Common Substance Use Disorders for White-Collar Workers

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on January 13, 2022.

White-collar addiction creates unique challenges for professionals. People struggle with substance use in almost all industries, often from easy access and high stress levels at work. Some professionals struggle to seek help. Fortunately, there are solutions available for white-collar drug addiction.

Sectors With High Levels of Abuse

Substance abuse does not discriminate — it's possible to find instances of white-collar drug addiction in almost every sector, including:

  • Arts, sports and entertainment.
  • Management.
  • Finance.
  • Insurance.
  • Real estate and leasing.
  • Information technology (IT).
  • Science and technology
  • Healthcare sectors.
  • Social assistance.
  • Transportation.

Our society often makes assumptions about substance use, allowing addiction among lawyers, executives, healthcare professionals and other white-collar sectors to go unnoticed. Despite people's expectations about substance users, they exist in all professions.

Common Addictions Among White-Collar Workers

Drugs abused by white collars include alcohol, prescription medication and illicit drugs. Alcohol is a commonly used substance, as well as:

  • Vicodin.
  • Ambien.
  • Xanax.
  • OxyContin.
  • Cocaine.
  • Heroin.
  • Fentanyl.

Professionals can also develop different addictions, including gambling, sex, gaming, working, the Internet, eating and other behaviors.

Industry cultures can promote addictions. In some sectors, alcohol and illicit drugs may be available and normalized as part of work celebrations. White-collar professionals are often high-achieving and risk-taking, making them vulnerable to substance abuse. Untreated mental illness and the pressures of work can also impact them negatively.

How White-Collar Substance Abuse Affects Companies

White-collar workers are often leaders in their companies, and they have a significant impact on their company culture. Substance use issues at the leadership level can lead to:

  • Company culture issues: Leaders may act erratically, and addiction in the workplace can lead to toxic or violent behaviors, high turnover and a difficult atmosphere.
  • White-collar crime and theft: While professionals initially have resources for the substances they use, addiction can lead to increased spending.
  • Lower productivity and performance challenges: Employees may come to work regularly, but they may not have the cognitive ability to perform work at their usual level. Illnesses from substance use can also lead to missing work.

Seeking Treatment

Recognizing substance use among professionals is essential to building a new life. While many leaders worry about the impact seeking treatment will have on their careers, it can be a very positive step. Professionals can return to work reinvigorated. As natural leaders, they can make a huge difference by helping others. Many white-collar workers find their work and home lives improve after treatment.

Contact Diamond House Detox

Diamond House Detox provides a supportive environment and science-based treatment options in a pleasant and serene environment. Clients enjoy private rooms, meals prepared by a chef, group therapy and on-site support meetings. We offer premium support for co-occurring disorders and white-collar addiction.

If you or a loved one are ready to tackle substance use, contact Diamond House Detox to find out how we can help.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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