People in the medical field have stressful jobs. They make decisions that can affect someone’s health, and in some cases they have to make a call that can mean the difference between life and death. There are healthy ways to deal with stress, but some doctors and nurses may turn to drugs to help them cope with the pressures of working in such demanding jobs. Surgeons and those working in the emergency room of hospitals are under the most pressure and can be more susceptible to turning to drugs to handle the demands. Legacy Freedom offers affordable alcohol and drug rehab in Raleigh for healthcare professionals. Call us today to learn more.
Doctors, Nurses and Substance Abuse
If you have a doctor or nurse who appears to be on drugs or “out of it,” he or she may be suffering from a drug addiction. It’s not uncommon. According to a research study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, 69 percent of the 55 doctors interviewed had abused prescription drugs. The doctors were being monitored by their state’s physician health program because of problems relating to alcohol or drug abuse.
Doctors and nurses are more likely to turn to drugs to relieve stress because they have access to them. It’s illegal for doctors to prescribe narcotics for themselves, but many will write a prescription for themselves in a family member’s name. Obviously, there are ethical issues surrounding this practice, and if they get caught they could lose their license or worse. But some doctors still self-medicate this way, especially as their addiction worsens. As with any addict, they get to a point where they don’t care about the consequences they may face; they only care about getting the drugs they need.
Aside from the prescription pad, physicians are given drugs as samples that pharmaceutical reps leave in hopes of convincing the doctor to prescribe the drug to their patients. They also have access to the drugs kept in the supply closet. Some may even ask colleagues to write prescriptions for them in order to avoid the ethical issues surrounding self-medicating.
There have even been cases when doctors admitted to stealing drugs from their patients by asking them to bring in their bottles of pills, then taking a few from them when they weren’t paying attention.
When doctors or nurses have addiction problems, they're not only putting themselves at risk, medically and professionally, they are also putting their patients in danger. If you’re being treated by someone who is under the influence, there is a greater chance of something going wrong. In situations where a doctor or nurse is performing a medical procedure that requires a clear head and steady hand, the patient is at an even greater risk.
If you see signs that your doctor or nurse may be under the influence, such as slurred speech, lack of coordination or any unusual behavior or suggestions for treatment that do not make sense, talk with an administrator in the office or hospital. They should be able to either ease your concerns with an explanation, such as lack of sleep or a medical condition, or look into the issue.
If you still don’t feel comfortable with the doctor or nurse after another visit, request someone else. Your health is the reason for your visit, so you want to keep yourself safe, even if that means finding a new physician or nurse.
Holistic Drug Rehab in Raleigh | Legacy Freedom
If you have questions about addiction and recovery, call Legacy Treatment Center in Raleigh, NC. An admissions counselor is waiting to answer your questions. We offer customized treatment plans for drug rehab in Raleigh that include alternative therapies for drug rehab. You won’t find a more comprehensive program in North Carolina. Call us today to learn more.