Addiction in the hospitality industry is very common. A 2015 study published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that people working in accommodations and food services have the third highest rate of substance abuse of any profession, preceded only by people working in mining and construction. Roughly one out of every five hotel employees admitted using illicit drugs regularly, and 19.1 percent of all hospitality industry workers reported using illicit drugs at least once a month. Management in this industry also has high rates of substance abuse; 12.1 percent of hospitality managers admitted to illicit drug use.
Alcohol abuse is also extremely prevalent among hospitality workers. A 2008 study conducted by the George Washington University Medical Center states that 15 percent of all employees in the hospitality industry suffer from serious alcohol abuse issues. Alcohol abuse in the workplace compromises productivity, leads to higher healthcare costs, increases absenteeism and costs U.S. employers billions of dollars annually. The SAMHSA report states that 1 out of every 10 hospitality workers engages in heavy drinking patterns, consuming five or more alcoholic beverages at least five times in a one month time period.
Why are levels of substance abuse so high in this specific industry? The reasons why someone begins abusing a chemical substance vary significantly on a person-to-person basis. However, high stress levels in this particular industry likely contribute to increased addiction rates. If you have ever worked in the hospitality industry you understand firsthand how grueling and thankless these occupations can be. The good news is that recovery is possible for everyone. Regardless of how it might feel, you are never stuck in one career. As soon as you make the decision to get sober you will be amazed at how many doors open for you.