The Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL) Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County was established in 1978 to provide confidential assistance to lawyers and judges struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. According to the Association, one in five lawyers is addicted to drugs or alcohol, two times the rate of the general population. This higher risk can at least partially be attributed to the fact that lawyers are often highly driven individuals who work long hours in high-pressure environments.
Just as in the general population, one legal professional’s struggles with drugs or alcohol may differ substantially from those of others; whereas one individual might drink daily, others may abstain for long periods and then binge. Similarly, while some people begin exhibiting out-of-control behavior rapidly, others develop addictions over time. Common symptoms of addiction include lying about drug or alcohol use; feeling nervous, tense, or angry when drugs or alcohol aren’t available; and missing work because of drug or alcohol use. Depression and poor decision-making, as well as neglecting personal relationships with friends and family, are also symptoms.
The LHL Committee offers discreet, confidential assistance through referrals, local support groups, and help getting connected with organizations that specialize in assisting people with addictions.
Legal professionals at Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., are members of the Bar Association of Erie County.