The oil industry of Canada is one of the country’s most lucrative industries, despite its recent recession. It all began with the discovery of vast oil sands in Northern Alberta that lead to the formation of boom towns like Fort McMurray that brought workers from all over Canada. Despite the industry’s long term success, it has a dark side that is often swept under the rug. This dark side is addiction and substance abuse. The statistics on addiction and substance abuse among oil workers are shocking, making it the most addiction and substance abuse ridden industry in Canada. The expression of these problems are numerous.
Firstly, the amount of substances being abused by and causing addictions among oil workers is atrocious. Pleasure giving substances are a favorite vice of oil workers, who are predominantly male. These substances mainly consist of drugs, both illegal and prescription, and alcohol, which is legal but enjoyed in extreme excess among oil workers. The illegal drugs that are overused can be highly addictive, as in the case of cocaine and heroine, or they may be less addictive but abused all the same, as in the case of marijuana and ecstasy. The rise of prescription medication abuse is ever on the rise, with people getting high on prescriptions such as adderall and killing their pain with opiate derivatives. Oil workers tend to consume very costly alcohols, such as Patron tequila and Cristal champagne because their high salaries allow it.
However, substances are not the only type of addiction. Substance addictions to things like sex and gambling run rampant among oil workers as well. Because the oil industry is so male dominated, oil workers frequently miss the companionship of women, and with prostitution thriving as an underground industry, men can have all the access to sex that money can buy. Addiction to sex is very common among oil workers. Gambling in casinos is also something frequently found in oil boom towns and creates addiction problems for many oil workers.
Addiction and substance abuse in any profession is nothing to take lightly. Addiction and substance abuse are very serious problems that have taken many lives. If you or another oil worker you know are struggling with addiction and substance abuse issues, do not hesitate to seek treatment today.