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.