Which Industries in Colorado Have High Addiction Rates? December 6th, 2019 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News Which Industries in Colorado Have High Addiction Rates?

Which Industries in Colorado Have High Addiction Rates?

Bartender creating two mixed drinks.

It seems that some industries and jobs in Colorado have a high addiction risk compared to other jobs or the general public. While the exact reasons why workers in some jobs have higher rates of addiction than others are not clear, some of these figures follow other known trends of substance abuse.

Your risk of substance abuse increases if you are young and male, so jobs that have more young, male workers are at higher risk. Furthermore, certain geographic locations and wage levels may also put workers at higher risk for addiction.

Medical Professionals

In one profession’s case, however, access seems to be the key ingredient to higher addiction levels. Health care professionals, particularly doctors and psychiatrists who can write prescriptions or have access to prescription drugs, have higher rates of drug abuse than many other professions.

Not all doctors who are addicts abuse prescription drugs, however. Surgeons, in particular, have higher rates of alcohol abuse than the general public, especially female surgeons, which suggests that the stress of the job may also factor into addiction levels and lead to a high addiction risk.

Hospitality Workers

These workers staff hotels, restaurants, and bars, and many of them also have easy access to alcohol. While not all hospitality jobs are particularly stressful, they are often low-paying and sometimes involve long shifts over nighttime hours, which can encourage the misuse of drugs to stay awake through the shift. Because of these and other reasons, hospitality workers are among the top jobs for addicted workers.

Construction Workers

Construction workers have a high rate of addiction due to the fact that construction is a male-dominated profession. Alcohol use is high for construction workers, who may be tempted to relax from the day’s hard labor by engaging in heavy drinking. Construction workers also have a lot of physical injuries, which may lead to prescription drug abuse if opioid painkillers are prescribed to help them with the pain.

Doctors working on a patient in an operating room.

The stress of being a surgeon may lead to higher rates of alcohol abuse.


Lawyers, especially those who recently graduated and joined a law firm as a junior associate, have higher rates of alcohol and drug use than many other professions. The main reason for this is stress because brand new lawyers are often overworked and expected to put in the maximum number of billable hours possible. Lawyers are also paid pretty well, so they have disposable income to spend on alcohol and sometimes drugs, which they may use to help them stay awake to work long hours.

Artists and Performers

These professions have elevated levels of drug and alcohol abuse because of several factors. First, the workplace conditions are less formalized to allow easier drug and alcohol use. Second, some of these jobs require long hours. Third, partying is almost expected after a long day at the art gallery, at rehearsal, or on set. There is also a lot of stress involved with getting work in these fields, which are often highly competitive. This stress can lead to substance abuse.

If you or a loved one needs help to overcome addiction stemming from any job or other situation, The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake can help you find the Colorado addiction treatment resources that can get you on the path to recovery. Contact us today to discuss how we can help!

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.