Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate – Especially not Against Attorneys

Addiction does not discriminate, it impacts professionals, studentsthe famous and the unemployed alike. That is why it came as no shock that Los Angeles criminal defense attorney was arrested last week on drug charges.

The lawyer, who is now suspended from practicing law, is 49-year-old Kenneth Roger Markman. He was first arrested in October of 2011 after a failed attempt at smuggling balloons of heroin and meth into a jail holding facility in downtown Los Angeles. He was reportedly trying to smuggle the drugs to a client who had a court appearance that day.

A month after that incident, Markman was at a courthouse in Lancaster, CA after security officers found drug paraphernalia and two small bags of cocaine in his wallet. Despite his attempt to grab his wallet and  leave the building, he was arrested.  Last week he faced sentencing for these incidences – to which he pleaded no contest. His sentencing includes one year in county jail and one year in a residential addiction treatment program as part of three years of supervised probation.

The State Bar of California has suspended Marksman’s license pending a decision on whether he will be allowed to continue to practice law. The fact that his license isn’t revoked all together is in part due to the high incidences of lawyers today being treated for alcoholism and addiction. The American Bar Association estimates 15% to 20% of lawyers suffer from substance abuse and chemical dependency.

Born out of the growing number of attorneys who need addiction treatment are programs and policies that help them regain their careers after getting sober. This has allowed those convicted, like Markman, have a second chance and has incentivized lawyers who need help to come forward without the gripping fear that they will ruin their careers. Similar programs exist for medical professionals and airline pilots – all of whom deserve a second chance at life and career once they get sober.

If you are an impaired professional and need addiction treatment, Harmony has specialized treatment programs that can help.