Hollywood has glamorized pill popping physicians, with shows like House, Rush and Nurse Jackie; promoting the idea that even doctors can be addicted to the meds they prescribe and still be high functioning. Although you may be tempted to say that it is not that big of a problem, physicians and prescription drug abuse happens more than you think. Prescription drug abuse is a major concern in the U.S. where someone dies every 14 minutes from overdose or complications from abuse. Among the people trapped in prescription drug abuse and addiction are physicians in which easy access to medication and the ability to conceal their use make it possible for them to carry on without detection.
Stress, Injury and Emotional Pain among the Leading Reasons for Rx Abuse
A 2013 study reported in the Journal of Addiction Medicine (American Society of Addiction Medicine) revealed that self-medication is the main reason that many physicians struggle with prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug dependency rates were high among physicians who were self-medicating due to an injury. In addition to prescription drug abuse, the study showed that physicians were also likely to turn to illicit drug use and alcohol abuse. In a focus group centered on 55 (anonymous) physicians in recovery, most of the doctors suggested that they self-medicate due to work and stress, physical pain, and emotional pain or psychiatric symptoms. Many physicians in the study claimed that their dependency to prescription drugs developed as a result of injury, or after surgery. Some of the physicians said that their prescription drug use was related to their need to address certain psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Nearly all of the physicians reported to using prescription drugs to deal with stress related to their professional and personal life. The study also revealed that many of the physicians used prescription drugs to get high, but also to treat withdrawal symptoms – at which point managing their withdrawal became their focus.
Getting Help through Long-term Treatment
Unfortunately, many physicians will not seek assistance for their prescription drug abuse due to negative repercussions such as being reported and the possibility of losing their medical license. However, physician health programs make it possible for doctors in trouble with prescription drug abuse to get the help they need including long-term treatment, drug screening and monitoring. Moreover, there has been a high success rate for physicians in the program in achieving long-term recovery. Contrary to popular belief, doctors are not perfect and they struggle with the same problems that many of their patients do. It may be a bit unsettling that the physician that you trust to treat you and your family may be abusing or addicted to the drugs he prescribes; however the same detox treatment and rehab that can help non-medical persons to get back on their feet has also helped many doctors. Gallus Detox Center offers IV therapy medical detox treatment that can help individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse and dependency overcome their use. Call us today at 855-338-6929. The call is free and it’s confidential.