Drug Addictions in High Finance
This topic interests me quite a bit as I have heard a little about it but never seen it. Ever since working in finance, a lot of people I talk to jokingly say things about not getting addicted to drugs or alcohol.
I have not been in the industry for very long and because of that, I don't necessarily know if I have ever seen someone juiced up on anything.
Does anyone have any stories or personal statistics of how common it is for people to be addicted to some sort of vice(s)?
In my experience, people are not going to be upfront about their drug abuse in a professional work setting - that's just common sense. This isn't the 80s where HR did not exist.
Definitely a higher substance abuse rate than some industries due to the high stress nature of the job with long hours. From what I've seen firsthand the most common is Adderall - people need it to function at a high level and don't realize their full dependence on it until after a couple of months
I would be curious to hear whether you think people are acquiring the Adderall through a Psychiatrist/Doctor or they are getting it under the table.
I will say I know a good amount of people on Adderall but I don't know if they were prescribed it or not.
Prob just thru a friend
Combination of the two
Incoming FT Analyst, here.
Not proud, but I am coming into the industry as an addict/substance abuser. I regularly use Vyvanse, coke, alcohol, weed, and others (less frequently).
Obviously not going to be open about it in the office, but I wouldn't be surprised if I come across one or two fellow degenerates.
Just curious, do you go to a target school?
I go to a state school and its hard for me to think of ppl I know who DONT do these lol
Worked at a small boutique that was a pretty heavy hitter for its size. No HR department. Many of the Analysts would regularly do blow when going out and even do it with some of the VPs. The famous quote from that time in my life was "Ive done coke with everyone in the office except [person A] and [person B]". Not going to say the firm size but it was big enough that this was a WILD claim.
Craziest moment was when I went out with 3 Analysts all jacked up on blow and some rando at a bar (6'3" and probably 225+ lbs, lets call him Rick) started shit talking the smallest Analyst, who was notoriously a whiny bitch. Whiny analyst started it by being like "bro let me hit your JUUL", and Rick basically said "fck off". A second Analyst who was probably also 6'3" but maybe 180 lbs (lets call him John) walked up to the random and said essentially "dont talk shit to my friend". Rick proceeds to say "what are you gonna do about it" and before he can utter another word skinny 6'3" John has thrown him to the ground and is repeatedly punching his face in. When a 6'3" dude falls to the ground unexpectedly, he falls a long distance, and slammed his head on concrete with nothing to break his fall. John jumps on his chest and starts punching Rick in the face over and over again, with Rick being caught so off guard he doesnt have any time to even protect himself.
Rick's friends jump in, I jump in, and the other two analysts (including the whiny tiny analyst who essentially started the whole thing stand on the sidelines with their jaws to the floor). I was the only person to back up John, those other Analysts showed their true colors that day.
Realizing how badly we are about to get our asses kicked I just try to de-escalate the situation while choking out one of the 6'3" random's friends while simultaneously getting choked out. Somehow I manage to talk some sense into these guys, who clearly didnt really want to fight despite the fact that we would have easily gotten killed by these 3-4 football player-looking dudes. They all could have played linebacker for a D1 school, these were seriously large men.
In the end, I was able to successfully de-escalate and the two guys who started the fight got thrown out (Rick and John). Rick's face was pretty beat up, but the big skinny analyst John from my firm didnt get touched. We all left and headed to another bar. More coke from said analysts followed suit.
At the time, it was a pretty wild night. Despite what everyone says on this site there are definitely a few shops notorious for drugs (not going to name names for obvious reasons). Been looking to tell this story for a while.
We need more content like this on here lmao.
This is what I'm talking about. So nuts dude! That's a awesome story though
Good story. Takes me back to my days as a junior banker. A recurring theme across any bank seems to be younger bankers starting fights and usually getting their asses kicked when they realize being a banker means nothing in real world fist fights.
"Tell me a time you resolved a conflict"
I do think it's very prevalent actually but not like in the 80s / 90s when people were snorting lines in the bathroom, etc.
I knew people in my NYC EB who smoked cigs as sort of a release after dinner, I knew one or two that seemed like they drank every night and even more that took more aderall than they did in college (and probably too much) with the wild hours.
However, I didn't see anybody totally flame out and have to stop working, etc. they all managed the shenanigans quite efficiently if I'm being honest lol. Not condoning that behavior, because doing all that in excess is just not healthy obviously, etc. but no I didn't see any dramatic displays of 80s-style cokehead banker behavior.
At a BB coverage group and the analysts here do coke every night lmao
Do other positions (As, VP, MD) partake as well or is it pretty concentrated at the An level?
Just the analysts
That's really fucking stupid. If you need stimulants to get you through the day, stick to Adderall or modafinil. Daily coke to keep up with the work is a great way to fuck up your mental health, and it being known on the floor is pretty careless.
