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The Hospitality Industry and Addiction: What to Know and How to Help

The Hospitality Industry and Addiction: What to Know and How to Help

People across the United States are struggling with addiction to substances of one kind or another. Celebrities are in the news lately for struggles with addiction and overdoses, even losing their lives. Imagine how it must feel on the inside of the celebrity world, living in hotels, traveling, meeting restaurateurs, hotel concierges, and others in the hospitality and service industry. Not everything is as glossy on the surface as it may seem. People in hospitality are also struggling with addiction, celebrity or not. Learn more about the challenge of addiction in the hospitality industry and how to help a person who is struggling with addiction.

National Problem

Nearly ten percent of workers, regardless of industry, reported using illicit drugs of some kind or another. The hospitality industry has the second highest drug use rate among its workers at 13.7 percent. Not only did the hospitality industry have a high rate of workers using drugs, but there is an increase seen from year to year. It is easy to understand why people in hospitality may struggle. The restaurant industry has a low barrier of entry (no degree, no problem) and even allows more people than other industries with a history of mental health or substance use disorders to work for kitchens, restaurants, hotels, and other places in the hospitality industry. This provides an open door for people who may be looking for work in recovery but may also be a trigger for some people.

Where some industries have standards of drug and alcohol-free workplaces, restaurant and hospitality workers are working every shift, at all hours, often late, and often long, with many suffering from insomnia or other issues related to crazy work schedules. Alcohol and substances are more freely available in those environments so when people struggle to cope, it is all too easy to give into temptation for some. Mental health disorders can also lead people to dive into substance use to deal with the stress of working in the industry.

Lack of Insurance

Insurance coverage is not always available for people working shifts in hospitality and restaurants. The fear of losing work and high turnover can be worrisome for people who just need to make a wage. Even if the environment triggers or fosters drug use, people may be more willing to keep doing it because it is easier than finding something else.

How to Help

There are many ways people can support those in the hospitality industry with addiction and substance abuse issues. Some of the challenges are built into the type of work they do, so it may help to consider the following:

  • Consider ending ‘shift drinks’ that often lead to drinking too much
  • Establish no drinking policies before, during, and after shifts
  • Invest in alcohol-awareness training so people understand risks and how to seek help
  • Carve out space for people to seek help and still have a job to return to provided the job is not triggering

Finding the right rehab place can be helpful to getting on the journey to recovery. Medically supervised detox can help get the substances out of the body and prepare people for the next stages of treatment and recovery. It is hard to seek help but it is necessary to face that addiction is not something to be fought alone. Seeking help is the best way to move forward and heal, then making decisions about where and how to seek gainful employment can happen without addiction calling the shots.

Serenity is a safe, secure place to experience detox and rehab in a comforting setting. We do not judge you for your past, present, or where you go in the future. We care about helping you detox here and now, getting healthy, and then supporting you in finding where you want to work and how you want to move forward with your life. If you want help, call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401