Serenity Lane Rehab Center Shares Insight on Serious Problem of Self-Medication in Hospitality Industry

Portland, Ore. — Serenity Lane Portland West, an addiction treatment provider, has published an article on its blog exploring the chronic problem of self-medication in the hospitality industry. Even before COVID-19 became a factor, hospitality workers were constantly exposed to a number of stressors that contribute to the misuse of various substances, especially alcohol.

The article is written by a former bartender who says, “On any given day, a bartender is asked to wear many different hats. In popular culture, the bartender is known to be somewhat of a sage, or at the very least, a confidant. The romantic side of the hospitality industry sees our wise bartender lending a caring ear and offering advice about a situation he’s heard one hundred times from one hundred different patrons."

The pressure to constantly be hospitable takes a large toll on bartenders, the article's author says. "From my experience of nearly a decade behind the bar, I found that the best professionals in this field often give all of their care and attention to giving their guests the best experience possible. In the end, this leaves little room for self-care, physically and mentally."

The Serenity Lane Portland West article describes stress management as a job requirement for bartenders and self-medication as a side effect. “Even pre-pandemic, your typical hospitality worker is no stranger to stress. In fact, the ability to handle stress in a calm manner is one of the core principles of the job. Those employees with poor stress management typically won’t last long because, in a payment system based on tips, stressed-out workers will have trouble making a living."

The nature of the hospitality industry repeatedly exposes its workers to many things that contribute to heavy alcohol use. The article cites a study from the International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration that found a few key factors contribute to the industry's toxic culture of binge drinking: late hours of operation, low levels of job autonomy, lack of control over job conditions, and fast-paced work environments.

Hospitality workers are also rarely offered sufficient health insurance despite being some of the people who need it most. Full-time workers employed by large restaurants or hotels may have access to certain benefits, including health insurance, but hourly hospitality workers are rarely afforded this luxury. The lack of affordable care or health insurance is one of the factors that lead to high rates of self-medication among hospitality workers.

Hospitality workers in search of affordable therapy and assistance with managing stress can get in touch with treatment providers like Serenity Lane, which has been offering top-quality non-profit treatment for substance use disorders since 1973. Their Portland locations offer Level I outpatient and Level II intensive outpatient programming, DUII services, free assessments with care planning, and family programming. Serenity Lane’s RecoveryNOW Virtual Addiction Treatment Services provide the same exceptional outpatient programming via teleconferencing.

To learn more about Serenity Lane's services, visit their website or call (800) 543-9905.


For more information about Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office, contact the company here:

Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office
(503) 244-4500
10920 SW Barbur Blvd
Portland, OR 97219