Alcohol, Xanax, Unemployment, Substance abuse

I read a great piece in today’s NYT by @FrankBruni that really got me thinking about Alcohol and substance abuse.  The piece had more to do with Whitney; but I think these issues related directly to the unemployed and more so to the long term unemployed.  Drinking, how easy is it to have drinks, as one of my friends used to say “drink until you forget”!  I think there is serious danger for unemployed people who might lose hope as each month passes with fewer and fewer interviews, people responding to your resume to want to numb the world out, numb the pain, numb the disappointment.  Alcohol is about the easiest “drug” to get a hold of, there are bars on every corner and it is very tempting to go in, or pour a drink at home and feel the pain lessen, the anxiety free up a bit.  Then it can gradually creep up on you, you go from being a casual drinker to drinking daily; and then you can drink more and more to get the same buzz.  Throw in drugs like Xanax that are supposed to help with anxiety and Lunesta to help you sleep and you could be mixing up a deadly cocktail.  I see this as speaking directly to the longterm unemployed.

Of course many of us know if we just got off our butts went out and exercised strenuously our stress would be greatly diminished and our self esteem would be lifted.  This can alleviate the need to numb ourselves, take sleeping pills, and lessen anxiety.  So knowing all this and not doing it can add the negative feelings described above.  Knowing you can solve a lot of your problems, having the solution (or one of them) being in your own hands and not taking advantage of it can really feel like a kick in the gut!  It comes to motivation again.  If anyone has some stories they’d like to share I’d love to hear them


5 thoughts on “Alcohol, Xanax, Unemployment, Substance abuse

  1. It seems people lose motivation because they lose site of their values and principles. Depression takes over, and the things that were once important, like good health and mental well-being or being a good example, no longer matter. If we could keep a tight hold on our values and principles and focus on them, then our motivation would originate from our beliefs and a healthy self-esteem, instead of from a place of despair. Your circumstances don’t define who you are, but your actions and intentions do.

  2. Thanks for replying, I agree with you completely. I think some people have an easier time being self motivated. And as I well know, but don’t always practice, sometimes you have to do something then the motivation follows! Thanks again for your input!

    1. I think you are missing the point of what I was trying to say, which is that long term unemployed people are more likely to be susceptible to depression, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse; studies have proven this. My goal in writing this was to warn people not to fall into that trap. I even gave examples of how to avoid feeling badly. This post might be a downer, but its also completely accurate for many people.

      You make many good points in your blog posting; and I agree with pretty much everything you say; I’ll reply on your blog. Thanks for taking the time to read my posting and I hope you read more of it.

  3. Substance abuse and unemployment do go together. I like having a positive spin, but when unemployed you don’t know what will happen next, you are at the whim of an employer. Good points!

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