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  • Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach

New York City Lawyer opens up about her addiction, and how common it is with her colleagues.

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

"The morning before I got sober, my breakfast consisted of nearly a bottle of red wine and a few thick lines of cocaine," is what Lisa F. Smith wrote about her own addiction and journey into recovery. A high achieving lawyer and writer, Smith has shared candidly about her journey through addiction and into recovery and the high addiction rates among practicing law professionals.


Immediately after receiving her law degree she realized that the world of high achieving lawyers is filled with alcohol and drug abuse.


A 2016 study done by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs revealed some startling statistics:


-Up to 21 percent of licensed, employed lawyers qualify as problem drinkers

-Lawyers under age 30, it’s 31.9 percent.

-Compare that to 6.8 percent of all Americans who have a drinking problem.


On top of that participants were asked about their use of licit and illicit drugs, including sedatives, marijuana, stimulants and opioids: It was a staggering 74% that admitted to using stimulants on a weekly basis.



Having personally lived through 13 yrs of addiction I can say with one hundred percent certainty that addiction does not discriminate. We should not be shocked when entertainers, athletes, lawyers, and so on come forward and admit to having issues with addiction.


The propensity to try to hide it for as long as possible is a common theme with all who struggle with addiction. The problem with high achievers is that they have the money to fuel that addiction for longer, and the means to try and hide it.


During my 13 yrs of active addiction I achieved some things.


I was an all region football player in high school, pain pills were a close friend during that time.


I made three hip hop albums that received flattering responses from local magazines, I was high the entire time.