A new research revealed that American lawyers have drinking problems.
It was estimated that one in three lawyers in the United States have serious alcohol problems. The American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conducted a study which showed that American lawyers consume large amounts of alcoholic beverages.
According to the analysis, 25 percent of lawyers suffer from depression and 19 percent experience symptoms of anxiety. Moreover, in the first 10 years of practicing their profession, younger attorneys experienced these kind of problems at a very high level.
Previous studies have demonstrated that drinking problems increased as individuals spent more time in the legal profession. For the present research, scientists surveyed almost 12,000 American lawyers from 19 states. Participants were questioned about the amount of alcohol they use and if they had any mental issues.
The results showed that 35 percent of lawyers have serious drinking problems. What’s more, lawyers under 30 years had the highest rate of alcohol use. This means that younger practitioners struggle more to handle work stress than senior lawyers.
Usually, young lawyers have to work harder in order to achieve success in a highly competitive field. Often, younger practitioners face student debt and the difficulty of getting a job in the law field which puts them under massive stress.
Paulette Brown, the head of the American Bar Association declared that:
“the new research demonstrates how the pressures felt by many lawyers manifest in health risks”.
Moreover, 28 percent of American lawyers say they experience depression symptoms, 19 percent have anxiety issues and 23 percent suffer from stress. Also, experts claim that drinking problems have a higher rate among male lawyers (25.1 percent).
With women in the legal profession the rate is smaller, around 15.5 percent. Patrick Krill, lead author of the study, stated that American lawyers have a tendency to pay more attention to their professional success rather than their health or personal well being.
In addition, he added that law schools train lawyers to make huge efforts, be tough with their competition without showing signs of weakness. Issues like depression, anxiety and stress are also related with their work environment.
The fact that American lawyers have drinking problems may be seen as a risk in the legal profession because it affects lawyers and other citizens as well. Scientists concluded that the new study offered a new perspective towards American lawyers’ problems.
They added that the findings serve as a guide for future programs destined to address the drinking problems as well as mental health risks of lawyers. Further information on the topic is found in the February issue of the The Journal of Addiction Medicine.
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