You may wonder where the term burnout came from. In the early 1970s, Herbert Freudenberger was a practitioner in New York City at a community agency focusing on drug abuse. At the time, drug abusers were often called “burnouts.” Being called a burnout meant that the person no longer cared about anything except drugs. As a consequence of a slow erosion of motivation and competence, the person was not capable of much or interested in anything that was not related to being high. Hence, one became a burnout.