Alcohol use disorder is the most common substance use disorder in the United States, affecting nearly three million people annually. Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the US are being used to treat health conditions related to alcohol. There are an average of six deaths every day due to alcohol overdoses. These statistics are shocking, but for those in the legal field, the statistics around alcohol use disorder are even more concerning. In a recent study, one in three practicing lawyers reported problematic drinking patterns, which is significantly higher than studies which show 6.8% of Americans exhibited signs of alcohol use disorder. There are many suggested reasons for the high rate of alcohol issues with those in the law, but the fact remains, alcohol use disorder is a big problem for the profession. There is help. The LAP can help you or your colleague come to terms with the problem and seek the professional help needed. If you're concerned about your own drinking and want to take proactive steps before the disorder grows-because alcohol use disorder is a progressive disease, there are many in-person and online resources and supports available. These are listed below.
If you're not sure if your alcohol use is really a problem in your life, there are several online tests available to help you figure that out. There is a link to one listed below. Alcohol is an addictive substance, no matter how little or how much you drink, its impact on your body is designed to increase your desire to consume more.
Substance use disorders, encompassing drugs such as opioids, benzodiazepines (benzos), stimulants, and even marijuana (THC) are not as highly reported in the legal field as alcohol use disorder, but they are still prevalent and can destroy a lawyer's career, personal relationships, health and can take their life. Substance use disorders are treatable and help is available. Resources can be accessed by calling the LAP 800.255.0569. Additional information can be found below.
Online AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues: This is Us
Never Alone: Addiction, Recovery and Community
How to Help Judges in Need of Help
Two Men Met in 1935: The History of LAP
Becoming an Alcoholic in Private
Free CLE Programs
Wellness/Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession
Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession
Assistance/Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession
The Elephant in the Room: The Legal Profession, Mental
Health, and Substance Abuse