Doctors and Drug Addiction: Key Ways to Find Help
Doctors and physicians are ascribed a certain level of trust in how they do their work. They are able to help heal people, prescribe medication, and even perform life-saving surgery in an emergency. It seems doctors can do no harm when they are working to help people. There is a shadow side to the profession where doctors prescribe medication to people that they don’t need or more than they need. They also struggle themselves with addiction. They are not invincible. They are almost more vulnerable because they are around more medicine and drugs consistently so may have more access to drugs than the average person. Find out how doctors wrestle with addiction and ways to seek help.
Why Doctors Become Addicted
Rates of addiction hover around 10% or less for people in general. Physicians typically experience rates right around 15%. There is a lot more written about the epidemic of burnout, anxiety, and mental health issues for doctors than in the past. Some may even leave their careers because of the stress. There is more struggle to get paid by insurance, less rewarding work with patients, and less time with patients to help diagnose a problem from their symptoms that supports the decisions they make to help them get better.
Doctors rarely seek help for addiction. They should be able to help treat addiction for patients but they are not always able to help in the way patients need support from their end. People who struggle with addiction may slip through the cracks, especially if a doctor is addicted as well. Stigma is a real possibility as well as losing one’s license. Doctors may stay hidden in the shadows as they wrestle with this issue.
When doctors abuse drugs and alcohol, they deserve care and compassion as much as anybody. Maybe even a bit more given how hard it is to seek help within the profession. State medical boards can ensure the safety of their patients by keeping doctors at work with monitoring in place. Recovery can work at a higher level for doctors who are ready to engage with the journey. Even as the shift in perspective changes, it does not help professionals who are seeking help for their own addiction if they are stigmatized by their peers. Physicians need help for their challenges with addiction. They do not need stigma or further regulations placed against them that keep them from working just because of their addiction. As long as no patients or others were harmed in their practice, they should be able to seek help and recover their work as professionals. Treatment providers who focus on doctors and physicians are typically better equipped to handle this than other providers without experience. The key is to find therapeutic support that works in a treatment environment that maintains confidentiality and help for that person’s individual circumstances.
The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.