New Treatment Component for Legal Professionals

Harmony is proud to support the addiction recovery process for members of the legal profession. As a leader in the field of addiction treatment for 40 years, Harmony Foundation has seen that drug addiction and alcoholism affect upwards of 10% of the population. The rates of addiction are even higher among legal professionals, as the American Bar Association estimates 15% to 20% of lawyers suffer from substance abuse and chemical dependency.

Larry Dubin, a professor of law at the University Detroit Mercy School of Law, says that addiction often begins when lawyers are in college when they are exposed to the actual lifestyles of attorneys – including substance abuse. Dublin states that students are also conditioned to hide their personal reactions and emotions and often have to represent clients or positions that may not gel with their own belief systems or moral constitution. Such pressures implicit in the profession can lead to substance abuse problems as the substances help further mask the emotional lives of lawyers.

Harmony Foundation recognizes that legal professionals are concerned that disclosing their addiction may cost them the respect of their clients and peers and possibly their licenses. Fortunately, over the past 30 years services have risen to meet the needs of professionals who are facing issues with chemical dependency or co-occurring disorders. Evidence based evaluation and treatment programs that work with professional monitoring agencies have achieved remarkable success. Treatment programs that work with professional programs have reportedly lower incidence of relapse (less than 3% relapse rate per year) and professionals are able to transition back into the workplace and preserve their careers. 

Harmony supports and collaborates with such programs including the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP), the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) and Colorado Lawyers Helping Lawyers (CLHL) and the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

The Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) helps members of the legal profession (including law students) who suffer from physical or mental disabilities that impair their ability to practice, including substance abuse. They offer various confidential services such as interventions, aftercare services, monitoring services and peer support group meetings.

Colorado Lawyers Helping Lawyers, Inc. (CLHL) is a peer driven program that offers support, education and referrals for those who are facing substance abuse problems. The overarching goal of the program is relapse prevention and providing a confidential safe space for legal professionals to disclose their challenges with addiction.

Harmony understands the stress, strain, exhaustion, and isolation of the practice of law and the depression, anxiety, and addiction that can follow. This has sparked the creation of a specialized addiction treatment component for lawyers and other legal professionals, that is premised on the need for confidential and professional treatment.

Harmony Foundation’s treatment component for Legal professionals helps them cope with their addiction and learn skills to maintain a lifetime of sobriety. The 30-day (and variable) comprehensive treatment for legal professionals uses the evidence based Bio-Psycho-Social, 12-Step Residential Treatment Model. By overcoming the reservations and fear associated with admitting they have an addiction, legal professionals are able to regain their lives both professionally and personally in the confidential setting of Harmony’s private campus, nestled in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, Colorado.