journalist writing a book on drug use in the legal profession

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eilenez

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journalist writing a book on drug use in the legal profession

Postby eilenez » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:55 pm

I’m a journalist who wrote ‘The Lawyer, The Addict’, a story that ran in the NYT in July about my ex-husband, Peter, who was a high-flying partner in Wilson Sonsini (the Palo Alto-based firm) and who died in 2015 an IV drug addict. Almost everyone in his life missed the signs. The story wound up with enormous traction and was the 55th most read story in the entire paper in 2017. It also generated threads of commentary on TLS, including this one: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=279754

I’m now writing a book based on that story for Random House. Although it is about what happened to Peter, the broader story is about the problem of substance use (and often abuse) in white-collar professions—especially law.

I am hoping that some of you will be open to discussing with me what you see and what you've experienced in your profession and professional environment, in terms of drug use and/or abuse. I’d like to use some of your comments in the book and will not know or need to know your names, so I hope you’ll feel comfortable being as candid as possible. I’m not here to make judgements, all I’m looking for is the truth about what’s going on. I'm interested in whatever you can tell me about drugs you are using or observe being used in your field: which drugs, what effects you see, any stories you have, any details you can share. For anyone who wants to contact me directly, I have a secure and encrypted email through ProtonMail: eilenez@protonmail.com. Thanks.

Bla Bla Bla Blah

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Re: journalist writing a book on drug use in the legal profession

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:20 pm

That was one of the more memorable articles I've read. I'm so sorry that you had to experience that. While your story highlights an issue of abuse that I hope is more extreme in our profession, I've seen substance abuse in more acceptable forms. Your article definitely resonated with me because of this. From what I most commonly witnessed to what I saw less frequently (though when I was working public defense, #3 was almost just as common among attorneys as having a drink):

(1) Prescription Drugs: Adderall, Anti-Depressants, Anxiety Prescriptions, Sleep-Aids (to counteract the Adderall). In law school, where prescription abuse was an open-secret, I had a friend who was on all four of these prescriptions at the same time. I don't think that he can operate without abusing prescription drugs anymore, to be honest.

(2) Alcohol Abuse: Happy Hour happens like clockwork in any office I've been a part of. And when I was in public defense, there was always a group that would extend this hour until at least the next morning (where passing out at someone's house was common), and often throughout the rest of the weekend. There was always a group to go drinking with on most days of the week at any office I've been a part of as well.

(3) Marijuana: I was surprised how common it was for attorneys to have a piece that they were smoking whether this was openly during a Happy Hour, during an all weekend binge, at lunch during the week, or during law school in the courtyard.

I think that most of us in this profession have probably witnessed these forms of substance abuse. I haven't yet seen drug abuse that goes beyond light drugs, such as marijuana, or prescriptions, but I'd be interested to see whether it is commonly witnessed by some of the other people here on TLS.

eilenez

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Re: journalist writing a book on drug use in the legal profession

Postby eilenez » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:10 am

Thanks so much for weighing in.



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