Lawyers and Addiction


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    Lawyers and Addiction


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    Lawyers and Students May Not Recognize the Signs of Addiction, and are Less Likely to Seek Help

    Most people think that lawyers and law students have it all together and can look forward to a bright future full of great success. But according to a recently released study about those in the legal profession, they are actually at a great risk of substance abuse, addiction and depression. In addition, the study goes on to say that many of those professionals and law students simply are not aware of the many resources available to help them deal with depression, mental health issues and substance abuse.

    An In-Depth Look at the Study

    The study came into the spotlight when a recent article at the well-known Above the Law blog reported on the troubling statistics about the prevalence of substance abuse and depression issues among lawyers and law students. The article referenced the study that was undertaken by Yale Law School. The purpose was to explore the incidence of those issues among people practicing in and pursuing the legal profession. According to the Yale study, nearly 32 percent of students responding to a survey at the law school reported facing severe mental health challenges during their time at law school. What’s worse, other studies have found that lawyers face a statistically high risk of suicide, severe depression and addiction.

    At Counseling for a Better Life Dynamic Directions, we think it’s bad enough when people suffer from addictions, but what we also find troubling is the other data found in the 102 page report. For instance, the study shows that almost none of the students who reported feeling stress related mental health issues and substance abuse problems sought help for those problems. The article about the study also pointed out the lack of support services at the school for those suffering from addiction and related mental health issues.

    The Unique Challenges of Professionals with Addictions

    Unfortunately, in our experience this is not an unusual situation. In our daily task of referring people who are struggling with substance abuse problems and addictions to effective treatment centers and counselors, we encounter many professionals who don’t know where to turn for their problems. In fact, many people – particularly professionals – are not aware of the many resources and supports that exist. But the reality is that for students who are still on their parents’ health insurance plans, as well as for lawyers who carry their own insurance, the Affordable Care Act means that substance abuse treatment, depression and other mental health challenges are covered as essential services under all qualifying insurance plans. The mental health and substance abuse insurance provisions remove a substantial barrier to seeking treatment for cash-strapped students and lawyers who are just beginning their careers.

    In addition to a lack of knowledge about the existing treatment options, professionals also face negative societal attitudes about stress-related mental health issues and substance abuse. Those in professional positions often resist seeking help for substance abuse and mental health issues because of the stigma associated with those conditions, and the fear that their addiction will cost them their career. This is evidenced in the statistics buried deeper within the report regarding the demographics of those who do seek help: men are less likely to seek help than women, whites are less likely to seek help than people of color, and those who identify as straight are less likely to seek help than those who consider themselves heterosexual and gender typical.

    We Offer a Solution for Professionals

    Those statistics point to a need for the type of service provided by us. At CBLDD, we offer a confidential referral service that helps those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues connect with treatment services that suit their needs. No one should have to face the struggle alone, and we can help guide you to a place where you can confidential treatment. Don’t let your addiction steal what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish when there are resources and assistance available. At Counseling for a Better Life Dynamic Directions, our online directory and help line are free to use and just a click or a phone call away. Why not call us now and let our trained agents talk to you about your needs, and then help find a treatment center or counseling service that will discretely and expertly solve your addiction problems? Our agents are standing by to take your call. Get free, confidential help today!

    Lawyers and Addiction

     

     

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