Alcoholism And Depression: It's Incredibly Common In This Career Path

First Posted: Feb 08, 2016 11:14 PM EST

A new report from the American Society of Addiction Medicine found that licensed attorneys drink potentially harmful amounts of alcohol and this problem seems to be particularly pronounced among those in 30 and under in the field. 

The information is based off data from close to 13,000 licensed legal practitioners, revealing that drinking was a problem among nearly 20 percent of lawyers surveyed; it was three times higher than prevalence among the general American public, according to The Washington Post.

"Attorneys experience problematic drinking that is hazardous, harmful, or otherwise consistent with alcohol use disorders at a higher rate than other professional populations," the study's authors wrote. 

Researchers believe the stress of the work culture may increase the risk of overconsumption of alcohol for some.  

"Any way you look at it, this data is very alarming and paints the picture of an unsustainable professional culture that's harming too many people," said co-author Patrick R. Krill. "Attorney impairment poses risks to the struggling individuals themselves and to our communities, government, economy and society. The stakes are too high for inaction."

The research also showed that 28 percent of the lawyers surveyed reported experiencing depression--a higher amount than the average general public. And though this profession allows for access to abuse programs, the study authors note that many may not seek out help. 

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