While it isn’t a huge secret that drug and alcohol abuse is a big problem in the United States, few stop to consider the effect it has on our nation's workers. Substance problems are bound to leak into a person's professional life. Workers may suffer numerous accidents, miss shifts, or get sick much more often than those who remain sober. This results in a tremendous amount of lost productivity for companies and business, and ultimately the US economy. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) ranked American job industries based on the percentage of employees in those industries who admitted to misusing drugs or alcohol. Some of the results are surprising. Below is a list of the top ten most intoxicated types of industry workers in America:

  1. Accommodations and Food Services

    Food service workers top out our list at 19.1%. The stress of doling out burgers to ungrateful customers—and, perhaps, lax substance testing standards—has driven many a fast food restaurant team member to drink or do drugs.
  2. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

    Whether it's a successful celebrity pulling down millions of dollars per year (and shadowed everywhere by paparazzi and adoring fans), or a starving actor working a food service job (see above), it may come as no surprise that 13.7% of artists, actors, and other creative types admitted to past-month use of an illicit substance.
  3. Management

    Stress often causes people to turn to drugs or alcohol. There are few jobs more stressful than that of an executive of a corporation, juggling finances, human resources, profit projections, product relevance, R&D, and other complex factors. No wonder that 12.1% of corporate executives reported abusing some type of substance.
  4. Information

    Research-gathering and information brokerage is repetitive, monotonous, exhausting, and never-ending work. Factor in undesirable or unpredictable hours, and information jobs become a recipe for drug abuse. Fully 11.7% of information industry workers reported abusing substances.
  5. Construction

    Long hours outdoors and back-breaking labor are the hallmarks of construction work. For this reason, our nation's builders work hard and play hard: SAMHSA's study indicated that 11.6% of construction workers used an illegal drug at least once in the past month.
  6. Other Public Services

    Public service workers are on call at all sorts of hours, and the work is often tiring. Moreover, employees in the public service industry may not receive the recognition which they are due. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that as many as 11.2% of individuals in this field relieve their stress with drugs and alcohol. 
  7. Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing

    Fluctuating schedules and a paycheck dependent upon commissions don't engender peace of mind in the human psyche. That may be why 10.9% of real estate agents and rental officers self-medicate. 
  8. Retail

    Customer service can be frustrating, especially during holidays and other special occasions. Tie that in with weekend work, low pay, and long hours on one's feet, and it’s no shock that 10.3% of employees in retail seek solace in the arms of substances.
  9. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

    Accountants, bookkeepers, architects, engineers, publicists, researchers, computer technicians, and other professionals are under enormous pressure. They compete with rival firms to ensure that their clients are satisfied and that their businesses run smoothly. This pressure comes with a price: 9.0% of people in the professional, scientific, and technical services field abuse drugs or alcohol. 
  10. Wholesale Trade

    It seems that the stress of retail trickles all the way down to suppliers, as 7.8% of wholesale workers abused drugs in the past month. 

Work stress is perfectly normal, but when an individual begins to drink or do drugs to relax or feel better after a hard day, addiction is waiting just around the corner. For additional information, visit RecoveryExperts.com or call (877) 257-7997.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - http://www.samhsa.gov/