There are plenty of ways workplace stressors can lead you to alcohol and drug addiction: job pressures, peer pressure, — even something as simple as not having enough time or energy for yourself.
If you have a high-stress occupation, like those listed below, the statistics show that you’re more likely to struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. At The River Source, we work to mold our treatment around the specifics of your case: your addiction history, your lifestyle, your mental health, and indeed, your occupation. We’ll work with you to help you overcome your addiction and find healthier ways to cope with your job, its stressors, and the unique triggers your work presents as challenges to your recovery.
Whether in law enforcement, medicine, firefighting, or disaster relief, first responders are among the most dedicated people on the planet, and with that comes a degree of selflessness, even when it’s harmful to their health. While about 75% of first responders say they have easy access to mental health services, less than 40% use them .
At the same time, these careers uniquely expose people to traumatic events — natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, violent crime, and death. Not only is it natural that a person working in one of these fields would need some help to get over some of these experiences, it’s expected.
The unfortunate truth is that first responders are likely to deal with mental and behavioral illnesses, including alcoholism, anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, and PTSD, at alarming rates. Almost 90% of first responders say they’ve experienced “critical” on-the-job stress, 37% have contemplated suicide, and a saddening 6.6% have made an attempt on their own life — rates 10x higher than the general adult population . In fact, several types of first responders see more suicides each year than deaths in the line of duty.
The River Source First Responder Wellness
At The River Source, we offer a treatment and recovery program targeted to the needs of first responders. Led by Natalie Summit, L.P.C., a retired police crisis intervention specialist with 20 years of experience, our specialized treatments address clients directly and with their family, using a variety of treatment modalities. To protect clients’ confidentiality, we take steps to ensure attending therapy is a discreet process.
We’ve seen firsthand how many first responders try to adopt a “warrior ethos” to be brave, tough, and unbreakable — and the stigma this puts on asking for help. Our specialized treatment program can show first responders that everyone struggles sometimes, and that getting help is anything but a sign of weakness.
Members of the military and veterans are similar to first responders in their treatment. A client’s position in the military may have been directly life-threatening, physically challenging, or exposed them to trauma, and the frequent isolation involved in deployment means that reintegration is a challenge that treatment needs to help them overcome. We take special care to pay attention to these needs and help former members of the military readjust to civilian life.
Medical professionals, from doctors to nurses to caregivers, often work overtime hours in intense pressure and urgent situations. We know it’s not easy to have someone’s wellbeing — or even their life — in your hands on a regular basis, let alone at the end of an 80+ hour workweek. Reports have found that 10-12% of physicians will develop problems with alcohol or drug use . We work to help these unsung heroes process their responsibilities and find healthier means of coping with on-the-job stressors.
Social workers aren’t first responders to a crisis, but they often deal with ongoing trauma. Managing families with diverse needs, unclear paths forward, and limited resources can be intensely emotional and draining.
Working in construction, mining, or other labor-intensive industries is serious work for a number of reasons. The physical toll is massive, workplace expectations are high, and there are a lot of injury threats — especially from overtired employees. Populations in this field are at-risk for chronic pain and mental health conditions as a result of the demand on their bodies, two circumstances that can foster substance abuse and addiction.
Working in the Corporate World
Some occupations that are rarely thought to be pathways to addiction may present more risk than some may think. Take a corporate executive, for example. Working 80+ hour workweeks to handle situations with a lot of people — and their money — invested can be uniquely stressful. Making the right decisions in cutthroat industries is rough work that can lead to burnout and even make clients question what they’re doing. Another example can be seen with lawyers. One study found that over 20% of over 12,000 surveyed lawyers abused alcohol .
These cases are perfect examples that addiction can happen to anyone, anywhere. At The River Source, we help our clients stay grounded and healthy while accomplishing what they set out to do.
The River Source Can Help Manage High-Stress Occupations
We recognize that a job can seem like the most important factor in a person’s life, but it’s only one piece of what makes up their lived experience. At The River Source, we offer a combination of mental health and group therapies, naturopathic therapies, 12-step principles, education for clients and their families, and a variety of detox, inpatient, and outpatient programs to help them regain their footing, reclaim their life from addiction, and re-enter the workforce more prepared for its stressors and challenges.
 U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix (February 2017)
 Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)
 Ruderman Family Foundation