A recent study has determined that more than 33% of the lawyers who practice in the USA have substance abuse struggles, and more than 1 in 4 of these lawyers also deal with depression according to the National law Journal. The study researchers performed a survey which included around 13,000 lawyers, and this is one of the biggest and most comprehensive studies that has been performed to date. The study determined that lawyers deal with higher rates of substance abuse and even some other mental health disorders including depression at a rate that is higher than what is seen in the general population. The study found that 36% of attorneys in the USA are considered problem drinkers based on how much and how often they drink, while only 15% of medical professionals met the criteria for this condition.
The study title is The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, and it will be published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine February edition. One co-author on the study of lawyers and substance abuse. Patrick Krill, also operates a program offering substance abuse treatment for judges and attorneys who need help. Krill explained “Any way you look at it, this data is very alarming. It paints the picture of an unsustainable professional culture that’s harming too many people.” The study results showed that almost 29% of attorneys who were in their initial 10 years of practice were problem drinkers, while only 21% met this classification when they practiced between 11 and 20 years. For lawyers under the age of 30 over 32% had a substance abuse problem with alcohol, for those between 31 and 40 years old 26% were considered problem drinkers.