It looks like Tony Bourdain’s tell-all, Kitchen Confidential, was no exaggeration — the restaurant industry is a hotbed of booze & drugs. Especially drugs.
Now it’s important to note that much of this variation isn’t necessarily a direct function of the nature of the work in these industries, but rather of the types of people who work in them. For instance, we know that men drink and do drugs more heavily than women, and that young people are more into drugs and alcohol than older ones. So if an industry is dominated by young or male workers, it stands to reason that you’ll see higher rates of drinking and drug use in that industry.
For instance, the researchers write that one reason miners drink so much is that miners tend to be young and male. Construction workers, on the other hand, showed abnormally high heavy drinking rates even after controlling for age and gender. If some of that alcohol use is spilling over on to the job it could be a problem, given the potentially dangerous nature of that work.
However, the researchers found no difference in the distribution of drug use across the industries even when controlling for age and gender. Whether young or old, male or female, restaurant and hotel workers truly are the heaviest drug users in the nation.
Imagine you’re performing exhausting work for sometimes ungrateful customers, for too little money, and you get off work at oh-dark-thirty — when it’s just you and your brother and sister hospitality workers.
Pretty much nothing is open except for after hours bars and drug dealers.
What the heck else are you all going to do to blow off steam?