How Do Doctors Become Addicts?

It seems hard to believe, but doctors often become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Physicians should know better than the average person just how dangerous and harmful substance abuse is, and yet they are vulnerable to developing addictions.

How Do Doctors Become Addicts - PhysicianHealthProgram.comIn fact, doctors are slightly more likely to become addicted than anyone in the general population. Work stress and other factors contribute to this phenomenon.

It is important that physicians are aware of the increased risk and take steps to avoid substance abuse and addiction.

How Doctors Become Addicts

Medical School Pressures

Being a doctor is a high-pressure career. There are long hours and the pressure of making the best choices for patients. This pressure and stress begins in medical school. Educational demands cause many students to crack under the pressure, but the effect is amplified in medical school. The high-pressure exams, the desire to be at the top of the class and the hours of studying and doing lab work conspire to make medical students stressed out. Some will turn to drugs or alcohol to decompress or even use some substances as study aids.

The Stress Of Work And Patient Care

An addicted doctor seems counterintuitive, but after the pressure of medical school comes the stresses of working long hours with patients. Physicians may turn to substance abuse to mitigate the stress of working so much and sleeping little and to cope with the devastation that can follow a dangerous mistake with a patient. Add to this the availability of substances of abuse and you have a number of reasons why doctors turn to drugs or alcohol.

Why Don’t Doctors Get Treatment?

The Stigma And Shame

While substance abuse may start to sound more reasonable when you consider the pressures physicians are under, it still doesn’t explain how these professionals let a habit become an addiction. Doctors with addictions began as doctors who only occasionally abused substances. There is a high rate of failure to report incidents among doctors because of the shame and stigma associated with substance abuse within this profession. Many doctors consider it a professional courtesy to ignore substance abuse, but this habit can lead to the development of addictions.

What Is A Physician Health Program And How Can It Help?

A physician health program is a special program designed to match addicted doctors with the treatment professionals who can help them. These programs provide a number of services, including screening for substance abuse, coordinated treatment services, consultations, interventions and long-term monitoring. All of these services are provided with the needs of physicians in mind. Most doctors who go through this specialized type of program are able to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol and are able to return to work.

If you are a doctor, or you know a doctor, who is abusing substances, it is important to get help. Physician Health Programs understand the unique needs of doctors struggling with addiction and are able to effectively treat those who want to get clean and maintain sobriety. Find a program near you to get started on recovery today.

See How Physician Health Programs Work & Take Your First Step Towards Healing & Recovery – Don’t Be Ashamed!

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