A recent ABA Journal article discusses how stressed-out lawyers who self-medicate, instead of seeking help, could end up stealing client funds. And it becomes a pattern – the resulting theft causes shame and guilt, spiraling into more self-medicating, and so on. The article includes recent examples of cases involving theft and substance abuse.
Terry Harrell, CoLAP Chair and Executive Director of the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, is featured in the article and discusses the important role other lawyers can play to get a colleague to seek help as well as how lawyer assistance programs are there to provide confidential assistance.
Patrick Krill is also featured. Krill is Director of the Legal Professionals Program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and notes that Hazelden Betty Ford and CoLAP are currently collaborating on a new research project to survey the rates of substance use and mental health issues among licensed attorneys throughout the United States. The results are expected to be released this summer.
Access the ABA Journal article, “Lawyers who self-medicate to deal with stress sometimes steal from those they vowed to protect,” here.