With their high status and lucrative positions, business executives may not seem like they have any risk factors that would make them more likely to succumb to addiction. While it may seem counterintuitive, the reality is that executives who are charged with managing businesses and enterprises may find themselves turning to drugs and alcohol.
Prevalence of Substance Abuse Among Executives
Addiction, or its clinical term, substance use disorder, is relatively common among executives, who often sit at the highest level of management in their organizations or businesses. Among the professions with the highest levels of heavy alcohol abuse, management professionals rank seventh, and they rank third among those with the highest rates of illegal drug use. Within a given month, 12.1 percent of those within the management field, which includes executives, use an illegal drug, and 9.9 percent use alcohol heavily. Finally, 11.4 percent of those in this line of work have a diagnosable substance use disorder within a given year.
Reasons for Addiction in Executives
While the relatively high prevalence of addiction among executives is cause for concern, this does not by any means indicate that a certain job can directly cause an addiction. Someone who works in business management may be subjected to job-related stressors, such as high productivity demands, and while there are certainly rewards, such as a high salary, linked to this field, it is also high-risk. Executives who do not perform are at risk of losing their jobs and their livelihoods, and they likely feel pressure to keep their companies or organizations afloat. Drugs and alcohol can provide a method of coping with stress.
Ultimately, a number of risk factors can increase a person’s vulnerability to addiction. As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains, the following factors can increase a person’s risk for substance abuse:
- Having parents who abuse substances
- History of child abuse or neglect
- Prenatal drug or alcohol exposure
- Genetic vulnerabilities to addiction
- Family dysfunction
When those who work as executives have risk factors for addiction, they may turn to drugs and alcohol when faced with work-related stress, or when exposed to a culture that embraces substance abuse. For instance, some executives may travel for work and partake in a culture that promotes “wining and dining” with clients and business partners. Going out to the bar for happy hour or to unwind after late evening meetings may be common in this profession, which can become problematic for business executives who have risk factors for addiction.
Treatment for Executives Struggling With Substance Abuse
If you work as a business executive and have found that you cannot stop drinking after a few drinks, or you have tried to cut back on alcohol use but have been unsuccessful, it may be time to seek treatment, especially if you notice that substance abuse is beginning to negatively affect your career.
Virtual and Remote Addiction Treatment Options
It can be challenging to admit that you need help or to be the person among your colleagues who decides to stop using substances, but untreated addiction has far greater consequences than the potential stigma that can come with asking for help. If you are looking for comprehensive addiction treatment that meets your busy schedule, consider working with iRecoveryUSA. We offer drug and alcohol treatment in a 100% remote format through our telehealth platform, so you can recover without ever leaving home. Contact us today to learn more.