Friday, December 2, 2022

Addiction In Executives And High Earning Professionals: 6 things To Know

Executives and high-earning professionals are admirable and inspiring people that several aspire to be. While some can manage the demands that the work entails, others struggle. This is because they are under immense performance pressure and fatigue—a negative consequence that many may not be aware of. Some of these factors that come with their status and positions are that they may resort to alcohol, drugs, and gambling to cope with daily stress.

Here are six things to know about addiction in executives and high-earning professionals.

1. Professional Help Is Recommended

When it comes to addiction, professional help is recommended to assist with dealing with the problem, going through the process, and possible withdrawal symptoms. Executives and high-earning professionals are advised to enroll in a rehabilitation center and seek professional help. Licensed therapists are equipped to navigate the difficulties of addictions and the factors leading to them through talk therapy.

Talk therapy is when trained counselors guide conversations with clients regarding their struggles with addiction. It’s a non-judgment zone where clients can discuss the pressures of their jobs and businesses. Moreover, they can articulate the societal expectations of holding such positions and responsibilities such as financial provision, which may also take a toll on them.

Through discussion, the executives and high-earning professionals might learn how to understand their mental and emotional state of influencing their responses to drugs, alcohol, and gambling. They may learn how to identify triggers that lead to the constant need for a temporary high, and such skills require professional help, which can be found at

2. Change In Environment Helps

When facing addiction, a change in environment helps avoid the substances. For example, engaging with nature through walking or hiking can help to release the feel-good hormone called dopamine. When people reach for alcohol, drugs, or gambling, they seek to feel better than they do in their natural state or numb any pain they may be feeling.

Attending a rehab facility rooted in natural surroundings is a positive change in the environment. Not only do you physically remove yourself from the daily surroundings, but you get to enjoy the serenity of nature and the counsel of professionals.

3. A Holistic Approach Is Better

A holistic approach to treating addiction includes physical movement and mental- and emotional-based activities. Engaging with nature, as mentioned prior, may help to clear the mind which is constantly analyzing and strategizing as an executive or high-earning professional in the workplace. Other activities such as yoga and meditation also help regulate breathing patterns and may clear toxic thought patterns that may have formed over time in various workspaces.

This approach is considered holistic because it doesn’t solely rely on tackling addiction by removing the substances and treating depression and anxiety through medication. The holistic strategy aims to help clients understand and appreciate their mind, body, and soul while overcoming addiction. Through holistic healing, one can develop life coping strategies and skills which they can apply having overcome addiction.

4. Relapses Are Possible

A relapse is when a person manages to overcome an addiction and remains clean for a period. After some time, they may face triggers or find themselves in a stressful work situation where the response is to go back to alcohol, drugs, or gambling.

The other trigger for relapses is the withdrawal process. The withdrawal process is when the body reacts to the sudden lack of alcohol or drugs in the system. People respond differently to the withdrawal process. Some may start to shake physically or hallucinate, while others experience painful hunger and thirst symptoms. To avoid feeling the physical, emotional, and mental pain that may come with withdrawal, some decide to return to the substances as they enjoy the temporary high these provide.

It’s therefore essential to have a strong support system when going through the process of withdrawing from substances. Strong support systems include therapists, trusted friends, and family to encourage you to apply other positive habits instead.

5. Work Dynamics Might Not Change, But Your Response Can

Being in leadership or high-earning position isn’t a walk in the park. The reality is that you may attend a rehab facility and enjoy the lessons, overcoming skills, and the relationships you may form there. However, once you go back to work, the dynamics that get you stressed, depressed, or anxious might not change and worsen.

The critical aspect to remember is that although the environment and expectations may not immediately change, your response to it can. Having attended rehab, you can apply the skills imparted, such as exercise and breathwork. You may find that you gracefully navigate difficult situations.

6. You Can Reconsider Your Career Path

Indeed, being in an executive or high-earning position naturally comes with stressful expectations. However, attending rehab might not suffice in some cases as the environment has to change completely. For example, if your work environment includes a rich culture of drinking and secret normalcy of drugs, returning will only place you in a compromising position.

You may have learned positive coping strategies in rehab. Still, you may relapse once surrounded by work colleagues who don’t understand your journey and how the environment isn’t conducive for you.

Reconsidering your career path doesn’t mean that you quit working entirely, as you need to survive. It may mean changing work offices and sports teams or moving to another city where these dynamics aren’t as heightened as your current work environment.

When you return to the workplace, try to make an objective analysis and decide whether you can continue positively while applying the learned coping strategies. If so, then you can continue on your path of recovery.


The performance pressure and societal expectations on executives and high-earning professionals may lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. One of these symptoms results is depending on substances to feel better. Hence, it’s best to seek professional help and enroll in a rehabilitation center to fight addictions and to allow these professionals to walk the path with you.


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