Answering the Call: Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession
Duration: 63 minutes
In a recent ABA survey, 13% of attorneys admitted to drinking six or more alcoholic beverages every day, and estimates are that up to 30% of attorneys have a substance abuse problem. Those figures are two to three times the national average. In this course, Daniel Gershburg examines the characteristics of the legal profession that make attorneys so much more susceptible to substance abuse. Mr. Gershburg will also review the wildly disproportionate disciplinary records.
Joining Mr. Gershburg is Link Christin, Director of the Hazelden Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program. A licensed addiction specialist and attorney in recovery, Link describes how attorneys are able to disguise their addictions for so much longer than the general population. Mr. Christin provides a blueprint for a change in the culture of the legal profession; he argues that the legal profession must create a “culture of wellness” to address this serious and often fatal disease. Mr. Christin advocates preparing a plan for your firm to address substance abuse issues proactively, preparing for the inevitable day that substance abuse affects your practice—whether through the addiction of another member of your firm or that of opposing counsel. Without such a change, these numbers, he warns, will only continue to raise.
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