People tend to stereotype drug and alcohol abusers as the opposite of high level professionals - usually unable to function effectively in society and having poor priorities. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it reaches out to everyone. Regardless of your profession, economic or social status, location, age, etc., addiction is a choice and reality for many people. Even professionals.

A professional functioning addict is trickier to identify which is why they slip right under our noses. Why do professionals use drugs if they’re lives seem successful and thriving? Successful people who turn to substances usually seek aid in coping with stress, staying focused, or maintaining performance and energy. There may also be personal individual circumstances that contribute to the lure of altering their state of mind, but for the most part, success and stress come hand in hand.


Some high risk professions include:

  • Healthcare Professionals

  • Hospitality and Food Service

  • Business Management

  • Sales

  • Law

  • Arts and Entertainment

  • Construction and Farming

  • Tech


A scary factor is income. Since these high level professionals tend to have strong sources of income and power, they can afford an expensive supply to satisfy their addiction. This increases the risk of experiencing an overdose.


Dr. David Linden, a neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine has analyzed addiction research and believes that all the traits that make a good CEO, make a “good” addict. This is because CEO’s are risk-takers, have strong drives for success, obsessive, dedicated, and seek novelty. He also says the pleasure that comes from success, in particular risky business ventures, are carried by the same brain pathways that make substance use so irresistible to some. It’s about pleasure-seeking and reward.


While to some professionals, substance abuse may seem like an aid or enhancement, it still has the same damaging effects it would for any other addict. It will affect everyone emotionally, physically, mentally, as well as our relationships with others, ourselves, and the world around us.


If you or a loved one struggles with addiction and coping with stress, please contact Crownview Co-Occurring Institute to get in touch with a medical professional who will design an individualized plan to help you live your ultimate life.


760.433.HELP (4357)
315 N. Clementine Street
Oceanside, CA 92054

2892 Jefferson Street
Carlsbad, CA 92008 

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760.433.HELP (4357)