The Tech Industry's Relationship with Alcohol & Drugs

Recovree had the pleasure of presenting at Minnestar’s demo event in July. The technology showcase draws hundreds of people and is dedicated to celebrating the time, work and effort that it takes to build tech products. During Recovree’s demo, we asked the crowd of 500 tech enthusiasts a series of questions to better understand their relationship with alcohol & drugs. This information is important because we know the tech industry is affected by substance misuse and substance use disorder. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that:

  • 10% of employees in the tech industry have a substance use disorder

  • $13,534 in extra costs are associated with a tech employee who has a substance use disorder

  • $8,466 in savings are obtained in the tech industry for each employee in recovery

To better understand our local tech community, we asked the crowd six questions. A majority of these questions are typically asked in a clinical setting to better understand a person’s relationship with alcohol and drugs. If a person answers yes to one or more of these questions, it is encouraged to ask the person if they are seeking to change certain behaviors in their life. Minnedemo respondents shared the following:

  • 36% said they have thought about cutting down on their drinking and/or drug use

  • 29% said they have been annoyed by people criticizing their drinking and/or drug use

  • 33% said they have felt bad or guilty about their drinking and/or drug use

  • 15% said they have used alcohol or drugs in the morning to cure a hangover or steady their nerves

We also wanted to better understand how the workplace influences how employees in the tech industry use alcohol and drugs.

  • 49% of respondents said they have used alcohol and/or drugs to deal with work-related stress

  • 44% of respondents said that their workplace encourages alcohol use through happy hours, alcohol available onsite and other behaviors

Data is a central theme in technology and decision making within the industry. We want to challenge the companies in our community that employ technologists to thoughtfully consider how the information above can inform future decisions - from healthcare to company culture. We want to encourage a dialogue among CEOs and leadership on how alcohol and drugs are used by their employees and how they may be endorsing these behaviors.

We have a responsibility to support the health and wellbeing of our employees. It’s not just good for business, it’s good for our community and the families that represent it.

For questions or comments on the above, please reach out to Melissa Kjolsing at  And if you would like your employer to offer Recovree as an employee benefit, please click here.