Food Service Employees and Addiction

Food Service Employees and AddictionAddiction to alcohol, drugs or even behaviors typically results from a combination of factors. Many people have a genetic predisposition to addiction that puts them at increased risk of becoming addicted. A history of addiction in the family is a good indicator of a genetic predisposition. However, genetic predisposition usually does not cause addiction; rather, addiction typically occurs when a person who is at increased risk encounters other contributing factors.

Food Service Employment as a Contributing Factor to Addiction

Nearly any occupation can contribute to addiction in one way or another. One way that a person’s job can contribute to addiction is simply by causing the individual to associate with co-workers who use drugs. If you are employed in the food service industry, your co-workers may invite you out to a bar after work or to another’s home to drink beer. They may use marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth or other illicit substances and invite you to partake. They may abuse prescription painkillers or benzodiazepine sedatives. An environmental or situational proximity to drug use is a very common contributing factor to addiction, especially in a person with a genetic predisposition. You may start using drugs simply to have fun, party and be part of the crowd, only to find that your drug use soon becomes habitual and eventually evolves into full-blown addiction that takes over your life.

Stress is another common contributing factor to addiction. Your job in food service can be stressful in many ways, causing you to seek relief and escape through drug use or engage in distracting pursuits, such as gambling or surfing pornography online. Again, seeking escape through these counterproductive means can quickly get to be a habit and eventually can become an addiction.

Stress is often financially induced, which can definitely be the case for a food service worker. It is no secret that the pay in the food service industry is low, and food service workers often have a hard time making ends meet and covering their basic living expenses despite working very hard and for long hours.

On the job injury may also lead to addiction. Food service is not usually considered a high risk occupation, yet it is not without risk. Food service workers may be cut, burned or injured in machinery used for food preparation. Injuries are typically treated with opioid pain medications that can be highly addictive.

Avoiding Addiction

The best way to avoid addiction is to abstain from using drugs or engaging in behaviors that may become habitual. If your co-workers invite you to use drugs, politely decline. Do not make an issue out of it or cause a confrontation, simply say that you have something else to do. If you are stressed about your job or your financial situation, attempt to identify the source of your stress and deal with it in productive ways rather than retreating into drug use. If you are injured on the job, take your pain medication exactly as directed by your doctor and do not use painkillers to get high or to relax.

Overcoming Addiction

If you are already addicted to alcohol, drugs or a destructive behavior such as gambling or sex, seek treatment immediately. There are many types of treatment available depending on a number of factors, including your drug of choice and level of addiction. We can help you find the treatment options most appropriate for your situation; call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today.