What Jobs Have the Highest Addiction Rates?

Medical professionals are not immune to addiction. In fact, they may be more susceptible because of their access and privilege which affords them the opportunity to get their hands on more drugs and even more potent substances. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals are sitting in the crosshairs of a drug abuse epidemic claiming livelihoods and lives in its wake.

Acknowledging the Stats

National studies estimate one in 10 healthcare practitioners will have a substance abuse problem at some point in their careers. The real depth of the problem is not known because the stigma of addiction keeps many people from admitting or reporting substance abuse. There is no universal drug testing for healthcare workers. Access to drugs is one big issue, but also tie in family history and a stressful profession and this leads to a huge problem for some professionals. Some staff are even dying of overdoses in hospital staff bathrooms because the yare using substances on the job.


There is no difference between denial for well-educated medical professionals and other people. Where there is credible evidence of physicians showing signs of addiction, a doctor may reject concerns and deny it exists. The process of recovery cannot begin until people stop living in denial about whether a problem exists.


Most states provide peer assistance and recovery monitoring programs to protect the public and help impaired professionals find hope. Rehab programs for specialized professions generally have high success rates since treatment is intensive and professionals have peer monitoring for several years after. Having access to therapeutic resources, counselors, support groups, and others who document recovery can be a lifesaver for professionals on the brink. All told, there is no guarantee a practitioner can regain their license to practice in their field following addiction rehab. It can impact the future job prospects for that person but relapse is always a concern which may make it difficult to reinstate their license. However, second chances may be given to those who demonstrate they can keep moving forward and stay clean.

Finding Hope

When looking for support as a healthcare professional with addiction, Physician Health Programs is one of many peer assistance programs available. There are also 12-step group meetings, therapy, and other things which a person can do post rehab to settle themselves in recovery with a good rhythm of life that focuses on self care. Intensive treatment and monitoring may be necessary in specialized programs because people’s lives are at stake. Most rehab programs could not provide the same depth of understanding, which is why it is imperative they find a healthcare professional focused rehab program to begin their journey and travel with others who share the same experiences. This community is important for the long journey of recovery.

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.