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Financial Crisis Has Led to Increase in use of Marijuana and Prescription Pill Abuse

While it appears Wall Street is using less cocaine, that’s not a good indication for the overall health of this segment’s workers. In fact, with the economic crisis, the use of marijuana and prescription pills has increased, as noted in a review of drug-test data. Cocaine was revealed in 7% of failed drug tests last year. This is an improvement from the previous year’s 16%. These drug screens were performed on about 5,900 employees of 270 different financial companies. On the other hand, marijuana identification in the failed testing between 2007 and 2009 increased 16%. In 2009, 80% of the failed drug screenings revealed marijuana use.

Hard drugs like cocaine seem to be going out of style on Wall Street. Whether it is due to the fact that these drugs have become less socially acceptable in comparison to drugs such as marijuana, which is viewed as “less hard”, or that the industry itself is doing a better job of choosing employees with clean backgrounds through drug tests, the numbers show the drugs of choice are shifting. It may surprise some; even though the finance industry seems to have more pressure and therefore increased susceptibility to drug abuse, when compared to the overall population, drug use is actually less frequent. The 2% of Wall Street employees who failed drug tests last year was less than the 3.6% of the rest of the working world. Some sectors show even more drug use, such as retail, which failed 4.1% of drug screenings.

Understanding which industry sectors are most affected by drug abuse is challenging due to the randomized testing procedures varying from industry to industry and company to company. While some companies only drug test new hires, others drug test employees randomly. Many in the finance sector believe the numbers revealed are not true indicators of the actual problem financial professionals are facing. With the added pressures of the poor economy, potential job loss, and overall less income, drug use is undoubtedly on the rise. Unfortunately, we may never find just how widespread the problem is. As Wall Street continues to turn to illicit drugs and prescription drug abuse, such as Oxycodone and Percocet, drug rehab for professionals who work in New York becomes ever-more important. Executive alcohol rehab treatment programs are tailored to the unique challenges you face as a professional. Understanding these pressures is vital to starting down your path to life-long recovery. (Photo via)

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