Is there such a thing as a high risk occupation with a greater likelihood that DOT employees with either be drunk on the job or suffering the effects of alcohol abuse or alcoholism? The answer is yes. But there is a catch.
Since alcoholism is not a "equal opportunity" illness (sound politically correct, but it is absolutely false) and those with genetic predispositions to it are more at risk, it stands to reason that jobs and industries that include a fair amount of socializing around alcohol will naturally possess a greater degree of alcohol and drug related problems among their employees.
So here is something for DOT Supervisors to remember: businesses with a high value on social activity with frequent use of alcohol or the traditional use of alcohol at lunch will see greater problems. These can include businesses associated with self-employment, and for example law firms, insurance agencies, the military brass, or other businesses where the employee with a biogenic predisposition to alcoholism has the opportunity to tax their susceptibility more.
Are there more lawyers with alcoholism for instance than school teachers? What about medical doctors who answer to no one but themselves and can easily drink at lunch? The answer is absolutely yes. High male demographic work groups with strong social ties to consuming alcohol will experience more alcoholism.
Industries characterized by frequent opportunity to use alcohol (or drugs), for example, organizations with higher rates of business travel, sales travel, evening work shifts with after-hours socializing with alcohol; isolated employees without direct supervision (i.e., non-office-like environments); exposure to served alcoholic beverages (airlines, hotel, restaurants); accessibility to addictive drugs: pharmaceutical, medical, and nursing occupations all have more drug related and alcohol related problems.
Are there more nurses who are alcoholic because they often socialize around alcohol after the 11 p.m. shift? Yes, alcoholism among nurses is twice the rate for non-nurses. But wait, it isn't the work shift or drinking alcohol after work that causes alcoholism, correct? Correct. It's genetic susceptibility, right? Right. Nurses are more likely to come from alcoholic families than other professions. The reason: codependency, a learned behavior at home. Are you having trouble with this post and this discussion? Is it flying in the face of your beliefs? Read the book, "Under the Influence" by James Miliam. It explains all. It is a mind blowing book about genetics, susceptibility, and alcoholism. One of the few books in the bookstore on the subject of alcoholism that is worth picking up.