Substance Abuse Crisis in the Legal Profession Revealed
"I firmly believe that law-firm culture [...] has to become more compassionate and more aware of the signs that one of their own is struggling."
A story recently published by The New York Times highlights the problem of heavy drinking in the legal profession. In this heartbreaking account authored by Eilene Zimmerman, the ex-wife of a high-powered attorney who died of a hidden addiction, the fact that job stress can be a trigger is made plain:
"In the government’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health report on substance abuse by industry, professional services (which include the legal profession) ranked ninth out of 19 industries in terms of illicit drug use. The entertainment industry ranked higher on the list; finance and real estate ranked lower.
"The A.B.A.’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs’ most recent national report identified alcohol as the No. 1 substance-abuse problem for lawyers. The second most commonly abused substance was prescription drugs. [...]
"Opioids and stimulants often go hand in hand with alcohol. In fact, drugs are sometimes used to combat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal."