Cali Estes featured for her addiction work with the underground subculture of Google executives. Read on and enjoy!
Use of illicit drugs becomes part of Silicon Valley’s work culture
“And it’s a lot worse than what people think because it’s all covered up so well,” says Estes. “If it gets out that a company’s employees are doing drugs, it paints a horrible picture.”
While precise numbers of techie drug users are impossible to come by, most treatment and addiction experts see evidence of a growing problem borne of a potent cocktail: newly minted wealth, intense competition between companies and among their workers, the deadline pressure of one product launch after another and a robust regional black-market drug pipeline.
“There’s this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor,” says Steve Albrecht, a San Diego consultant who teaches substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers. “These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far.”
Furthering the problem, many tech companies do little or no drug testing because, as Albrecht put it, “they want the results, but they don’t want to know how their employees got the results.”
Patients prescribed opioids for back pain or injuries can easily become addicted; others get opioids on a thriving black market, or easier yet, from the medicine cabinet of a family member or friend.
Dave Marlon, president of Nevada-based treatment center Solutions Recovery Inc., which has treated tech workers from across the country, says, “Some people say they need to take opioids in the morning just to function and go to work. It’s like drowning and you need air.”