Substance Abuse and Addiction Among Executives

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab Addiction Treatment , Executive Rehab January 10, 2022

Substance Abuse and Addiction Among Executives

Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Executives and High Net Worth Professionals

The common conception of an alcoholic or drug addict is often portrayed as an individual who comes from poverty, is unemployed, and struggling with homelessness or maintaining stable housing. This image that is constantly portrayed within mainstream media fails to accurately depict that addiction knows no bounds and can affect anyone from any walk of life. Regardless of your socioeconomic background, financial stature, or demographic background, addiction can easily sneak up into someone’s life especially when you are not equipped with the tools and skills to effectively manage life stressors or triggers. 

As an executive or high-earning professional, you experience varying levels of stress and expectations placed on you within your work. With so many responsibilities to adhere to combined with a reputation to uphold, the stress to perform and meet the daily requirements can easily become too much for individuals. As you are under intense stress, it is common to look for ways to mitigate your stress through the use of alcohol or drugs. As your use of alcohol or drugs becomes a regular coping mechanism, many will find themselves entering into a cycle of addiction that they did not plan for. 

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Stats About Addiction in Executives

Addiction among executives has become a growing concern as the expectations and demands continue to rise, many executives are looking for ways to manage their workloads and relieve anxiety and stress associated with the job. 

Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has shown:

  • 12.1% of managers experience levels of drug addiction. Executives and managers have been shown to be the third highest occupation at risk for developing a substance use disorder 
  • 9.9% of managers or executives are living with a heavy alcohol addiction. This is the 7th highest ranking among all occupations 
  • Approximately 11.4% of executives or individuals in a management role experience some level of a substance abuse disorder 

Signs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Executives

With the busy lifestyles of executives and various roles you take on within your position, it makes it easy to hide your addiction from others as you have the flexibility of working in various capacities and settings. You may also have the added benefit of individuals working under you that are holding up any loose ends that may have been missed due to your addiction making it harder for someone to notice any obvious signs that there may be something going on. The following are some indicators that their alcohol or drug use has become problematic. 

  • Having to use drugs or drink alcohol first thing in the morning to help “get yourself moving” 
  • Feeling guilt or shame around your drinking or drug use 
  • Lying about your substance use to others or hiding it from others 
  • Trying to cut down or eliminate your alcohol or drug use but unable to do so 
  • Performance at work is declining. Inability to maintain work expectations and responsibilities 
  • Becoming defensive about substance use when confronted about it 
  • Using drugs or alcohol even when it poses a serious risk to you 
  • Loss of interest in activities that you regularly participate in 
  • Viewing your alcohol or drug use as an essential part of your life  the same as eating, sleeping,working. 

Risk Factors for Substance Abuse Among Executives

Addiction among executives often has many risk factors that are associated with a developing alcohol addiction or substance abuse concern. Risk factors that may be present among high earning professionals are:

  • Family history of addiction- Drug addiction and alcohol addiction can be significantly increased by either genetic predispositions or environmental factors when you have a family member with a substance abuse disorder 
  • Having a co-occurring mental health disorder – There has been significant research completed that states executives experience higher levels of obsessive compulsive traits, high stress, and severe depressive states. 
  • Gender – males are more likely to struggle with an addiction concern. While females are more likely to experience the gradual increase of misuse, abuse, to misuse occur 
  • Attitude- If you have thought processes that alcohol or drug addiction is common or normal, especially within the nature of your work, and not problematic, it substantially increases your chance of developing a substance use disorder 
  • Peer groups or associations- Executives or high earning individuals often have expectations of hosting work functions or meetings that often include substance use as a way to connect with potential clients or buyers. These expectations often lead to individuals developing an alcohol addiction or drug dependency. 
  • Drug choice- Executives will often turn to stimulants as a way to focus on the task at hand and be able to meet tight deadlines at work. Alcohol is a commonly used substance for high networth individuals as it is used as a way to connect with prospective clients or finalize sales. 
  • Experiencing high levels of stress- As a high earning professional, there are many expectations that come within your executive or manager role that undoubtedly produce high levels of stress. As you feel the onset of high stress, many will turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to manage stress and momentarily relieve the intense levels of stress. 

Addiction Treatment Programs for Executives

When you are ready to leave behind your life of addiction, you will want to find an addiction treatment program that understands the compounding levels of stress and other risk factors that may have played a role in your current substance use disorder. Choosing a rehab program that specializes in supporting executive or high-earning professionals means that your level of care will be designed to meet your goal for recovery while providing you ample space to maintain work commitments while you are a patient. Therapy offered to patients will include comprehensive methods that will focus on teaching you methods of managing stress, coping with the high demands of your work, and developing a healthy, sober lifestyle.

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Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.