Has the financial crisis taken a toll on your drug usage? Fuck no, says recently released data. While only 2 percent of the finance industry failed drug tests last year, according to a firm that screens around 270 shops, versus 3.6% of all workers, those numbers are merely reflective of the fact that most finance gigs will only make you piss in a cup as a new hire, and not on a random Wednesday, several hours off your last bender [wipes brow]. Once you're in, it's highly unusual for HR to get up in your face about whether or not that was you blowing rails off the head of IR's ass in the conference room. And speaking of preferences, what are the drugs of choice among the using set these days?
According to Brad Lamm, president of New York-based Intervention Specialists, there's been a "surge in...crack and coke" but weed is really what your colleagues are going for, jumping 64% to 80% from 2007 to 2009 among those failing tests. Also trendy? Sullying the good name of Pez.
Among existing employees, psychologists and counselors says that drug abuse has not slackened. Some even says it is peaking, exacerbated by the credit crisis and the volatile and tenuous recovery that has ensued. Seabrook House, a 24-bed luxury rehab facility in Pennsylvania, has been crammed with Wall Street refugees in recent months, according to Clinical Director William Heran. They are paying $24,000 for a three-month program to get clean. Mr. Heran has been around long enough to discern a forex trader from an M&A banker. “We’re in crisis mode,” he says. “Many of these drugs are so accessible to the average person, let alone the person who is well-spoken and professional.” He says the rage these days is a Pez dispenser with the head of a red devil. Inside? Pills of Oxycodone or Percocet.