Medical Professionals And Addiction who-addiction-affects

Substance Abuse And Health Care


Medical professionals have the same level of risk of drug and alcohol abuse as other people. The addiction can lead to several negative effects for the professionals within the medical fraternity and their patients at the same time. There is a high ratio of abuse found among medical practitioners in the work areas. Medical professionals abuse drugs or alcohol for many reasons, just like people in other professions. The reasons which have been provided for the addiction among medical professionals are various. Some are looking forward to remaining alert throughout the day or the night according to their work schedule while others could be looking for an escape route from the emotional pain after a day of making hard decisions with drastic outcomes.


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


The fact that the people in the medical field can easily get the drugs is what is alarming.

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


Knowing If A Medical Practitioner Is Addicted

Doctors and nurses have been considered as highly functional addicts, and therefore, it can be difficult to recognise signs of dependence upon a drug or alcohol. They are found to be good at maintaining status quo despite their addiction.

You can get in touch with us on 0800 772 3971 and we will help you locate rehab facility if you are in the medical professional and addicted to drugs or alcohol.


Below are few signs that your nurse or physician is an addict

  • Constantly moving from one job to the other.
  • Showing a strong preference to night shifts because of less supervision in night.
  • Dozing off during working hours.
  • Unusual frequency to volunteer of drug administration to patients.
  • Anxious about working overtime or extra shifts.
  • Visiting bathrooms frequently or taking too many breaks.
  • Exhibiting signs of using mouthwash or breath mints frequently while smelling of alcohol.
  • Showing signs of severe stress.
  • Glassy eyes with small pupils.
  • Uncommon friendly attitude towards doctors with access to prescription drugs.
  • Repeated errors in work.

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Reasons For Medical Professionals Becoming Addicted To Alcohol And Drugs

Substance abuse among medical personnel may be attributed to a number of distinct characteristics of a doctor's or nurse's work. Easy access to many popular commonly abused drugs, like Fentanyl and Oxycodone, that medical professionals enjoy is the number one cause of high addiction rate in them. Some can be attributed to their understanding of the effects of specific drugs and how they think it would help them with any current predicaments.


Long working hours, high occupational stress, and the need to stay alert are some of the other top reasons why medical professionals abuse drugs. Instances of regrettable and depressing situations where they may blame themselves fully or partially about it also contributes to their substance abuse.


How Drug Abuse Affects Work

Given the nature of their work, doctors and nurses who are addicted are more likely to cause harm that in other professions. 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.

They are putting their health at risk and even exposing the patients to greater risks. Acknowledgment or acceptance of their situation is usually the most tricky part of treating the addiction. The sooner this happens, the sooner the treatment can start and undesirable events can be averted sooner.


Statistics Of Abuse Amongst Medical Professionals

Doctors and nurses are working in a profession that is highly regarded and respected. However, they are certainly not immune to addictions. It is encouraging to note that there is a specialized addiction therapy designed just for them.

Numerous treatment facilities catering to the wellness of the addicted healthcare professionals are now easily accessible nationwide. These programs have been developed to provide the help and guidance needed by medical professionals through their recovery and to provide methods that can help to avoid the triggers after they are back within their workplace.

Treatment programs for medical professionals addresses, among others, the following aspects

  • How they can get back to work effectively and keep their respect as doctors.
  • Resuming normal medical work.
  • The disciplinary actions that may be taken against them.
  • Getting rid of addictive substances round the entire job area.
  • Participation in monitoring programs.
  • The establishment of continued aftercare.

The high rate of recovery from addiction among healthcare professionals is something that proves encouraging for the patient. 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 provide a more personalized and well-targeted care to address the very reason of the abuse thereby effectively guiding the patient.