Substance Abuse in Executives: How It Affects Your Career

Individuals suffering from addiction often feel as though it is a victimless crime – they think they are only hurting themselves. However, this is far from true…

Addiction has several victims because it affects nearly everyone close to you and many people around you. But, the impact goes even further than that…

Addiction also affects your daily activities such as your job. While you might think you are hiding it from everyone, they could still be seeing symptoms of your struggle, or it might just eventually get brushed out from under the rug and destroy your career.

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While many people struggle with substance abuse and addiction, it is not something that cannot be treated and even cured. As someone in the working force, it is important that you understand how addiction can negatively affect your career.

Substance abuse and addiction can affect your career by:

Giving you a criminal record.

If you get a DUI, DWI, or get caught while purchasing an illegal substance you could potentially spend time in jail. This experience could affect work if it prohibited your attendance for a certain amount of time.

Also, if you ever decide to leave your job, a criminal record would be something you would have to list on your next job application and could negatively affect your ability to get a new job.

It could be costing you money in loss of income.

If you are consistently late or missing days due to your addiction, you could be taking those days unpaid which is costing you money. The loss of income is in addition to the money the addiction is already costing you – see how easy it can be for the expenses to add up?

Another way it might be costing you money is if it affects your work ethics and capabilities enough that it inhibits you from getting a promotion.

It can lead to turmoil in the office.

Work can already be stressful enough and you won’t always get along with everyone – but throw in an addiction which can make you tired and moody and can make getting along can become almost impossible.

It can cost you your job.

The ultimate negative effect addiction has on your career is the possibility to end it all. If your addiction is impacting your career so much that you are missing work and/or slacking on the job, you could ultimately be asked to leave as a result.


Your career is incredibly important – it is your livelihood. If your addiction costs you a career you could end up losing so much more. Don’t let your addiction ruin you.











Struggling with Addiction in Your Corporate Level Job? Here’s how to find help.

Addiction knows no one specific target – it can affect anyone. You don’t have to specifically be young or old, male or female, blue or white-collar worker. It can affect any one of us all the same.

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However, we all have different triggers. For some it is depression, for others it is anxiety, some use it as a stress relief, and others use it as a mental escape from thoughts of turmoil and/or abuse they have previously experienced. But, whatever the trigger might be the addiction is still real.

Depending on your situation though, it can be difficult to request help. There are several avenues of help for those suffering from addiction but it boils down to asking for help and figuring out what works best for you. For those in upper-level positions, or those working in a corporate job, it can be hard to ask for help. You fear judgment, rejection and potential loss of your job and several other benefits.

But, as someone in a big company, you might be missing out on several options offered for help. If you are struggling with addiction in your corporate level job and aren’t sure how to find help, here are a few tips:

Ask your boss.

Speak to them in confidentiality and ask if they have access to resources they can offer you for help. It might be as simple as a few mental health days they can allow you to take off or they might be able to get you with a therapist whose expenses will be covered by the company.

Ask your family for help.

Your spouse and your family know you better than most people. Ask them to help you find help. You can talk to them confidentially and they might have some better insight as to who they think could offer you the best help.

Do your research.

As a corporate level employee, you probably spend most of your time on the computer anyways. It is no mystery that a quick Google search will pull up the answer to most of your questions. Try searching for treatment facilities in your area and then begin speaking with them. Start your research on the internet and continue it with the actual facility.


The biggest mistake you can make is not seeking help from those around you. There are plenty of people who would be willing to help you if given the chance.


3 Simple Steps on How to Manage Rehab and A Full-Time Career

Once you have acknowledged that you have a problem, then you acknowledge that you would like to fix it.

Next, after deciding you want to make a change, typically the next step is addiction rehabilitation. But, if you are of the working population and have managed to uphold your full-time career while struggling with addiction, you are probably wondering how that will be possible.

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While not all addiction rehab facilities are an in-house treatment only, it can still be hard to manage work and treatment as those are probably not the only activities you already have on your to-do list. However, it is vital to your well-being that you make the choice to put rehab at the top of your priority list and learn how to manage it in combination with work.

In fact, the consistent schedule and constant distraction provided by work can actually benefit you during your recovery. By having a certain time you have to be at work, and a certain time you have to stay until you are typically giving yourself about a guaranteed 8 hours that you will be sober.

Once you incorporate rehab into your schedule, you are taking away even more time that is usually available for your addiction activities to creep in.

Step 1

The first step is to understand your rights as an employee. You need to know how many sick or mental health days you are allowed to take if the company offers any kind of supplemental treatment plan, and more.

