Understanding Drug Abuse In The C-Suite
Most executives have very demanding work schedules and job duties in general. These individuals are usually responsible for the most important decisions their companies make. Their day-to-day actions directly and indirectly affect potentially thousands of employees, partners, clients, and customers. Any executive position can entail an extreme degree of stress, and some executives may start using drugs to cope with their jobs or to unwind after stressful days in the C-suite.
High-Functioning Substance Abuse
High-functioning substance abuse is a condition in which the individual has a substance abuse problem but still manages to maintain the appearance of a normal, well-adjusted life. In many of these cases the individuals with high-functioning addictions do not realize the precariousness of their situations until their habits reach a tipping point. Some develop addictions unknowingly. For example, an executive struggling with depression, anxiety, or other psychological distress may start taking prescription sedatives or antidepressants with a legitimate prescription but develop a dependency.
Executives also usually make lots of money doing their jobs and therefore have more disposable income than the average person. This can enable them to procure drugs with relative ease and pay for expensive prescriptions without a second thought. One of the most dangerous aspects of prescription drugs is the misconception that these medications are perfectly safe since doctors prescribe them. The reality is that a prescription is only truly safe if the patient actually needs the prescription for a diagnosed medical issue and uses the prescription responsibly.
Any high-functioning substance abuse issue can carry on for many months or even years before it reaches a critical level. However, the issue of tolerance almost always arises and spurs an addiction along faster. As an individual takes a drug more and more, his or her body develops a tolerance for the drug’s effects. This in turn causes the individual to require more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. Eventually, the individual will start abusing the drug at dangerous levels, and this is when addiction starts to deteriorate other aspects of the person’s life like his or her personal relationships, family ties, and career.
The Stigma Of Addiction And Rehab
One of the most prevalent obstacles facing people who need help for substance abuse disorders is the overwhelmingly negative perception of addiction in the U.S. Entering rehab could be seen as a sign of weakness or failure, but the reality is that many people develop addictions unknowingly or simply fall into bad habits due to stress and the pressures of work and personal life. When executives from large companies develop substance abuse issues it can be tremendously difficult for them to acknowledge these problems and admit the need for help. Additionally, many executives may be unwilling to enter typical rehab centers and instead want something more upscale and luxurious if they are going to spend any time in an inpatient facility.