Addiction Treatment for Attorneys, Judges and Other Legal Professionals

Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, and legal professionals suffer at nearly twice the rate of those in any other profession. But hope is real. And help is ready.

At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, you will find the personalized care, unparalleled expertise, and peer support you need to rebuild your life and preserve your legal career.

Help from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation begins with a free and confidential phone consultation with an attorney/clinician who will gain an understanding of your particular situation.

For attorneys, addiction might well be considered an occupational hazard. An estimated one in five legal professionals has an active addiction or substance abuse problem — nearly twice the rate of the general population as well as that of physicians, pilots, or other licensed professionals. Additionally, at least half of all disciplinary cases involve substance abuse.

What's more, addiction recovery for attorney, judges, and other legal professionals can be especially complex. Many have successfully hidden their addiction to alcohol or other drugs for years. Guilt and shame are familiar emotions. The very strengths prized in lawyers — problem-solving, intellectualization, persuasiveness — can be stumbling blocks to addiction recovery. But with the right care and support, addiction can be treated and managed for life.

Our treatment programs draw from more than 60 years of expertise in providing unparalleled alcohol and other drug addiction treatment for men, women, youth, and families. Through our specialized program for lawyers, comprehensive evaluation, diagnostic, and addiction treatment services are delivered with the goal of preparing each patient for lifelong recovery and the successful return to the practice of law.

Assessment and Recommendations

After the phone consultation, an assessment may be in order to determine whether a diagnosis of alcoholism or other drug addiction is appropriate. Our assessment process is based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine's Patient Placement Criteria. The result of your assessment will be recommendations for care, further evaluation, or referrals as appropriate. If the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation legal professionals program is recommended for you, an attorney/clinician will play a key role in initiating your care.

The daily treatment experience encompasses education, group sessions, individual appointments and counseling, recreational activities, and time for personal reflection and relaxation. Interacting closely with our clinical team and your treatment peers, you will develop a clear understanding of what it means and what it takes to live in recovery from addiction.

Clinically Integrated Care

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation residential addiction treatment for legal professionals incorporates integrated clinical disciplines with individualized planning and care—all in a comfortable, healing, and supportive environment. Our core treatment programs are 12 Step-based and gender-specific, and length of stay varies with the patient as clinically indicated. Particularly among attorneys who suffer from depression at three times the rate of other professionals mental health disorders commonly go hand in hand with addiction. That's why treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions is integrated into your care at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Your interdisciplinary care team will consist of:

  • Addiction counselors
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Physicians and nurses
  • Family specialists
  • Spiritual care professionals
  • Nutritionists and wellness

A four-day Family Program, offered free of charge to one family member, is integrated into our treatment program. Participants gain insight into how addiction affects families and relationships, and learn healthy ways of responding to addiction-related issues.

Specifically for the Legal Professional

Your treatment experience will include intensive group therapy, psychoeducational services, presentations by clinicians and outside experts, and individual counseling. In particular, the weekly legal professionals groups, facilitated by an attorney/clinician, will provide you with powerful insight from peers facing similar challenges and situations. Through ongoing one-on-one sessions with an attorney/clinician, you will also have the opportunity to address issues related to career restoration, professional practice, reputation, licensing or disciplinary matters, and continuing care. Attendance at a weekly attorneys-only 12 Step meeting off campus is also a scheduled option. Treatment at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation prepares you for the road ahead. You will know what you need to do to take care of yourself, where to turn for support, and how to be aware of people, places, and things that could trigger relapse.

More Time to Heal

The end of your stay may include several days at The Lodge program on the Center City campus, where you will learn more about how to apply new-found recovery principles and practices to your everyday living.

Continuing Care and Career Re-entry

An individualized continuing care plan will be part of your treatment experience. Continuing care recommendations may include extended residential care, ongoing outpatient therapy, or participation in support groups, all with the goal of successful transition to home and career. As you near discharge, an attorney/clinician will work with you on a career re-integration plan. At your discretion and as appropriate, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will communicate with your referent, licensing agency, disciplinary board, employer, or state bar association. We will also gladly connect you with your state Lawyer Assistance Program or a legal professional close to your home who is in recovery.

Are you or a loved one struggling with alcohol or other drugs?

Call toll-free to speak confidentially with a recovery expert now.

Most insurance accepted.


Recovery Talks on Addiction in the Legal Profession

In this video Patrick Krill, director of the Legal Professionals program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, speaks about legal professionals and addiction.

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