Addiction cuts across all social and economic lines. When people think they don’t know any people who are addicts, what they mean is that they don’t know that they know them. Addicts can be barbers, trash collectors, dentists and doctors. Of course, the more skilled the profession, the more dangerous addictive behavior can be, if the addict is practicing their profession while using. And most addicts tend to do just that, regardless of occupation.
While no one wants to think that their office building janitor is cleaning the conference room while stoned, it is horrifying to imagine that your dentist is drilling you teeth when s/he is drunk or high! Fortunately, as society has come to recognize addiction for the disease that it is, a number of impaired professionals programs have been established across various professions in attempt to prevent public harm as a result of addicts practicing while actively using. These programs encourage professionals to seek treatment for their addiction, with a minimum of stigma, so that they may practice their profession in recovery.