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The little-known connection between business owners and addiction

Business owners are often highly motivated successful individuals who can implement their vision and put their dreams into action. Even those whose businesses are not recognisable and bring only modest sums have still managed to create something new and deserve credit. There are many stressors and obstacles associated with starting a business and keeping it going. Entrepreneurs often require extra coping skills to relieve stress and some manage to deal with the financial strain of managing a business and the difficulties with enduring slow times. However, some business owners find the difficulties of running a business to be overwhelming and may find solace in drugs and alcohol to relieve stress.
How addiction affects business owners

Many people struggling with drugs or alcohol may decide to quit because they are concerned with job security. They may fear that their supervisor will notice changes in their behaviour or performance and recommend that they are disciplined or fired. Employees are also concerned about co-workers reporting on their behaviour and giving negative feedback. Business owners do not have managers or supervisors all the employees are trying to impress. Basically, they have no peers or managers to be worried about. This is one of the reasons why many people decide to go into business for themselves. The drawback is if they are abusing alcohol and drugs, there is no outward threat that can force them to stop.

Many people in treatment programmes identify getting fired as hitting bottom and losing a job may have been a watershed event that led them to get treatment and improve their lives. Since business owners cannot get fired, their addiction could go unchecked. Another issue affecting business owners and addiction is that financially and professionally things can come apart much faster than if they are working for someone else. An entrepreneur whose performance is not strong because of alcohol or drugs has more bills that need to be paid, may avoid paying workers, and present an inferior product that will tarnish the company's reputation. This can lead to a downward financial spiral that can increase stress and lead to more alcohol and drug abuse.

The good news

While addiction can cause havoc in the life of business owners in a way that can be more destructive than an average employee, entrepreneurs can be highly motivated to bring themselves out of it and reinvent themselves. If a small business owner faces his or her problem head-on and seeks treatment, they could take a 'businesslike' approach to transforming their lives. Entrepreneurs are accustomed to finding solutions to complex problems, and if they use their emotional intelligence the way they apply their financial sense, they could thrive in a treatment programme whether it is in-patient or a 12-step support group that meets on a weekly basis.

Once a business has fallen into disarray because of the owner's chemical dependency problem, it can be reinvented and given new life during recovery. Just as countries and businesses can recover from financial crises, so individuals can get back on track once there has been a personal problem such as chemical dependency. The will and the desire to seek help is the key to ensuring success.

25 Jan 2017 13:16


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and