Even though anesthesiologists make up only three percent of all doctors, they account for 20 percent to 30 percent of all addicted doctors. Indeed, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, including the ones they administer, is common among anesthesiologists. Perhaps worse, it’s often hard to spot those who are addicted.
This is partly because anesthesiologist with substance use disorder are often the best in the business or the go-getters known for volunteering for extra shifts and holiday rotations. Also, the signs of drug addiction – for instance, mood swings, irritability, coughing, diarrhea – can be chalked up to long, stressful hours on the job and a germ-rich workplace.
What Puts Anesthesiologists at Risk for Drug Abuse?
Many factors contribute to these high rates, though for some docs, the following four factors can become an RX for addiction.
- Access: These medical professionals administer, handle, manage and label their own medications for patients. In other words, they come into contact regularly with highly addictive narcotics and can easily divert some drugs here and there for their own personal use.
- Stress: Keeping a patient alive during major surgery is no short order and so perhaps it’s not too surprising that many anesthesiologists turn to drugs as a way to deal with job stress or to relax after a tough day.
- Curiosity: I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat.”
- Workplace exposure: Some studies note that exposure to airborne narcotics can cause the anesthesiologist to become unknowingly addicted or drawn to using.
Addiction Help for Anesthesiologists at Providence
Although anesthesiologists are at increased risk of drug addiction, they are also shown to have high success rates when it comes to drug rehab and long-term monitoring. Let the professionals at Providence Treatment help you or your loved one get sober and return to the job you love. Call today: 888-373-9844.