Professions with High Rates of Alcohol and Drug Use

Substance Use Disorder and Occupation

According to a study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago and the National Safety Council, certain professions have a higher rate of substance use disorder than others. Their findings show that “construction, mining, and service occupations” have high rates of drug and alcohol use disorders.

The NORC study shows that the occupations with the highest rates of substance use disorders are:

  • Construction trades and extraction workers (19%)
  • Service occupations (15.6%)
  • Transportation and material moving workers (13.9%)
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair workers (13.5%)
  • Sales Occupations (13%)

Their analysis also indicates that employees working in professional occupations and education, health, and related occupations have some of the lowest rates of substance use disorders. 

Despite these findings, the NORC and NSC remind readers that “Addiction is an issue in every U.S. workforce.” Even in professions with relatively low rates of substance use disorders, there are still individuals suffering from addiction. 

As many as 1 out of every 11 workers in the U.S. had a substance use disorder within the past year. Alcohol use disorders are far more prevalent than drug use disorders accounting for over 3/4 of the cases. 

You can read the full NORC and NSC study here, “Substance Use Disorders by Occupation.”

It is important to know that there are treatment options available if you do suffer from a substance use disorder. Substance use and addiction can affect your relationships, job performance, and nearly every aspect of your life. It is essential to seek treatment early and continue treatment until released by a medical professional.