Although it is difficult to be sure, studies indicate that roughly 1 in 10 practicing medical professionals are struggling with some form of chemical dependence. While this number is similar to drug and/or alcohol dependency rates in the general population, it can be easier for doctors to hide their addiction because of their accessibility to legal drugs. Clearly, medical professionals and drug abuse is somewhat common, and is a great cause for concern. This is true not only for the addicted professionals, but the patients they care for.
Factors Contributing to Medical Professionals and Drug Abuse
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. may be more likely to develop addiction than non-medical personnel because of their working environment. While not exclusive, the following situations are often the most common triggers for abuse and addition in medical professionals:
- Accessibility – Many medical professionals who suffer an injury may initially receive narcotics for pain management, and then they become hooked. Ready access to these same controlled substances in the workplace makes fostering the addiction easier. Outright theft from the workplace, forging or altering prescriptions, and confiscating unused patient medication are all common methods.
- Stress – Long shifts, emotional demands and the reality of going from one demanding situation to another can take a serious toll on any person. To cope, many medical professionals find themselves self-medicating to manage the demands of the job.
- Knowledge and Curiosity – For most people knowledge is power, but for others, it can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Because most healthcare professionals understand the effects of the legal prescription drugs they prescribe every day, they overestimate their own sense and ability for control when taking the medication. Additionally, it can become difficult for professionals, who regularly hear of a drug’s positive effects from their patients. This often instills curiosity and the desire to try a medication personally.
Reluctance to Seek Help
Many healthcare professionals who become addicted are often able to go undetected because patients and coworkers trust them. In turn, many will work hard to avoid being discovered for fear of retribution, loss of license and legal consequences. However, a time often comes when the individual, their family or coworkers take notice of what is happening. Gallus Detox Centers offers comprehensive addiction detox programs including:
- Prescription drug detox program
- Medical detox program
- Opioid detox program
- Opiate detox program
- Benzo detox program