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Substance Use Treatment for Lawyers

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Substance Use Treatment for Lawyers

ALAViDA Featured in Canadian Lawyer Magazine

A 2016 study found that one in three American lawyers engaged in heavy drinking. And according to a Canadian survey, 50% of lawyers struggle with mental health or substance use. Currently in most firms, substance use treatment for lawyers means expensive inpatient rehab, usually after a crisis. This approach counters what experts say: addiction should be treated before it gets to that point, with early intervention and plenty of treatment options.

But attitudes are slowly changing, with more firms viewing substance use issues in the same light as they do other health issues. 

As with many professions, confidentiality is of utmost importance, and that’s why more firms are considering ALAViDA as a health benefit. The confidential mandate of ALAViDA means that firms won’t get any information on which of their lawyers or staff are in treatment, which protects anyone worried about consequences to their job. 

Read more: Substance abuse treatment for lawyers must change


Maureen Palmer is a Canadian journalist, author and filmmaker, whose company has delivered two decades worth of award-winning documentaries. She co-wrote Wasted: an Alcoholic Therapist’s Fight for Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System and wrote and directed the film Wasted, for CBC’s Nature of Things. She’s a subject matter expert, writing primarily about substance use.