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Alcoholism And The Lawyer

As A Judge, Where Can I Find Resources for Substance Abuse Concerns?

Walk into a prominent lawyer’s office, a managing partner or a leader in his firm, and you’re likely to see some expensive bottles of alcohol. Attend any law office’s dinner, cocktail party, happy hour, celebration, holiday party, or other event, and alcohol is likely to be present. Lawyers have an alcohol problem and the industry is aware.

Business Insider mentions in “Alcoholism is a serious problem for law firms” that one-third of attorneys are drinking too much. Lawyers have high pressure, high profile, high intensity work to do, counting for as many billable hours as possible, depending on the philosophy of the firm. Where do they have time to drink? Alcoholism doesn’t have a schedule. Anyone who has developed alcohol use disorder or is outright abusing alcohol needs no justified time to drink. Yet, justify a time to drink they will. Lawyers have meetings, attend conferences, meet with clients, win cases, lose cases, order dinner in to work on cases, sleep in the office to work on cases, cope with the stress of high pressure cases, and much more. Lawyers can spend much time away from home and when they are home, feel they need to drink to unwind. When lawyers go out, when law offices host parties, there is drinking present. Despite the hard work lawyers are doing, for which they put themselves through incredibly difficult schooling, they are drinking. Lawyers are under a constant amount of pressure and stress to win cases, to compete in the office, and to advance their career.

Since drinking, binge drinking, and even abusive alcoholic drinking, is normalized in the law industry, it can take some time for an individual lawyer to reach the threshold of having a “problem”. High-functioning alcoholism is a myth, for the most part, but seems to be true for professionals like lawyers. Alcoholic lawyers can run firms, win cases, have a happy marriage, be physically fit, and still be drinking far more than they should. This kind of drinking, though it is not obviously destructive, is internally destructive, wearing on a lawyer’s mental health. When the symptoms of alcoholism come to the surface, lawyers risk their jobs, their clients’ cases, their family life, and much more.

Addressing alcoholism in professional fields like law is a systemic operation. Awareness and education are key as are incremental lifestyle changes for lawyers and their firms. If a lawyer necessitates treatment, The Center For Professional Recovery should be the first call. Our Professional Treatment Program is specifically designed to cater to professionals like lawyers. Custom treatment programs meet each client’s specific needs for their personal and professional life, ensuring full restoration and a safe return to work. Call us today for information on our full continuum of care: (855) 422-4129

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