Can On The Job Stress Lead To Addiction?

Can On The Job Stress Lead To Addiction?

Woman looking stressed

Workers with an anxiety disorder are two times more likely than non-anxious workers to abuse substances.”

How do you manage stress brought on by work? A new study out of the University of Florida has discovered that when doctors abuse prescription pain relievers, more often than not they aren’t doing it to get high, but are instead abusing them as an attempt to deal with the overwhelming amount of stress or physical or emotional pain; which is often brought about by their jobs. For instance, one doctor who participated in the study was prescribed hydrocodone after a couple of root canals and admitted that later, when the stress in his life seemed too overwhelming he remembered how good the drug made him feel, so he decided to take it again.


Addiction is a multifaceted disease, one which knows no boundaries and can reach across all walks of life. It is a family disease, one which not only affects the addict but everyone surrounding them as well; and experts believe that there are many contributing factors which can lead an individual down the path to addiction. For instance, studies have revealed that genetics and hereditary can be a contributing factor in leading to an individual developing addiction. Additionally, research has shown that in fact, one’s own environment can be a significant risk factor in pushing an individual towards addiction. While this can sometimes refer to the influence of others, research has also shown that high-stress work environments can, and oftentimes do, play a role in addiction development.

While some jobs are automatically high-stress positions such as soldiers, doctors, or first responders, other jobs are made stressful by high pressure employers or unreasonable work expectations. Yet despite how the stress originates the likelihood that an individual will look for a way to self-medicate that stress, such as with drugs or alcohol, increases dramatically. Some warning signs that you or a loved one may be struggling with overt amounts of stress and anxiety may include:

  • Exaggerated reactions to people and situations
  • Irrational concerns
  • Constant tiredness
  • Quickened heart beat
  • Feeling jittery
  • Hot flashes

Have you ever found yourself automatically reaching for a drink after a long-hard day at work? Or found yourself self-medicating with drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the stress surrounding your day-to-day life and job? While self-medicating to relieve stress may seem like it’s helping at first, it is in fact doing just the opposite; as often the substance abuse can cause further stress and depression, as well as a multitude of dangerous side effects. Abusing drugs or alcohol in any capacity is dangerous, and can be fatal. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, get help today. Give us a call, we are here to help.


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