Need something stronger brother
Which BB is this? One of JPM/MS/GS?
Kinda off topic, but I am a current sophomore at a semi-target and a lot of my classmates take & abuse Adderall/Vyvanse and other "study" drugs. They do very well in their classes and recruiting in general, so honestly, I feel I feel like I should also try it out. I've definitely been struggling with keeping up with everyone so I feel pressure to get it prescribed to me too. Interesting to see how it's similar situation in actual IB bankers.
I mean I don't use anything and I broke in and also had a decent GPA.
I wasn't the smartest in my class (didn't really want to be honestly) but I enjoyed life and never felt like a slave to anything.
To each there own but I think if you don't need it you shouldn't use it. If you feel pressured to use it then I think that's an answer that you shouldn't use it. It should be something you desire solo
I'm addicted to winning
I don't think you could last very long in this industry with a serious addiction. I have heard a story of someone at a large IB franchise that was struggling with sleeping pill addiction and he was let go the second or third time he overslept his alarm and came in disheveled. From what I heard it was extremely obvious something was off when the subject first started going down that hole and then he was gone in a matter of weeks. Happy ending though, he did turn his life around and get rehired 16 months later.
Now some of the older guys, the MDs that are like mid 50s and 60s, I could definitely see being functional alcoholics. Not a lot of them, but there are one or two older guys in my office that make a lot of jokes about their excess drinking and drink straight liquor during socials. Every so often one of them in particular looks shaky in the mornings. Would not be surprised if he was hammering 3-5 drinks worth of whiskey each night before falling asleep.
Theres more functional addicts on a lot of stuff (uppers and PKs) than people know. They're productive and social enough you'd never be able to notice. You can look up old stories which discussed private luxury detox resorts for execs starting from like 2016 onwards.
Yeah, I actually assume that this type of drug abuse is way more common among the old achy guys than the Analysts. I know I've heard of a few younger bankers that allegedly "used to" do a lot of PKs and such, but I am totally sure that some of the 50 & 60 year old guys are loaded to the teeth on PKs, muscle relaxers, liquor, etc.
In my Analyst class we got fucked up and did coke every weekend during the 6 months training
this is my typa thread right here
I mean it certainly isn't like the 80s/90s or how it's perceived in the movies, ie you certainly aren't seeing people use cocaine in bathrooms or even admit casually to any type of drug use. If anything a lot of long term IB guys are the opposite - real gym rats/fitness freaks (as presumably that's one way to help avoid burnout over the years). I know a couple of colleagues who do cocaine a few times a year but I imagine there are people like that at almost every type of corporate job.
Having said that, no two ways about it IB/finance is a stressful job with intense personalities - so it wouldn't surprise me if there is an above average rate of "hidden"/functioning addictions. Big law is particularly bad for this from what I've heard - people look and act perfectly fine during the day and are able to get all their work done to a great standard, but the constant pressure means they drink excessively in the evenings at home, turn to drugs like Vicodin or Percocet, or use tons of adderall during the day to stay alert/focused. I'd expect IB to be pretty similar, although obviously I didn't explicitly know any colleagues with these issues as it's not something anyone would ever admit to (aside from a couple of guys who sounded like they drank too much in the evenings at home).
These types of addictions whilst obviously bad are a lot more "manageable" at least in the medium term, which is another reason - as one poster says above, people with raging coke habits for instance just wouldn't last long in this business. Obviously everyone has come into work hungover on occasion, but if you're constantly coming in stinking of alcohol or suffering from coke withdrawal, you're going to make a pretty shitty analyst and get axed very fast. In the 80s/90s for S&T it may have been quite different (traders doing coke at lunchtime etc) but today even in trading it's highly analytical/quantitative so you wouldn't get away with it from a work performance perspective plus it's no longer culturally acceptable.
Biglaw has more alcohol than stimulants, according to a "friend"
Worked in Big Law during college many functional alcoholics + those on antidepressants (vicarious trauma from listening to clients I guess) did not see anything but ya drinking is huge even in law school
I used to be in big law, drinking sneaks up on you. Starts with a glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind and can spiral from there. I realized how much I was drinking before I left and made it a goal to primarily only drink non-alcoholic beer during the week now. I feel much better on a day today basis after doing so
I'm at top bb and my analyst class all does heroin daily
I am addicted to Hot Yoga.
Corepower? Me too!
I doubt this counts, but I go through an oz of weed every month. Obviously I do not get high on the job (that's dumb), but when I'm at home in the evenings it takes the edge off and helps me sleep plus I enjoy getting high
How do you balance this with the constant need to be "online / available" in IB? Asking for a friend...
I'd say every industry has drug addicts.
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