Start by talking things over with your boss. Let them know that you have been struggling – chances are they have already noticed changes – and then let them know that you will be seeking help.

This makes them aware up front in case your treatment ever interferes with work’s scheduling. This also lets them know that you are just as focused on something outside of work so they won’t mistake your distraction for laziness.

End the conversation with asking your boss for confidentiality.

Step 2

Focus on your success. Work, work, work and do the best you can in rehab. Keep encouraging post-its on your desk. Make a tight work schedule to ensure you are able to leave on time each day.

Do whatever it is that you need to do to stick with your plan.


Step 3

Once you have started and are nearing the end of rehab, find ways to keep up the good work. Manage your stress levels at work and find an accountability partner. Keep up with a consistent work schedule that allows you to be productive while still managing your hours.

It is all about balance.



A Few Tips for Overcoming Addiction as an Executive

As someone in charge, you might find yourself more susceptible to addiction. The added stress and anxiety of being in a higher position can be excessive – and it can affect you both mentally and physically.

Oftentimes, executives or others high up in a professional position can find themselves struggling with addiction. It can begin as a pastime at high-end parties or even just for a release as a way to escape the struggles and stress from the day.

But, rarely will those in a higher up position seek help. It can be hard to come to terms with your addiction and more importantly, you fear that you could lose your position if you seek help.

Drug abuse and addiction can be the result of something called burnout. Burnout is simply when you get burnt out – you have been worked past your limit, you are extremely tired and stressed, and you no longer take time for yourself. This leads to an overall exhaustion, lack of proper functioning, and leaves you dreading work.

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A few tips for overcoming your addiction as an executive is to:

Manage your stress level.

Everyone needs a break sometimes – even as an executive, it is okay to take a sick day or a vacation. Sometimes, you just need to take a mental health day and rejuvenate from the stress of work and life.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, make an effort to find non-work-related activities. Search for pastimes that are relaxing and will get your mind off of things. This also begins with cutting back on overtime – it can be hard to find time for yourself when you spend all of your time at work.

Make a schedule for yourself that allows you to be as productive as you can possibly be during your normal allotted hours at work, then once the clock reaches your designated leaving time, it is time to head out for the day.


Designate tasks.

Sometimes as an executive you can feel like designating tasks is asking for help – while similar, it is not the same. You simply cannot do everything on your own. It is vital to your business, your team, and your personal mental health that you designate tasks. That is what your team is there for, after all.

Take a breather.

You can’t always take a vacation, and while sometimes it is much needed and does help, the stress can easily return once you get back to work.

It is important that you continue to take that time of relaxation though. Even if it is just making an effort to not come in on the weekends, or just to eat lunch outside of the office so that you get out of the work environment for an hour.

The Secret Life of an Addict: How to Explain Alcoholism to Your Boss

Drug and alcohol addiction is an illness that you can only keep brushed under the rug for so long…

Sooner or later, you will find the addiction you struggle with in secret beginning to surface in your life. It might begin to surface at home and your family can detect it, it might begin to surface around your friends, or it might even begin to surface at work as you constantly come in late or miss work.

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While at first, it might seem like the best idea to hide your problem, that is, in fact, the worst possible thing you can do. Addiction recovery is not an easy process and definitely is not a route that can be foregone alone.

Telling your family about your addiction can be hard, but telling your boss can almost be even harder. You might fear that your livelihood is in jeopardy. However, you are putting it in the most jeopardy by just participating in the addictive activity in the first place. It is a smarter choice to address the issue with your boss up front to avoid future conflict or turmoil.

In fact, your boss might be able to offer you some additional help and advice that could be greatly beneficial to your recovery. Sometimes, companies also offer special solutions and counseling services for addiction made possible through the company’s budget.

Tips for Talking to Your Boss

The Basics

When bringing up the topic of your addiction to your boss, do so in private. Most likely, they have already noticed changes in you and will assume that your discussion will be relative to those changes they have begun to notice. Typically, you will be offered some sort of help and/or time off to aid in your recovery.

However, you should also be aware of your rights and responsibilities as an employee prior to talking to your boss.

They Don’t Need to Know It All

While they are your boss and you do want them to have an adequate understanding of your illness, they do not need to know every nook and cranny of your life – such as what you might tell your spouse about your addiction.

Furthermore, it is important that you stick to what they need to know. You do not want to hinder their impression of you, but you do want to give them an adequate understanding so they can help you get the help you need.


Tread lightly, but remember, they are also there to help you.