consideration for those who fear that their reliance on drugs or alcohol has gone too far.

It's best to consider a facility like Retreat LC that offers a range of therapies, counseling, and other services for those suffering from alcohol or drug abuse.

Given the personal, social, and economic costs of drug use in the United States, executives and high-powered business professionals should not hesitate to seek help when workplace stress gets the better of them. Many proven alcohol and drug treatment programs are available to help people overcome their addictions and get their lives back on track.

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