Stress Leaves Lawyers Vulnerable to Addiction, Especially Alcohol

Posted on September 25th, 2012
Posted in Alcohol Abuse

glass of alcohol near computerThe legal world is an environment surrounded by celebratory dinners, corporate closings and drinks after a trial triumph or loss. Many lawyers fool themselves into thinking they don’t have a problem because they are still able to function in their role as lawyer, according to a recent article.

One lawyer admitted he didn’t believe he was an alcoholic because he was still performing as a lawyer. He told the Law Times he was under a sort of self-delusion that eventually brought on his surrender and led him to give up his fight. At that point, his addiction had hovered over his personal life and work for over a decade. Even, when he started to admit to himself that he was an alcoholic, he still found it hard to tell others.

The recovering alcoholic has now written his own memoir called 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope. The book describes his struggle with alcoholism until he finally hit rock bottom. It was then he realized he could no longer control his drinking. Alcohol had become the single most important thing in the man’s life.

The Ontario Lawyers’ Assistance Program says denial is often a big part of alcohol dependency with lawyers. Case manager, Doron Gold says lawyers often think their alcoholism is a victimless offense. Doron also says lawyers many times lawyers believe they can fix anything and so admitting they have a problem, will show that they are weak. They don’t tell others because they don’t have the same luxury of ‘having feelings’ like the rest of us.

Another case manager says many attorneys use alcohol to cope because it is available, effective and a quick way to reduce pain and stress. Nearly nine percent of all calls are alcohol dependency-related coming into the Ontario Lawyers’ Assistance Program.

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