Lawyer Assistance Program
Individuals who work in a profession that enforces the law, including lawyers, judges, law students, paralegals, and their family members, are at risk for developing substance use disorders.
These individuals often work long hours in stressful situations and may reach for drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Drugs and alcohol can seem like a good way to cope with challenging emotions that arise due to the stress they feel from their jobs.
Luckily, mental health treatment programs are available to help them recover and establish healthy coping skills.
Substance Abuse in Legal Professions
There have not been many studies on drug abuse or alcohol abuse among individuals with legal professions. However, the studies that have been conducted have shown some troubling statistics.
In 2016, 12,825 licensed and employed attorneys reported to a survey study. About 21% of them screened positive for harmful and potentially alcohol-dependent drinking.
Men had a higher correlation to the positive screens, as did younger participants and those who had only worked in the field for a short time.
Of the alcohol test score respondents, those 30 years of age or younger were more likely to screen positive for high alcohol abuse.
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Mental Health Disorders in Legal Professions
The same 2016 study discussed above showed significant depression, anxiety, and stress levels among attorneys. Of the 12.825 respondents, they found:
- 28% reported depression symptoms
- 19% reported anxiety symptoms
- 23% reported they were highly stressed at work
Attorneys and other legal professionals can experience problematic substance abuse issues and mental health illnesses, which may impact their work performance.
The data from the 2016 study indicated the greater need for more resources for lawyer assistance programs and the expansion of attorney-centered treatment interventions.
How Lawyer Assistance Programs Work
Lawyer assistance programs can provide those in the legal sector with confidential treatment services. These programs, despite their name, are open to judges, lawyers, law students, and legal assistants facing mental health or substance use disorders.
Find a Lawyer Assistance Program in Florida
Destination Hope knows that addiction and mental health issues do not discriminate. If you or your loved one is looking for assistance with drug or alcohol abuse or a co-occurring mental health condition, we’re here to help.
Sources: National Library of Medicine – The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys