Workplace Burnout and Addiction: A Deadly Combination

Workplace Burnout and Addiction: A Deadly Combination

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

The average person spends about 90,000 hours of work over a lifetime, and it’s safe to say that this time has a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. Work stressors are a major part of life, but they can add up quickly; before they realize it, many people find that they’ve simply skipped self-care in favor for deadlines, emails and completion of projects. What happens is that over time, workplace burnout occurs – and with little energy left to muster through the unpleasant symptoms of pessimism, fatigue, boredom, irritability and more, individuals find themselves relying on something else (often substances) to solve some of their problems.

A 2016 study published in the journal Work & Stress sought to explore some of the health consequences of workplace burnout, and they found that not only is it related to a decline in physical health, but also to an increase of addictive behaviors – particularly related to tobacco, alcohol, and psychotropic medicine. Between emotional exhaustion and substance abuse, depression and suicidal ideation are other major concerns – especially for those who are having difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. states that the total economic burden of major depressive disorder experienced by those in the workplace is now estimated to be around $210.5 billion a year, with individuals missing days from work, reduced productivity at work, and direct medical costs.

How can we combat workplace burnout and prevent addictive behavior?

There are 2 crucial factors to this: seeking help and self-care. If you or a loved one is noticing some major signs of workplace burnout and/or substance abuse, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center right away. Start making self-care a priority, because not doing so could cost you your mental, physical and spiritual health. Dr. Kirk Bowden, president of The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), stated on The Fix in 2015 that self-care is key to preventing burnout. The article stated, “It’s very important to have a life outside of work, like regular exercise or something else you care about. And, if you’re in recovery yourself, you should be maintaining a strong program.”

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.



Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.