As noted often, the legal profession has perhaps a more complex relationship with alcohol than the average line of work. A recent journey, and some subsequent reading, prompted me to wonder about the flip side of the coin—our profession’s relationship with sobriety.
To refresh, the 2016 Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation/ABA study of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety of over 12,000 licensed and employed lawyers and judges revealed some startling facts. To begin, over 23 percent of respondents believed their use of alcohol (or substances) was a problem at some point during their lives. This statistic does not include lawyers who are known to enjoy an adult beverage (or several) on occasion, but who did not self-identify as belonging to the 23 percent who reported alcohol as a “problem” at some point. (The author did not participate in the survey.)
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