Addiction and Substance Abuse in the Trucking Industry

addiction substance abuse truckerThe trucking industry is an important one, but sometimes the lifestyle it demands of its truckers can lead to addiction and substance abuse. Many people do not realize the ways that being a professional truck driver can be a mentally and physically taxing profession. The work of a professional trucker involves a lot of solitude. Sometimes the work can be very repetitive and boring while other times it is demanding and stressful. Like any work that places these strains on its employees, truckers frequently take relief in substance abuse and addiction, on and off the job, creating a very bad situation for themselves and other drivers alike.

The constant solitude of trucking is one aspect of it that pushes many truckers into substance abuse and addiction. Some feel the heavy weight of loneliness in their profession and try to drown it out through drugs, alcohol, sex or some other pleasure inducing thing. Others begin to feel detached and mentally unstable due to the solitude and turn to substance abuse and addiction in order to be distracted, which as most of us know, actually only worsens the problem. The long term affects of substance abuse and addiction are further isolation and instability.

Some truckers experience immense boredom and a lack of stimulation because of their jobs. Trucking can begin to feel very repetitive to many truckers. Despite driving through scenic areas, the tasks of the job can become very mundane. Truckers who cannot deal with this aspect often experiment with substances or processes in order to make their jobs more interesting. Some truckers have gone as far as to use dangerous drugs, such as meth and cocaine, while they are driving, putting themselves and other motorists in danger.

Because of tight schedules and demanding expectations within the trucking industry, sometimes heavy burdens fall on truckers shoulders. They may be expected to work as many as 14-hours in a shift, then are barely permitted a full night’s sleep before they are assigned another 14-hour shift, and entire weeks can play out like this. Some trucking companies push the regulations of how hard they can work their truckers to the absolute limits. In order to cope with the stress, truckers frequently experiment with addictive substances and behaviors.