Which Professions are More Likely to Have Employees that Engage in Substance Use?

When looking at substance use disorders (SUDs), you look at the person who is going through this situation and wonder what happened to them and how everything started. Well, most of those who engage in substance use are actually working professionals. It is important to consider if employment is a prevalent culprit of substance use and why.

Food Service Industry

Workers in the food service industry fall at the top of the list for professions that are most likely to have employees who engage in substance use or who have a SUD. When employees are younger, they may engage in substance use simply to fit in or because they think it will help them to be a part of the team and have friends. However, many young people don’t yet realize that employees are simply environment acquaintances and that the relationships forged through working in the same place are not usually long-lasting or beneficial, especially at their first job. For those employees who are adults, their situation looks very different. If you ask an older adult why the ended up working in the food industry, especially at fast food locations, unless they have a passion for food, are a franchise owner, or obtained a management position, most of them did not envision working that type of job at that point in their life. Many people had bigger hopes and dreams for themselves and maybe life just didn’t work out the way they anticipated. Having to work long hours, usually overtime, for minimum wage can be quite taxing on a person. Some of these employees may even feel guilt or shame because of the position that they are in, which to them, is a valid reason to engage in substance use as a means of escaping their reality.

Management Positions

Those employees who are in management positions or who have a lot of responsibilities at work such as those in positions involving information technology can have the tendency to engage in substance use for a number of reasons. When working on large projects, they may have to stay at the office late or take their work home with them in order to complete it, which can cause them to work longer than normal hours. In these situations, they may find themselves needing a boost to stay awake and be productive, which is how they start using substances. Employees in this position may also feel overwhelmed and stressed about brokering large deals, meeting with important clients, or creating presentations to give to higher-ups within the company they work for. In these cases, they may use a substance in order to help calm their nerves and relax while they get their work done. While it may be a one time or occasional occurrence, it can easily develop to the point of dependence which is one way that SUDs come to life.

Entertainment Industry

Substance use in the entertainment industry is fairly self-explanatory. Many people in the spotlight have a lot of money and the ability, time, and freedom to do whatever they want. For these people, especially newcomers, partying can be very enticing and the substances that go along with the parties are not in short supply. What is unfortunate about those in the entertainment industry is that a good time can often turn into escaping feelings. Entertainers of all kinds have noted feeling alone or being under too much pressure, which are reasons for their prolonged substance use. It is hard to imagine someone feeling like this in their position, but they are people too and they are not exempt from mental health issues or emotions just like everyone else. The worst part about substance use or SUDs in the entertainment industry is that because there are so many options available in such large quantities, many people have prematurely passed away due to substance use. It was just an accident, but it cost them their lives, and that has a tendency to make you think about your own life.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may have started using substances as a means to alleviate work stress and it simply went too far. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

Understanding Triggers

As defined by Fay Dennis in her research, triggers are defined as anything that contributes to the onset of cravings for a substance. These can be anything from places, memories, people, situations, spaces, or physical objects. Triggers have been cited as the most pervasive facet of substance use disorders (SUDs). Research has found triggers to be the focal point in both neurological and psychological understandings of addiction, as outlined in Dennis’ work. Interestingly, she notes that the concept of triggers can be credited to the work of Ivan Pavlov and his famous experiment Pavlov’s Dogs, within the concept of classical conditioning. In this case, there is a connection that is learned over time, meaning that when a trigger is experienced, a physical need for a substance is manifested. Being able to understand what triggers are and how to deal with them is pertinent to being able to overcome substance use issues. Learning to recognize triggers and how to handle them can lead to the ability to re-train the brain to reform connections between triggers and physiological and psychological need for substances, which is the ultimate goal, changing your daily life and outlook in order to better handle life and life’s situations.

How to Recognize Coming into Contact with a Trigger

If you are asked what your triggers are, more than likely they were brought about through difficulties or traumas during childhood development. Margaret Paul, PhD., noted that from her work, she found that many issues occur during childhood that were not able to be dealt with at that point, meaning that they are left unresolved and more likely to manifest themselves in adulthood. Triggers can often be brought to life out of feelings such as shame, anxiety, guilt, and depression. The reason that these feelings are prevalent is that they were experienced within childhood and adolescence, however, they were not effectively managed, so they remain strong but hidden within the subconscious until they are brought to life by a trigger. While there may be many triggers such a place where something bad happened, a color of an outfit, something not working right, or an experience such as riding in the car; you name it, everyone’s triggers look different, but some of them are the same. The triggers that tend to be the most prevalent are found in the form of other people.

Dr. Paul outlined these most common triggers that tend to have a negative impact on any given individual:

Someone either inadvertently or blatantly ignores you.

Having someone either threaten to leave you or leave you (most common in relationships).
Getting a look from someone that comes off as rude or judgmental.

Being around someone who comes off as either controlling or too needy (whether emotionally or sexually).
Not feeling as though someone is happy to see you or feeling as though someone doesn’t have enough time or makes enough time for you.

Someone placing blame on you for something happening or going wrong, whether it is with them personally or within a situation.

Having feelings of being helpless in certain situations.

