Young Professionals and Substance Abuse

Young Professionals and Substance AbuseYoung professionals face new challenges, as they leave school and home and enter the workplace. They have to prove that they can succeed in competitive economic times, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to get ahead or to manage the stress of professional life.

Established Patterns of Drug Use among Young Professionals

College students are drinking and using drugs at greater rates than ever before. The 2007 NBC News article “Binge Drinking, Pill Abuse Intensify at Colleges” reports that “hundreds of thousands more students are abusing prescription drugs including Ritalin, Adderall and OxyContin than during the early 1990s. The proportion of students using marijuana daily has more than doubled to about 4 percent.” These statistics add up to mean that nearly 23% of college students are dependent on or addicted to a drug or alcohol. Students are turning to drugs and alcohol to relieve stress, party and fit in and attempt to get ahead academically. When they graduate, these patterns of drug use have already been established. Young professionals may then rely on existing dependencies and addictions to cope with stress in their new workplaces.

Professional Life and Addiction

Young professionals can become addicted even if they don’t enter the workplace with patterns of substance abuse already in place. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety lists the following workplace factors that can play a role in addiction development:

  • High stress
  • Low job satisfaction
  • Long hours or irregular shifts
  • Repetitive work
  • Inactivity or boredom
  • Isolation

Young professionals and those in entry-level jobs are typically given simpler, easier or less satisfactory work. They may be asked to begin in positions that are below their mental or physical capabilities, and this can lead to boredom and dissatisfaction. Young employees may turn to substances to relieve boredom or frustration. On the other hand, new jobs may also be the source of high levels of stress. Employment may be offered based on performance or young professionals may be under pressure to prove themselves in their new setting. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to manage their stress symptoms or find a way to relax, or they may look to drugs like Ritalin or Adderall to improve their memory and productivity. Relying on substances rather than developing healthy coping skills and a manageable work-life balance can result in the quick development of dependence and addiction.

Professional Addiction Help

Don’t let substance abuse or addiction derail your or a loved one’s future. Call our toll-free helpline to gain access to essential recovery resources such as interventionists, family mediators, top recovery facilities and long-term aftercare support. We are here for you 24 hours a day and through every step of the recovery process, and we want to help you succeed in all areas of life. Please call today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email