Doctors and nurses struggle with drug addiction, in fact, these cases of substance abuse account for some of the highest rates in the workforce. Research shows that approximately 20% of all nurses struggle with addiction or alcoholism, and 1 in 10 doctors will suffer from substance abuse at some point in their lives. This makes for more than 100,000 medical professionals in the US who struggle. And most of these individuals struggle with an addiction to narcotic pain medications such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl.
Effects of Addiction in the Workplace
Medical professionals with addiction issues are more likely to cause an accident in the workplace and neglect their patients. Abusing substances can cause distractions on the job. These individuals are putting themselves in danger, but they are also endangering the well-being of their patients. Addressing addiction issues early can help prevent accidents or neglect on the job. And although doctors and nurses tend to have a higher rate of addiction issues, these individuals usually also have a high recovery rate when they do get treatment.
Why Do Healthcare Professionals Struggle With Addiction?
There can be various reasons why doctors and nurses turn to drugs and alcohol. It could be that they are using it to stay alert for long shifts or as a way to escape emotional pain from upsetting outcomes or a day of hard decisions. Also, doctors and nurses have higher accessibility to these drugs, making it easier for them to feed an addiction. Some other common reasons can include high levels of stress and fatigue. In addition, like many other addicts, they are attempting to self-medicate to get relief. Another reason can be because doctors and nurses have an extensive understanding of these substances’ effects on individuals. This can motivate them to try and feel the same sensations to produce that euphoria or high.
Signs of Substance Abuse in Medical Professionals
It can be hard to tell if a doctor or nurse is having trouble with drugs or alcohol because many of them are very high-functioning addicts. As a result, most can maintain their career and home life at least for some time before anyone notices. Some of the common signs of substance abuse among doctors and nurses can include:
- Wanting to work the night shift due to less supervision so they can have easier access to medications.
- Falling asleep on the job.
- Volunteering to administer narcotics to patients.
- Anxiety if asked to work overtime or extra shifts.
- Frequent bathroom breaks or unexplained absences.
- Smelling alcohol on their breath.
- Small pupils or glassy eyes.
- Financial, relationship, or extra family stress.
- Excessive, unusual friendly relationships with other physicians that prescribe medications.
- Repeated errors charting or incomplete charting.
Another sign to look for can be that they are suddenly neglecting their physical care and hygiene habits like eating and showering.
Recovery From Addiction for Doctors and Nurses
Evoke Wellness has a network of drug and alcohol treatment centers that are carefully designed to offer a lasting solution for healing those suffering from substance use disorders. We offer a safe and comfortable environment for medical detoxification. Our patients are treated extensively so that minimal discomfort is experienced during the detox process. Evoke Wellness provides residential treatment in a structured environment and then provides you with after-care support, which is very important when being treated for addiction. Evoke Wellness is here to help you get on the road to long-term recovery. A sober life begins now!