When you sit down and really soul-search and figure out what it is that bothers you on a deep level, you may find that your triggers fit well within this list. If your trigger is not other people, then it may be helpful to have someone to help you work through things, such as a therapist, who can help you to explore and open up your mind to further find possibilities as to what is troublesome for you.

How to Avoid or Handle Triggers

Once you’ve been able to identify your triggers, no matter what they are or how many of them you may have, the next important step is to find ways to either avoid them altogether or find coping mechanisms to help you handle them when they arise. Working with other people who have gone through similar experiences may be helpful to find ways of handling triggers that you may not have previously thought of. Using support groups, sponsors, or therapists to talk to when you feel as though you’ve experienced a trigger can be a great tool as well. If there are certain people in your past that have been a trigger for quite some time, having a conversation with them and working towards forgiveness can release the hold that they seem to have over you and how you feel. If you want to take this step with a trusted friend by your side, having someone physically present with you may make these interactions easier. Additionally, if you find that there is no positive resolution that is possible between you and the person, then you may consider cutting ties with that person and filling your circle with those people who are positive influences. If your triggers are not other people, then you can utilize these methods as well, just apply them to objects or places. Sometimes, it may be necessary to completely change your environment in order to grow, but that is a decision that is completely up to you and what will help you to be the most successful.

Experiencing substance use issues can be harder to overcome when you’re unaware of your triggers and how to handle them. When the time comes that you decide that you are ready to leave substance use behind and move on to better things is the perfect time to do so. You are probably aware that your whole life will change, but in many cases, change is for the better. Despite having reservations and fears about what the future will look like for yourself, know that it can only get better from here. For more information, call us at (805)719-7954.

Why Do We Need Recovery?

Some of us have lost everything. Literally everything. All we have is what is left of our health, along with this chronic illness called addiction. Some of us act a little sooner than others, but the one thing we all have in common is that our addiction is in control of our lives, not us. We could continue down the path we are on, and eventually, become just another statistic. But for some reason, we don’t. For some reason, we choose recovery. Why?

Someone Else

We have seen the television interventions, and maybe ours was not unlike those ones. It is often one or more loved ones who care about us and see destructive behaviors and give us the push toward recovery. For some of us, that is enough, but for others, we may not have long term success when we enter recovery because of someone else’s recommendation, no matter how loving it was intended. Still, it is a wake-up call and a catalyst and is always a good enough reason to reach for wellness.

To Save Our Relationships

Ultimatums are very powerful in our decision-making process. It might be a spouse or parent or someone else in our lives that put their foot down and tells us to get help or get out. While this seems like we would always want a loving relationship bad enough to do anything to save it, addiction can be more powerful than even family bonds or other bonds of the heart. But saving a relationship is a great reason for us to choose recovery.

To Save Our Lives

We have had our fun, and now we have health problems. Serious health problems. Maybe even potentially fatal health problems. Perhaps our doctors have told us to sober up or we will die. When faced with our own mortality, sometimes, that is enough to jolt us into action. Despite the power of addiction, there is always a little part of us that wants to live, wants to be healthy. And recovering our lives quite literally is a very important reason to seek treatment.

Because We Really Screwed Up

Addiction allows us to do things that we would never otherwise do. Ever. Perhaps our rock bottom involves criminal activity. Perhaps while drunk or high, we caused an accident or someone died because of our negligence. Maybe we lost our job, our home, our family, and we have nowhere else to go. While in active addiction, we really screwed up, and now we have been startled by our actions into reaching out to get the help we need so this never happens again.

We Want to Be Human Again

Some of us just get tired of being a slave to drugs or alcohol. We get tired of feeling nothing and then numbing the nothingness. Maybe we are tired of missing out on the lives of those we love because our addictions pull us away emotionally and/or physically. Perhaps we just miss feeling… feeling true love, feeling raw, emotional pain, feeling joy and feeling sadness. When we look in the mirror, we don’t even see ourselves anymore, just a vacant face that is tired of having to find that next drink or that next fix. We want to feel human again.

For Us

The best and most powerful reason is when we Recover Life for ourselves. Self-motivation is one of the best recipes for success, particularly when it comes to addiction recovery. We are tired of being motivated only by substances, we want to have our freedom back. We are tired of disappointing or hurting others in our lives, we want to have our credibility back. We are tired of feeling alone, even if we are surrounded by others. We remember that we used to do and be and enjoy so many different things, and we want that person back.

All of the Above

Perhaps our choice is made by a combination of the reasons listed above, or maybe every single one of them. Maybe we have waited until the addiction has impacted every single facet of our lives. There is no wrong reason to choose recovery. We each make the commitment when we are ready. We all have different motivations and different ways we experience addiction. What we do share in common is the will to live, the desire to improve our situations and break free of our addictions. That motivation will drive us to recovery. And the sooner we choose recovery, the more of our lives we have left to truly live again.

These reasons are just a few of the reasons that we recover. But the external reason we choose recovery is not as nearly as important as just simply making the decision and beginning our recovery journey. We really only have our addictions to lose, and everything else to gain in life. What is the reason that you will choose recovery? That choice is yours. To take your life back, call us today at (805) 719-7954.