A lawyer’s secret: Addiction, anxiety and depression

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It is a legal-profession secret that is finally seeing the light of day: depression, anxiety and addiction to prescription drugs are a real and urgent problem for lawyers. They are three times more likely to suffer severe depression or addiction than the general public.

Most of the lawyers I defend at disciplinary proceedings got into trouble with the Law Society of Upper Canada because of substance abuse or mental-health issues.
If you are a lawyer who is depressed or anxious, abusing alcohol or self-medicating with illicit or prescription drugs, get help. These are not problems that lawyers – or anyone – can deal with on their own. Addiction is serious business, frequently with tragic consequences.

I ought to know. For several years, I was addicted to OxyContin.