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Dependency Amongst Medical Professionals

Addiction In The Medical Industry


Medical professionals have the same level of risk of drug and alcohol abuse as other people. In case an addiction is not addressed quickly, both the doctor and his patients will suffer. Compared to most other industries, medical industry has a higher addiction rate. Medical professionals abuse drugs or alcohol for many reasons, just like people in other professions. They may want to get rid of some sensitive problems and due to taking some tough choices or during annoying moments, or probably they want to stay active or awake throughout the night.


Data suggest no fewer than 100,000 health care professionals abuse drugs, the most common being narcotics like Fentanyl and Oxycodone.


The attribute that makes addiction among doctors and nurses unique is their access to the drugs.

While addiction rate in medical professionals is high, the encouraging news is that this group also has a high recovery rate following treatment.


Warning Signs Of Dependency Within Medical Professionals

It is not easy to identify alcohol or drug dependency in medical professionals because of their ability to behave more or less normally. The chances of these professionals maintaining their career, home life along with their substance abuse over a period of time without being noticed by the others remains higher.

You can get in touch with us on 0800 246 1509 and we will help you locate rehab facility if you are in the medical professional and addicted to drugs or alcohol.


Some of the factors that show a medical practitioner is addicted include:

  • Constantly moving from one job to the other.
  • Preference of night shifts where supervision and access to drugs are favourable to them.
  • Being exhausted in the middle of the shift
  • Often making themselves available to administer narcotics to patients.
  • Desperate to work only in night shifts or put in extra hours.
  • Visiting bathrooms frequently or taking too many breaks.
  • Unusual use of breath freshener.
  • Extreme financial, relationship or family stress.
  • Contracted pupils and/or glassy eyes.
  • Other Physicians in charge of drugs are always their good friends.
  • Pattern of incomplete charting or errors on reports.

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Reasons Behind The Rate Of Drug And Alcohol Dependency In The Medical Industry

One can come across a number of unique aspects within the profession of a doctor or a nurse which can make them more likely than other occupations to fall prey to a substance addiction. One is the relatively easy access to prescription and drugs. As they are professionals who also extensively knowledgeable about the effects, these substances can have on an individual, and this could possibly provide them the motivation needed to attempt and mimic the sensations with themselves with the sole intention to produce a high or euphoria.


Medical professionals are often required to take decisions on the spur of the moment regarding the health of the patient along with their well-being apart from working during unpredictable and exhausting hours at different times during the day. Doctors are responsible for health, and many times of life, of others and sometimes negative emotions become so overpowering that they may turn to drugs to cope with them.


How Drug Abuse Affects Work

Doctors or nurses who are currently suffering addiction are more susceptible to errors and oversight. Addicted medical professionals might have problem focusing on the job on hand or miss important appointments or not complete a procedure as per the guidelines.

The patients that are being attended to by these medical practitioners have their lives at risks. Doctors and nurses addicted to drugs or alcohol might want to dismiss the truth about their condition, but an early intervention and treatment is in their best interest. Tackling the problem sooner than later can prevent accidents and mistakes at work.


Statistics Related To Drug And Alcohol Abuse Among Medical Professionals

Doctors and nurses are working in a profession that is highly regarded and respected. However, they are certainly not immune to addictions. However, these doctors and nurses can get treatment specifically for them and not addicts in other professions.

Numerous treatment facilities catering to the wellness of the addicted healthcare professionals are now easily accessible nationwide. The program includes support to doctors and nurses in dealing with triggers of their addiction as they resume normal work.

Areas to tackle for the doctors and nurses abuse therapy scheme:

  • How to restore your career and reputation.
  • The procedures of resuming duty as a specialist.
  • Attending to license and discipline related stuff.
  • Getting rid of addictive substances round the entire job area.
  • Importance of taking part in monitoring programs.
  • Creating a constant check-up scheme.

Doctors and nurses undergoing treatment for their addiction should feel positive because medical professionals are more likely to stay sober after treatment than others. The success rates are even higher when medical professionals decide to enrol themselves within a treatment program where the staff members are familiar in dealing with medical professionals and the challenges that may be seen with this profession. They will hold your hand throughout the recovery process so that you can get over your addiction in the best way possible.