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The disease of addiction impacts men and women from all walks of life; this is true regardless of an individual’s background. While one’s environment and genetics play a role in who will experience substance abuse issues, both highly successful and the less-than-so are at risk.

Working in the field of addiction medicine, we treat people with diverse backgrounds. From college-age young adults to CEOs from some of the biggest companies, chemical dependency does not discriminate. Some men and women’s conditions progress quickly, while others accelerate slowly.

High-functioning drug addiction and alcoholism are terms usually ascribed to persons who have had professional success. Such individuals are able to hide their condition from their employer by managing to get their work done. Such a skill (for lack of a better word) allows an individual’s problem to progress for years and decades even, before their life begins spiraling out of control.

Managing a company comes with a significant amount of stress. Those who lack the tools to cope with mental turmoil will use drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. The behavior creates a cycle that can be challenging to break.

More high-achieving professionals are living with an alcohol or substance use disorder than you might think. Moreover, such executives are not immune to the havoc that drugs and alcohol can wreak on the mind and body.

Addiction Among Executives by the Numbers

executives addiction

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is sponsored yearly by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Data from which provides experts with insights about current drug and alcohol use related trends across a spectrum of industries.

Recent data indicates that hundreds of thousands of Americans in management positions have a problem with heavy alcohol and drug use. What’s more, only a small percentage of such executives have had a use disorder diagnosis, and fewer still receive treatment.

Analyzing NSDUH data, Donna M. Bush, Ph.D., F-ABFT, and Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., found that of those in management positions:

  • 1 percent have used illicit drugs at some point within the last month.
  • 9 percent have problems with heavy alcohol use.
  • 11.4 percent living with substance abuse problems have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder.


Executive Addiction Treatment Program

Work is one of the many reasons that more high-achieving professionals avoid seeking recovery services. The thought of abandoning one’s responsibilities for a month or more while seeking help is hardly appealing. Many have concerns that reaching out for support will derail their career.

At Hope By The Sea, we understand how challenging or seemingly impossible it is for some to take time off for addiction and mental health services. However, addiction is a progressive disease; those who do not seek treatment put themselves at significant risk of severe health complications.

With all that in mind, we have created an Executive Addiction Treatment program that is specifically tailored to the needs of high-achieving men and women. Through consultations with executives in recovery and medical and addiction experts, we have designed this specialty treatment track.

Executives who seek our assistance benefit from being able to conduct business on a day-to-day basis remotely. We help men and women break the cycle of addiction, learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways, and set a course for long-term recovery. Please contact us today to learn more.