Substance abuse treatment for lawyers and other professionals will usually involve a number of special considerations. Substance abuse among lawyers and other professionals is more common than most people think, as high as 11%-15% according to many studies, and if these problems are left untreated they will only get worse. Professionals who have spent a considerable time building up a practice and developing trust within their community may be hesitant to admit that they need help or that they have a substance abuse problem. Many attorneys and other professionals work for themselves, so there is often no drug testing in the workplace and no fear of being detected from this. An attorney may be reluctant to seek substance abuse treatment out of concern that they will be viewed or treated differently in the legal community, or that potential clients will go to another lawyer once this treatment is known.
Substance abuse treatment for lawyers has to be confidential and private, so that the attorney receiving treatment for substance abuse does not have to fear others will find out about their problem. Flexibility is also required because the lawyer may have to keep their business going while they are away receiving substance abuse treatment. Some rehabs do not allow any contact with the outside world, but substance abuse treatment for lawyers and other professionals should evaluate each case based on the needs of the individual rather than a one size fits all approach. The attorney can not focus on recovery if they are concerned that their business is being adversely impacted by their absence.