What professions are at lowest risk for alcohol and drug abuse?
If you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, you know that just about anything can be a trigger to get drunk or high. Addiction is a disease of the mind and body that causes the person to no longer have the ability to control their alcohol and drug abuse. It is an extreme compulsion that they suffer from. These triggers can be anything from friends and family, to certain parts of town, sights and smells, but most importantly, the feelings associated with them. A person’s job or career can be a main contributor to their continuous using because of all the stress that comes along with it. For someone in recovery, it is important to understand what these triggers are and to steer clear from them to help better ensure their sobriety from alcohol and drug abuse.
For many people, their job is their livelihood and they identify strongly with the position they hold and how much money they make at it. This is not just something that addicts experience, it is simply human nature. People tend to base their self-worth on how successful they are, which can cause them many emotional problems. Unfortunately, they will sacrifice their own mental health and stability for a job that pays well and has security. This may be an acceptable scenario for most of the world’s population, but it can be a fatal situation for those who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse. Due to addiction being a condition that feeds off of a person’s feelings, a job that they are unhappy at can cause them to continue using or relapse.
Another factor that puts a recovering addict at risk is a job that puts them in contact with drugs or alcohol on a regular basis. Alcohol and drug abuse can prove to be a risk factor for some professions. For those who suffer from alcoholism, working in the food and beverage industry can be a very big risk. Although bartending or serving can be a very prosperous position, the constant contact with liquor can intensify the cravings that the recovering addict is already dealing with. There are also jobs, like working in the medical field that can also be a big trigger for recovering addicts. Doctors, nurses, pharmaceutical technicians and other positions are constantly given access to addictive prescription medications and this can sometimes be hard to work with and not have the urge to use.
Much like the disease of addiction, recovery is progressive and gets stronger the longer that someone stays sober. It is never a good idea for someone in early recovery to immediately begin working at a job that can be a trigger, but this does not mean that they can never have this type of job again. It is important for the person to build a strong foundation in recovery before attempting to work one of these jobs. If you’re skillset is geared towards a job that can be a potential trigger, you should always consult an addiction specialist or your sponsor, if you’re involved in a 12 step program. Getting the opinion from someone who knows you and about the disease of addiction can often give you a great opinion on whether or not you are ready to work at one of these jobs because you cannot always trust your own thinking.
For those in their addiction or in early recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, there may be jobs that have a smaller risk factor, but any job can be a potential trigger. You must be diligent about your recovery and put your sobriety above all other priorities in order to best prevent relapse. Even the simplest of jobs can trigger cravings, so it is important to take the suggestions from those who are knowledgeable about the disease of addiction.
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