Blog, Resource, & Helpline for those battling Percocet addiction

Young Lawyers Struggle With Untreated Substance Abuse at Alarming Rates

A career in law is one of the more esteemed careers a person can have. Becoming a lawyer takes many years of hard work both before and after a college education is complete. Many newly graduated lawyers must work extremely long hours in order to gain enough clientele and reputation to become successful. This process is highly stressful and often takes many years after graduation.

It may come as little surprise, then, to learn that a new study found that a large number of law students are suffering with substance use like to Percocet or mental health issues.[1] However, the stigma associated with these issues stops many young legal professionals from seeking support or help of any kind.

Over one fourth of law students that were surveyed in the study led by the St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis (and published in the Bar Examiner journal) believed they needed help for mental health issues, but less than half of those students actually asked for any help or sought treatment of any kind. Common disorders included anxiety, personality disorders, psychosis, eating disorders and depression. Many of the same students had tried to self-medicate these issues with drugs or alcohol. Only four percent of students had ever sought treatment for drug or alcohol use.

Researchers believe, and students often agree, that diagnoses of addiction to drugs like Percocet or mental illness are very difficult to overcome in a competitive job market. While this stigma is outdated and unjust, it does still exist. Fortunately, there are recovery and treatment programs that will work with student’s schedules and which may offer distance treatment or rehab programs across the country with the confidentiality and privacy that young professionals need.

This survey, titled “Survey of Law Student Well-Being,” looked at over 3,300 students in various law programs across the country. A number of surprising results turned up including the following:

  • Almost 25 percent of students scored as having high anxiety, and almost 15 percent of law students had clinically significant anxiety that could benefit from treatment.
  • More than 15 percent of students returned with scores consistent with depression.
  • Binge drinking was surprisingly common among students. Forty-three percent of students had engaged in binge drinking in the weeks before being surveyed. Up to 22 percent reported drinking two or more times each week, which may be problematic or indicative of alcohol use disorder (alcoholism).
  • More than two percent of students who were surveyed had used cocaine within the last month.
  • Most students were afraid to seek treatment for fear of being blocked from bar admission, and 62 percent of law students were afraid that going to treatment would block them from finding the right job or making the best possible academic scores.

The truth is that treatment may be more confidential than you think. If you are concerned about substance use like to Percocet in law school, the path will not become easier once you begin your career. The very best time to seek treatment is now. There are private treatment options for all individuals, and treatment options that may fit your schedule and needs.

We offer a 24 hour, toll-free helpline that is designed to offer no-pressure information and support to those who seek honest answers. Our substance use and mental health professionals can speak with you anytime. Find out how you can obtain a private assessment by phone today.


[1] Substance abuse and mental health issues are a growing problem for the legal profession, say experts. Martha Middleton, author. Retrieved 1/15/2016.

[2] More than 25% of law students have had psychiatric and substance-use disorders; are they hiding it? Debra Cassens Weiss, author. Retrieved 1/15/2016.