Jul 12

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) of Massachusetts, like the lawyer assistance programs in all 50 states, is in many ways based on the model of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which grew out of the early growth of the AA movement and initially focused almost entirely on alcoholism.  The first official EAP seems to have been developed by the Kemper insurance company in 1962.  Over the years, employee and lawyer assistance programs have greatly expanded their scope to include a wide range of human issues including emotional, family, and occupational sources of distress, and in many cases have been credited with saving the careers of people who would otherwise have lost their jobs. Continue reading »

May 03

Many of us have endured the excruciating situation in which a loved one is caught up in an addiction and we have very limited ability to protect them from themselves.  In most cases, this is where options like Intervention or resources like Al-Anon can be helpful tools.  When addictive behavior remains active and imminently life-threatening (a possibility of which we are all more aware lately in light of the surging rates of opioid overdose), a possible stopgap action is to seek to compel a period of involuntary alcohol/drug oriented hospitalization in a locked setting.  Continue reading »

Mar 29

A new study published this month in the Journal of Addiction Medicine confirms that lawyers have higher than average rates of alcohol abuse, depression and stress.  The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) collaborated in a survey of over 12,000 attorneys in 19 states (not including Massachusetts).  We know that the legal profession is a stressful profession with prior studies showing higher rates of alcohol abuse and depression than the general population, but find it gravely concerning that the levels of substance abuse, depression and stress remain so high, particularly among younger attorneys.  Continue reading »

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