There are a lot of stereotypes about the types of people who abuse drugs. Many people assume that people who abuse drugs are lazy, weak and morally flawed. The reality of drug abuse, though, is that all different kinds of people abuse drugs, no matter their age, income level, social status, race or personality. Drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States for millions of people, and many of these people are working professionals. Although these people may appear to have everything under control, they have the same potential to abuse drugs as everyone else. What’s more, because of the pressures and demands of a career-driven life, many professionals face an even greater temptation to abuse drugs than non-professionals.

SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 7 percent of the population of American adults aged 26 and older were current illegal drug users. Most of these people abused marijuana, and a little over 2 percent were illegal users of prescription drugs. The study reported that 6.6 percent of college graduates abused drugs, and nearly 9 percent of people over 18 with full-time jobs were currently abusing drugs. Additionally, of the 21.5 million people aged 18 and older who were current drug abusers, 14.6 million, or 67.9 percent, had either full- or part-time employment. These percentages suggest that a lot of working professionals struggle with drug abuse.

Temptation and Drug Use

One common reason many people, professionals included, abuse drugs, is because of their inability to gauge how much temptation they personally can handle. Rick Nauert describes the results of a study which found that most people perceive themselves as having more restraint than they actually do, and that this in turn leads to an increased likelihood of poor decision-making. The study explored the tendency of people to assume that they can bear more temptation than they actually can. This “restraint bias” tends to make them more likely to engage in an impulsive or addictive behavior.

Reasons Behind Professional Drug Abuse

Another reason many professionals abuse drugs relates to their desire to self-medicate. Nauert also reports on a study that looked at why so many doctors abuse prescription medications. It found that a lot of doctors use prescription medication illegally to self-treat the following problems:

  • Emotional pain and psychological conditions: two of the most widely-reported mental health conditions that the doctors self-treated were anxiety and depression.
  • Physical pain: a large portion of the doctors in the study started using drugs illegally after being prescribed medications for chronic pain.
  • Stress: most doctors experience a high level of stress in their professions, and some of them find it difficult to manage it without the help of drugs.
  • Drug withdrawal: since the withdrawal symptoms of some drugs can range from extremely uncomfortable to life-threatening, many doctors in the study admitted to treating these withdrawal symptoms with illegally obtained prescription medications.

The above study focused on doctors and prescription drug abuse, but the reasons behind drug abuse are similar for all professionals. The drive to succeed can be overwhelming, and a lot of jobs require long hours and total commitment. Many people therefore want a fast and easy way to manage their pain, stress and related health problems, because they may not have time to seek out a healthier treatment for them.

Find Out More About Drug Abuse Temptation for Professionals

Drug abuse is a temptation for everyone, but especially for working professionals. These people put in long hours for their jobs, and work hard to succeed in what they do. The stress of working, combined with possible physical or psychological pain and the tendency to overestimate their abstaining abilities, makes many professionals susceptible to drug abuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, please call our toll-free helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to talk to you more about the temptations of drug abuse. They can also help you find a quality rehabilitation center that will fit your needs. Call us today to find out more.