When it comes to substance abuse many people have some preconceived notions about who engages in this type of behavior. You may think of a teenage kid or someone who has a menial job, but few suspect their doctor, nurse, lawyer, or pilot. Unfortunately the rate of substance abuse among professional individuals is even higher than what is normally found in the general public. Executives and those who have high stress positions tend to use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with this stress. That frequently leads to dependency and then addiction. These individuals have special requirements and additional needs that may act as treatment obstacles as well. In some cases it may not be possible for them to sever all contact with the outside world for a month or more while getting help. The stigma attached to substance abuse may also make them hesitant to admit that there is a problem in the first place.
Consider whether you would want to be on a plane or in an operating room with a professional who is impaired in some way by drugs or alcohol. Your life could depend on this professional, so you want to hope for the best. Sometimes these professionals must undergo substance abuse screening but this is not always the case. Attorneys, accountants, and executives who own their own business may not have to report to anyone in order to keep their positions. If the public suspected an addiction then the professional reputation of the company and the individual would suffer harm. In these situations complete privacy and confidentiality must be observed for help to be sought.