Substance Abuse Among High-Achieving Professionals


In 2016 the Surgeon General identified substance abuse disorders as “one of the most pressing public health crises of our time.”

Within the legal industry, substance abuse is a growing concern. Data indicates that one in three practicing lawyers are “problem drinkers,” with problem drinking defined as “hazardous, harmful and potentially alcohol dependent drinking.” Evidence suggests that lawyers experience problems with substance abuse early in their careers and these problems worsen over time. When left unaddressed, lawyers with drinking problems are more likely to be defendants in malpractice cases and be subjected to disciplinary action.

This program explains why law students and lawyers may be particularly susceptible to alcohol misuse. Because I know that lawyers—especially lawyers—don’t respond well to messages that suggest they have no control over a particular concern, I focus on the biological and psychological bases for addictive behaviors. We then discuss specific actions your organization and individual lawyers can undertake to address this critically important issue.

This program can be supplemented by one-on-one or group coaching.


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