Research indicates that almost 75% of people with an addiction also have part or full time jobs. This may mean that a person’s work performance is being impaired or that some men and women may even be at risk of losing their job. And it appears that these circumstances are more prevalent in certain careers more than others. Research indicates that some fields of work have a greater presence of alcohol and drugs – whether it’s during or outside of work hours.

Construction: Those who are in the construction industry likely see the highest presence of alcohol and drugs. According a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), construction workers had the highest rate of past month alcohol use at 16.5%. It may be a combination of stress, culture, and the absence of drug testing in the field that create such high percentages of substance use.

Food and Service: The SAMHSA report mentioned above also indicated that the food and service industries also suffer from high rates of substance use and addiction. Long hours, stress, and the presence of alcohol at the workplace (such as when serving it to others) may contribute to the high rates of substance abuse in this field. The report shows that 19.1% of workers in this field used substances within the last 30 days.

Sports and Entertainment: This industry tends to come with plenty of alcohol use among its patrons. And as to be expected, those who work in the field may be tempted by the presence of alcohol at the workplace. Within arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media, there are over 12% of employees who have used drugs and alcohol within the past 30 days.

Healthcare: This may seem counterintuitive. You might imagine that those who are in the healthcare field – those who are working towards greater health for others – might know to make healthy choices for themselves. However, this is not always the case. Research shows that 10 to 15 percent of employees within the healthcare field had a substance abuse problem.  In fact, this number includes not only the medical technicians and the front desk clerks, but also the physicians and nurses as well.

Sales: Approximately, 9.6% of those within the sales industry have a problem with drugs and alcohol. This field does come with particular stressors that may contribute to substance use, such as:

  • –pressure to meet sales quotas
  • –unstable income
  • –frequent travel and time away from family
  • –frequent business meeting that may include alcohol


Because of these factors, someone in the sales industry might have a harder time saying no to drugs and alcohol. And as already mentioned, there are many professional situations in which there might be alcohol present at work, making it risky for a recovering addict and others.

If you’re in one of these industries and you’re having a hard time saying no to substances, get professional help right away. The inability to stop using even when you want to is a strong indication of addiction. Getting professional help can facilitate breaking the cycle of addiction. With help, you can get sober and stay that way, whether you choose to stay in your field or not.

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