If you lament the days you loved your job and are experiencing significant stress levels, working long hours, and feeling burned out, you’re not alone. Employers will let you work as hard as you can for as long as you can stand it. Then, they will add more work and offer no support. Asking for help is out of the question because if you don’t want to fulfill your responsibilities, someone else will. The fact is that job burnout and substance abuse are linked. According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of United States workers are looking for a new job to start anew. The media has labeled this trend “the Great Resignation.”
What is Job Burnout?
Mental and physical exhaustion from extreme work demands and high-stress levels are causing high percentages of job burnout. Feeling too wound up to relax, many workers experiencing burnout reach for drugs or alcohol to loosen up and get some relief. Unfortunately, job burnout and substance abuse have become best friends. Burnout feeds the need for alcohol or drugs, and the demand seems more significant daily. The World Health Organization describes burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Causes of Job Burnout
Stress has become a keyword associated with employment. Employers want to utilize the least amount of workers possible to increase their bottom lines. Lower salaries, fear of being replaced, or losing your job to an uncontrollable factor cause constant stress and worry. When stress is chronic and relentless, burnout and substance abuse begin to tie in as “relief mode.”
The link between burnout and substance abuse can be partly due to the following factors:
- Peer pressure with co-Workers. Co-workers will relieve their stress and angst over their workday, and they coax you into going along. After work, social life can be a great contributor to following the crowd to stay connected, and one drink turns into three or four. Unfortunately, this habit connects burnout and substance abuse in high percentages.
- Lack of healthy and positive coping skills. When there is no exercise routine in the schedule or no hobby to look forward to, drinking or using drugs is easy to fall into.
- High-stress jobs. First responders, management, food service, construction, and even real estate workers have extremely high-stress levels. Those in these professions are more prone to substance abuse.
- Low-paying jobs. Working for nothing stresses people more than ever. Struggling to pay bills, save money and take care of a family can cause depression and anxiety. In addition, a lack of anger management skills can invite substance misuse to become habitual.
Symptoms of Job Burnout
Chronic stress syndrome or job burnout can cause physical and mental illness. You are not alone in the struggle. Without healthy coping mechanisms, burnout and substance abuse quite often appear in significant numbers. The following symptoms of job burnout can lead to substance abuse:
- Missing more work than normal
- Angry outbursts
- Panic attacks and high anxiety
- Feelings of guilt and sadness
- Feeling as though you have zero energy
- Complete exhaustion
- Negative feelings about your job and boss
- Lack of drive or concern about fulfilling responsibilities at work
Does Job Burnout Lead to Substance Abuse?
Job burnout and substance abuse are more connected than thought by most. For example, the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that 24% of employees admitted to drinking during the workday. Another alarming statistic is that more than 20% of employees and managers felt unsafe due to a co-worker’s substance abuse.
Self-destructive behaviors are often unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as reaching for a drink or drug to feel better. In the US, drinking alcohol is socially acceptable. Trying to relieve such intense pressure is understandable. With the ease of access to buying alcohol, job burnout and substance abuse are a predictable coupling.
Burnout and Stimulants Abuse
Unbelievably, among the 14.8 million Americans who consume illegal drugs, 70% are employed either full-time or part-time. Job demands can cause exhaustion, and employees can easily reach out for a few pills to increase energy, focus, and concentration. Burnout and substance abuse are critical factors in addiction within the workforce. Stimulants fit the bill as the much-needed punch to get through a hard day.
Burnout and Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol affects all people. Becoming an alcoholic is very easy, mainly when overwhelming job burnout transpires. Burnout and substance abuse can emerge on the horizon for those just existing, with work pressures always present. Those waking up each day to move forward in zombie mode all day, burned out, look to that first drink to find some relief. Alcoholism breeds through genetic, environmental, and hereditary factors. Reaching out for help is difficult.
Find Help for Substance Abuse Due to Job Burnout in Tennessee
Detox West Tennessee offers detox and therapies to meet your needs. Contact us by phone or email to receive exact and direct answers to your questions concerning your alcohol or drug abuse. Deciding to become sober is the most significant step; we can work with you and your support system to put you on the road to recovery. Contact us today and find relief from your illness.