Sovereign psychologist on a mission to help addicted attorneys - Sovereign Health Group
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In light of the booming trend of substance abuse among attorneys, Sovereign Health’s Chief Clinical Officer Anthony Mele, Psy.D., is launching a presentation about personality traits and substance abuse in the legal profession on Jan. 17 in Costa Mesa, California.

“It’s an epidemic among attorneys, a serious problem,” said Dr. Mele, who has 25 years of experience in the industry.” Attorneys tend to have one of the highest rates of alcoholism and drug abuse in the profession.

Know the trends and the traits

Data suggests that attorneys tend to have twice as high incidents of drug abuse and alcoholism compared to physicians and the general population, Dr. Mele said. Research reveals that lawyers have a rate of about 20 to 36 percent of problematic alcohol abuse. And a recent study has revealed that the former trend of alcoholism being greater in veteran attorneys who had been longer in business has now reversed to hit harder among the rookie attorneys in their first 10 years of practice.

The reason might be a mix of their personality traits, background and professional obligations, Dr. Mele said. Lawyers’ personality types, which are predisposed to substance abuse, include self-reliance, ambition, perfectionism and competitiveness, he said.

“These traits aren’t always consistent with healthy coping skills and the emotional elasticity needed to cope with unrelenting pressures and unexpected disappointments that a career in the law can bring,” Dr. Mele said.

Knowledge is power

Despite the negative trend, Dr. Mele pointed out that “knowledge is power,” and lawyers can take charge of their situation and turn it around with help from Sovereign experts.

“They have a lot to lose,” Dr. Mele said. “That could be a motivator to end addiction and not lose their license or a reason not to hide in their alcoholic closet.”

Sovereign experts can help them acknowledge their addiction.

“The beauty of our program is that we don’t teach them how to avoid the triggers of addiction but teach how not to have a brain response when they see an alcoholic drink,” Dr. Mele said.

To sign up for the 6 p.m. seminar on Jan. 17, click here.

Dr. Mele will also launch the same seminar in Texas in February, Arizona in March and Oregon in April. Please see calendar here.

About Dr. Mele

Anthony J. Mele is the chief clinical officer with Sovereign Health. He earned his doctorate of psychology at Widener University in Pennsylvania. More recently, Dr. Mele established the Catholic Clinical Consultants for Catholic Health Care Services in Pennsylvania.

About Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider with locations across the United States. We treat people with mental illness, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. To learn more about our treatment programs for prescription drug and opioid abuse, please call our 24/7 helpline to speak to a member of our team.

About the author

Marie Ekberg Padilla is a senior staff writer for Sovereign Health, where she reports on breaking news in the behavioral health and drug addiction fields. With more than 15 years’ work experience as a journalist in three countries, she enjoys focusing on medical research and scientific innovations that impact people’s lives. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at


Information in the article is based on interviews with Dr. Mele and his research.

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