Society views lawyers are people of high prestige, mostly well-compensated, highly intelligent, so it can be baffling to hear about substance addiction among lawyers. And some might wonder, how can well-paid, well-respected lawyers be addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other substances? Well, this will be demystified as you read further.
The nature of the legal profession aids the gradual development of substance addiction, as shocking as this may seem it is the truth.
Addiction is a brain disease that involves persistent craving for a substance leading to compulsive use despite evident negative consequences. The individual gets to a point where he/she can no longer control or stop his/her usage of such a substance.
So, for lawyers, some reasons why they are prone to substance addiction include;
- Their Personality
This is what is referred to as the “lawyer personality”, where certain traits can be found in most lawyers which aid the development of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Lawyers are known to be competitive, egoistic, anxious, compulsive, and argumentative, and they always want to be the best. But these are traits that make them constantly anxious and stressed, thereby susceptible to the vices of addiction.
- Compensation Model
Unlike some other professions, lawyers bill clients per hour, that is, lawyers are paid on an hourly basis. Therefore, time is of high importance to them, the more hours you work, the more you bill your clients. So, they can go for nights without sleep or neglect their personal life to attend to a client’s needs. In the process, they become addicted to substances like caffeine to remain awake or alcohol to remain active.
- Competitive System
The legal profession is a highly competitive one. Lawyers do not only compete in courts on matters of great consequences for their clients, they also compete to rank up at firms. The system, therefore, puts significant pressure on them to always be the very best or risk losing.
This pressure pushes lawyers towards alcoholism or cocaine addiction to deal with the pressure and stress.
So, although the legal profession can be very rewarding, it places tremendous pressure on lawyers which could easily lead them to substance addiction. These are the reasons why lawyers are prone to substance addiction.