Why Medical Professionals Turn to Addiction and Ways to Help Them Recover

Why Medical Professionals Turn to Addiction and Ways to Help Them Recover

Medical professionals, including nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, and more have some of the highest rates of addiction around. Their workforce contributes to the safety and well-being of so many, yet many of them are struggling under the weight of addiction. Emotionally and physically, they are burning out under the pressure of long shifts and difficult decisions that are sometimes life and death for the people they treat. Learn more about why medical professionals turn to addiction and how to help them recover.

Medical Professionals and Signs of Addiction

While it may feel hard to recognize addiction or dependence in medical professionals because so many are high-functioning, it can be important to look for common ways they exhibit signs others may miss. This can include:

  • Anxiety about working overtime
  • Financial or relational stress
  • Frequent breaks to the bathroom for unexplained reasons
  • Falling asleep on the job (if that is unusual as a habit)
  • Smelling of alcohol or mouthwash 
  • Overly-engaged with professionals who prescribe medications to the point it makes others uncomfortable

Why it Happens

A common reason medical professionals may be tempted towards substance abuse includes the idea that the access is easy, so why not use that avenue. Since they have knowledge of the drugs, they can often pick and choose what they want without worrying too much about its effects. Even if they think they know how much to take to ‘be safe,’ or how to deal with their exhaustion with ‘just a little help’ from a pill or drug, they are still putting their license at risk along with patient health and safety. Responsibility goes out of the window when addiction takes hold. Quite often, it is not only access, but the idea that they are struggling to navigate stress on the job, in life, or deal with other people’s trauma layered across their own every day. This makes for a dangerous cocktail after awhile. 

Seeking Help

It is not always easy to quit a habit like drugs or alcohol, especially when it is used as a reason to get through work or get through the day. The key to thinking about it in a healthy way is to know rehab centers focus their therapeutic work on helping those with medical professional careers get help for addiction. The whole person is treated from their trauma to addiction to mental health issues. The goal is to treat the whole person so they can heal and move forward. 

The Palmetto Center offers help for medical professionals as well as others who struggle with addiction. Our goal is to help you restore your life after addiction takes over. Our program provides a 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.