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Why Addiction Occurs Among Medical Professionals

Why Addiction Occurs Among Medical Professionals
Why Addiction Occurs Among Medical Professionals

Medical Professionals

Drug addiction is an epidemic that goes through a cross section of the population. One would think that people who are medical professionals would be the least likely to become addicted to substances because they see firsthand, every day, in hospital emergency rooms and clinics how drug abuse can ruin the lives of individuals and their families. But the fact is, a surprising number of people in the healthcare field suffer from drug and alcohol addiction.

Prevalence of Addiction Among Healthcare Workers

Some of the statistics on substance addiction in the healthcare industry may surprise you.

The Numbers

In 2014, USA Today published a report indicating that in a given year, more than 100,000 medical professionals in the US abuse prescription drugs. The American Nurse Association says that about 10 to 15 percent of all nurses in the US reportedly suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Harvard Medical School states that one out of ten doctors develops a drug or alcohol problem some time in their career.

The Causes

There are a number of reasons behind this high number of addiction cases:

  • Healthcare workers are often under a tremendous amount of pressure on the job, and drugs often provide them with a “quick fix” for handling this pressure.
  • Medical professionals have easy access to prescription drugs.
  • Many falsely believe that because they have professional training about drugs, they “know what they are doing” when taking more than they should.

They have a false sense of confidence that they can control their addiction. However, they soon discover the error of that misconception.

The Urgency of Proper Treatment

Because a medical professional is responsible for the health and well-being of his patients, if his judgment is impaired by drugs, he can endanger the lives of his patients. Therefore, once a substance abuse problem is indicated in a healthcare professional, time must not be wasted in seeking the proper treatment for him or her.

Inpatient Recovery Programs

The most effective treatment approach is for the individual to enter an inpatient treatment program. There are many advantages to this method of treatment:

  • It removes any distraction from the recovery effort
  • No risk of the individual gaining access to drugs
  • Support is available 24/7 to help the individual through the toughest moments
  • Counseling, training, and confidence-building activities are available

Emotional Support

The emotional toll on addicts who work in the medical industry can be intense because they may feel like they have failed their profession and that they are no longer fit to work in the career that they have chosen. Deep depression can sink in. In an inpatient environment, the individual will be in a supportive environment 24/7 which will keep him from sinking deeper and deeper into depression.

Medical professionals often hold the lives of patients in their hands. Therefore, intense inpatient recovery programs are needed to make sure that the individual is fully recovered before he can go back into practice again. This is the most effective and efficient approach to recovery.

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