How the Prevalence of Substance use Disorder Affects the Legal Profession

09 Nov , 2023

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The ABA and Betty Ford Center’s groundbreaking 2016 study confirmed devastatingly high rates of both mental health concerns and substance abuse amongst lawyers. For example, between 21-36% of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers—3-5x higher than the general population. Moreover, 25-30% of attorney disciplinary matters, 60% of all malpractice claims, and 85% of all trust-fund violation cases involve substance-use disorder issues.

Even though the problem is pervasive in the legal community, most aren’t equipped to seek help if in distress or to have sensitive conversations with those who need help. Tragically, according to this landmark study, 93% of attorneys did not receive help for alcohol or other drug abuse.

In this eye-opening program, veteran attorney Cindy Sharp will share her struggles with alcohol and reveal how she got sober and has remained alcohol free for over 11 years. Attorney and certified meditation instructor Becky Howlett will share her perspectives and provide practical tips for reducing stress and anxiety in your professional practice and personal life.

In this timely program, you will learn:

What is a Highly Functioning Alcoholic Attorney (HFAA)

Why we must eliminate the stigma surrounding substance use disorder

How to detect the warning signs of impairment

Ethical rules to consider: MRPC 1.1 - Competence, MRPC 1.3 – Diligence

Ethical duties of partner of an impaired attorney

Treatment options and other resources to consider

Mindfulness as a tool for resilience, stress release and relapse prevention

 

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