Professionals with drug and alcohol problems

Drug & alcohol problems at work

Burnout, stress and addiction

What is executive burnout?

Many executives thrive on stress and adrenaline in their professional lives, however stress affects people in different ways and for some the strain causes mental and physical exhaustion - known as burnout. Executive professionals with perfectionist and controlling tendencies who work in stressful business environments are more likely to be affected by burnout.

What are the symptoms & effects of burnout?

  • Impatience and irritability at work;
  • Insomnia and 'racing brain' at night;
  • Lack of energy at work;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Depression or anxiety in the business environment;
  • Overeating or undereating;
  • Minor physical problems such as headaches, regular colds, indigestion;
  • Reliance on drugs or alcohol to get through the day.

Self-medication with alcohol or drugs

Some professionals who experience stress and burnout begin to self-medicate to help the symptoms. They may use drugs such as cocaine to enhance their performance and alertness or alcohol at night to relax and sleep or benzodiazepines to calm their anxiety. 

Cocaine

Cocaine use is already popular yet still rising among professionals in financial centres such as the City of London. Cocaine is a stimulant that temporarily increases mental alertness and energy, but it is a highly addictive drug and increased amounts are needed to achieve the desired results. Long term cocaine abuse leads to decreased concentration, decreased memory and affects judgement and decision-making abilities.

"Many cocaine users are 'functioning addicts' for 10 years or more. But excessive use of cocaine can lead to dysfunctional judgment, risky decision-making and reckless gambling with company assets." - Peter McCann, Chairman of Castle Craig Hospital.

Alcohol

Alcohol is often used by professionals after work to unwind and relax with colleagues or during lunch meetings with clients. A person can become reliant on increasing amounts of alcohol to relax and help deal with social and business situations. This may lead to drinking during lunch or before meetings and eventually can lead to addiction.

Stress and addiction rehab

When stress leads to dependence on alcohol or drugs it is important that senior management find a suitable rehab treatment programme as soon as possible. Early detection and intensive rehab treatment will rescue the investment made in a highly trained and skilled employee and save companies money in the long-run.

Rehab for Executives with Stress

The Executive Rehab Guide is published by Castle Craig Hospital. The medical and therapeutic team at Castle Craig has the expertise of treating not only alcohol, drug and gambling addictions, but other co-occuring disorders such as burnout, stress, anxiety and depression. Castle Craig is based near Edinburgh in 50 acres of private parkland enabling us to guarantee a completely confidential and private environment.

More Information

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have published a detailed online guide for coping with work-related stress.