One in 20 patients being treated for alcoholism or drug use in The Priory, the world-famous private clinic in south-west London, is from the construction industry.

The Priory’s lead clinician, Dr Mike McPhillips told Building: “We have 20 addiction beds and at any given time at least one is [occupied by] a construction person or an architect.”

McPhillips said construction staff tend to have alcohol problems. He said: “It is a stressful industry. There is immense pressure to deliver on time.”

He said architects’ addictions are more equally divided between drink and cocaine use. He said: “They are blue-sky thinkers. They love to be appreciated, they love people to understand how beautiful their vision is, and they get incredibly upset when people don’t like it, which happens a lot.”

McPhillips said the government should build in compulsory drug and alcohol testing to all public construction contracts. He said: “Then all of the bids would reflect a reasonable cost for drug and alcohol testing in the course of the building project.”