Any career that demands long hours and extreme conditions has the potential to push the worker into mental and physical stress, which are one of several segues into addiction and substance abuse. Add danger on the job and separation from comfort and support systems to the profession and you have an idea of what it is like to be a professional truck driver in Canada. It is shocking to many that truck drivers statistically struggle with addiction and substance abuse, considering the public safety threat that these problems pose to their profession. However, on-the-job stress is universally a trigger of addiction and substance abuse, and the trucking industry is no exception.
This is not to say that truck driving is without its benefits. Many truck drivers love the travel opportunities and the lure of the open road that the profession provides them. However, the negative elements of the job can push some to seek unhealthy stress outlets. The hours can be considerably longer than in other professions, and the mileage expectations can be heavy. The solitude and cab surroundings can also become very mentally taxing and make some feel stir crazy or imbalanced. The repetitive posture of driving can be hard on the body as well. Some truck driving positions also call for navigating dangerous conditions. Canadian winters can create deadly driving conditions, such as white outs and black ice, and regional trucking such as Fort McMurray jobs can demand operation of some of the biggest trucks on earth.
Many Canadian truckers turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with these negative job aspects. A majority of truck drivers have enough sense of responsibility to stay sober on the job, but there are some that become entrenched in addiction and make a habit out of using substances on the job, or simply make bad substance abuse judgments and decide to experiment with substances on the job. There have been instances of truckers causing major deadly accidents on Canadian highways and freeways while under the influence. Needless to say, it is vital that society connects truckers who are struggling with addiction and substance abuse to necessary treatment before lives are endangered, destroyed or ended.
Addiction treatment centers and residential rehabs are very familiar with the connection between difficult trade jobs and addiction. In fact, there are even programs that focus on addiction and substance abuse in trades such as trucking, with staff members who frequently come from the same lifestyle as the clients and represent the ability to fully recover.