Doctors actually have a higher risk of becoming addicted to prescription drugs for a number of reasons. They have easy access to these substances and are often able to divert them for their personal use. They work in high-stress environments with high burnout rates, and the stakes are always about life and death. No wonder so many doctors and nurses are dealing with substance abuse and addiction.
Still, it is important for us to understand what needs to be done in this situation and how medical personnel who become addicted to drugs can be helped. Often, those who do experience this problem lean away from treatment, as they are afraid of the stigma associated with addiction in the medical profession. This is why it is so important for hospitals and other facilities to offer early detection programs and treatment options for medical personnel who do become addicted.
Treatment for addiction is still necessary for someone who is in the medical field. This is the best way for them to be able to safely overcome their substance abuse and begin to heal. In addition, those who seek treatment are often able to return to work and safely avoid relapse.
Anesthesiologists are the medical professionals most likely to abuse drugs and become addicted, and fentanyl is the drug of choice among this population. Fentanyl led to over 20,000 deaths in 2016 alone, but with the proper treatment and understanding, we can help at-risk and addicted individuals change their lives for the better.