The Addiction Research Foundation predicts that approximately 5% of the adult population in Ontario is alcoholic and another 5% drinks at a level that may lead to serious problems. Studies indicate that the legal profession consists of a greater number of people that are prone to developing alcoholic dependencies. Some jurisdictions have reported that 18% of its members have a serious problem with alcohol.
A 1996 Law Society of Upper Canada study revealed that nearly 50% of lawyers facing serious disciplinary sanctions admitted to either alcohol, drug or psychiatric impairment. Contrary to society's stereotype of a drunk, most alcoholics have careers, families and homes. Many of the members of the legal profession never receive any training on recognizing symptoms of alcoholism. Consider the information provided in the following pages.
What is Alcoholism?
The first step in guarding against alcoholism is having a clear understanding of what it is. The following sites provide definitions for alcoholism and other related words.
Do you drink too much?
Do you or someone you know have a drinking problem? Try one of the following self-assessments to evaluate your drinking habit.
Treatment Centres & Resources
The following is a partial listing of treatment centres and resources offering professional help for people living with alcoholism.
- Al Anon and Alateen (www.alanon.org)
For over 50 years Al-Anon has offered help to families and friends of alcoholics. Alateen offers assistance for younger people. This organization is separate and distinct from Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (www.alcoholics-anonymous.org)
AA provides solutions and support to people with alcohol problems and those in recovery. The 12-step program is followed during weekly meetings held across the country.
- Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (www.ccsa.ca)
CCSA is Canada's national addictions agency. It provides objective, evidence-based information and advice that will help reduce the health, social and economic harm associated with substance abuse and addictions.
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (www.camh.net)
This centre is a public hospital providing care for people with mental health and addiction problems. CAMH is Canada's leading teaching hospital and also offers community-based facilities offering health promotion and prevention services across the province.
- Homewood Health Centre (www.homewood.org)
This centre, located in Guelph, Ontario, provides a wide range of programs dealing with mental health and addictions.
- Ontario's Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment (www.dart.on.ca)
DART's role is to link professional callers with a range of suitable treatment options tailored to their individual clients, and to link members of the general public with local assessment and referral, withdrawal management, and other treatment resources for themselves or someone they know.
- Renascent (www.renascent.ca)
Renascent treats alcoholism and drug addiction, delivering superior outcomes through its Complete Care approach. Renascent offers immediate access to gender-specific 12-step facilitated treatment and supports family and workplace wellness.
- Addiction Resource Guide [US] (www.addictionresourceguide.com)
This site has a comprehensive directory of addiction treatment facilities.
I want help now
The Member Assistance Program (MAP) for Ontario lawyers, law students, licensed paralegals, and their families connects members with
Homewood Health, the LAWPRO and Law-Society sponsored provider of confidential professional counselling for help with stress,
burnout, alcohol, drug or other addictions, and mental illness. MAP services also include volunteer peer support and work-life balance coaching.
If you, your partner or your spouse needs help, please call 1.855.403.8922 (TTY: 1.866.433.3305), or visit
All calls are strictly confidential.