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Attorneys Have Problems with Drinking
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alcohol in attorneys

Summary: American attorneys have higher rates of drinking problems and depression than any other group, including the general public.

The American Society of Addition Medicine has released their latest report on drinking and it does not look good for attorneys. Attorney’s in America have a drinking problem with over 20 percent drinking at levels considered “hazardous, harmful, and potentially alcohol-dependent.”

  
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This rate among licensed attorneys is three times higher than among the general public rate at 6.8 percent. The numbers were taken from over 12,000 American lawyers by the American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

The study found that male attorneys have higher rates of drinking problems than women at 25.1 percent to 15.5 percent. The highest rates were for attorneys under the age of 30 at 31.9 percent and junior associates at 31.1 percent. This rate may be partly due to the trend of young Americans to be heavy drinkers but also from the high stress level of being a young attorney in a competitive field.

The legal industry tends to “prioritize success and accomplishment over things like balance, personal well-being, health, etc,” says Patrick Krill, lead author of the study. Attorneys go through training “where they are taught to work harder, play harder, and assume the role of a tough, capable and aggressive professional without personal weaknesses or deficiencies,” continues Krill. “Heavy drinking, lack of balance and poor self-care are entirely normalized. That’s the behavior that young lawyers see being modeled all around them, and throughout the profession.”

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The study also found that depression is very high in attorneys at 28 percent. The general public only sees 8 percent experience issues with depression each year. Krill explains this tendency by the attitude most lawyers have, “Studies have shown that most lawyers are pessimists (either by nature or by training) which can be psychologically taxing and inconsistent with health coping skills.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/05/americas-lawyers-have-a-serious-drinking-problem/



Photo: cavemamas.com



 

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