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Addiction Among Medical Professionals

Drug Abuse In Health Care


It is not surprising to know that addiction also happens among medical practitioners and nurses. The addiction can lead to several negative effects for the professionals within the medical fraternity and their patients at the same time. Among the many professionals, the medical field is one that comprises of people that are highly addicted. There could be several reasons why professionals within the medical fraternity are turning to drugs or alcohol but the reasons are no different from many other working professionals who are facing an addiction. The pressure that comes with their job could be one of the reasons as to why they have resorted to the use of the drugs.


All over the world, over 100,000 nurses, doctors, technicians and other medical experts are victimized by an addiction of some sort, usually narcotics like Fentanyl and Oxycodone, based on the broadcast of UK Today.


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

Medical workers have bigger chances of getting healed from their illness once addicted; even though they equally have great chances of developing an obsession for drugs.


Warning Signs Of Dependency Within Medical Professionals

Due to their high rate of performance during their addiction, it's very hard to identify drug or alcohol addiction in physicians or nurses. Despite their addiction, they are able to sustain not only their work life but also home life.

If you are a doctor or a nurse and are dealing with an addiction contact 0800 246 1509 and we will help find a treatment centre for you.


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

  • Frequency of job changes.
  • Showing a strong preference to night shifts because of less supervision in night.
  • Dozing off during working hours.
  • 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.
  • Exhibiting signs of using mouthwash or breath mints frequently while smelling of alcohol.
  • Issues with relationships and finances.
  • Contracted pupils and/or glassy eyes.
  • Unusual friendly relationships with doctors who are prescribing medications.
  • Always making mistakes, or experiencing improper documentation.

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Understanding The Causes Of Addiction Among Healthcare Professionals

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. Since physicians have the permission to reach any of those highly recommended drugs which is not properly recorded when issued, they can easily become addicted to drugs like Oxycodone or Fentanyl. The understanding of the "high" effects of these drugs also tempts them to use them and see what really happens.


Long working hours, high occupational stress, and the need to stay alert are some of the other top reasons why medical professionals abuse drugs. Their emotions and psychological state are affected after regretting an action or making wrong decisions, thereby prompting addiction.


How Drug Abuse Affects Work

The possibility of causing an accident within the workplace or neglecting the health in the patient is higher among addicted medical professionals as compared to their counterparts who may not be facing such issues. 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.


The Statistics Of Addiction In The Healthcare World

Looks can be deceiving no matter how reputable and highly regarded a doctor or a nurse is, they are not safe from addiction. There are many de-addiction programs created specifically for people working in the medical industry.

Medical practitioners are highly assisted by lots of states which provide schemes to assist doctors and ensuring that they don't lose their licensing certificates. 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 they can get back to work effectively and keep their respect as doctors.
  • The procedures of resuming duty as a specialist.
  • Attending to license and discipline related stuff.
  • Managing triggers in and out of work.
  • Engaging with monitoring programs.
  • How they will continue with their lives after the rehab.

Doctors and nurses undergoing treatment for their addiction should feel positive because medical professionals are more likely to stay sober after treatment than others. They can always get the help in recovery even from their fellow staff members and this aids in their quick recovery. They are willing to work alongside the medical professionals to understand the root cause of their addiction and provide the guidance required throughout the process to restore their health.