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Studies show that people of all walks of life can acquire a drug addiction. That includes professionals. In fact, healthcare experts report that drug addiction among professionals like doctors, dentists, and lawyers is increasing. It includes substance abuse and alcoholism. The findings were reported at a recent international conference and included that an increasing number of professionals were “functioning alcoholics.”
The report shared that countries like the UK weren’t dealing with the problem effectively. It was pointed out that there are, many resources available for health professionals to deal with various mental health issues related to drug and alcohol addiction.
There were some interesting findings. For example, it was reported that up to one-quarter of lawyers suffer from alcohol addiction sometimes during their careers. Meanwhile, the British Medical Association also reported that about 6% of healthcare professionals become addicted to alcohol or drugs. In fact, doctors are 3x more likely to acquire cirrhosis of the liver than the overall population.
A key sign that the problem is becoming worse is “rehab tourism” becoming more popular. It’s been reported that the number of mental health tourists getting rehab treatments abroad has been increasing. It was reported from private healthcare businesses.
There are various reasons why the professionals pick this type of rehab. One is they can afford the high price tag. Another issue is it would be awkward for the drug/alcohol addicts to get help from their peers. So they feel more comfortable about getting treatment abroad.
This type of phenomenon shows that people’s perception of what an alcoholic is wrong. It’s not just a person on the street who is having some very tough times. In fact, over 95% of people who are alcoholics can function very well the majority of the time. In fact, they are leading in their industries whether they’re doctors, dentists, and so on. It’s been argued that more should be done regarding regulating the various professional sectors where drug and alcohol addiction is a major problem.
Experts suggest that alcohol/drug addiction should be dealt in the same way the medical world has dealt with smoking. That’s due to the various costs regarding economic and public safety. More specifically it’s important to deal with people who are practicing their professions like doctors and dentists who are impaired via addiction yet treating patients.
The UK is taking steps for various sectors to get help including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians. One of the main issues healthcare professionals might not feel comfortable getting help for their conditions since they believe their job is to provide physical help for other people. They also might experience shame in dealing with an issue like the addiction. However, one of the best ways to deal with the stigma is to go abroad to get help. In fact, the rehab tourism industry is growing in other countries as more professionals are deciding to get rehab abroad instead of their home country. There are various reasons why this is the case. One benefit is it allows the person to get away from the drinking culture that they’ve been in so they can focus on their rehab. Another benefit is their rehab will be less public since they’ll be away from their home country.
Rehab tourism is popular in various countries like Thailand. The number of professionals like doctors in the programs is increasing faster than several other professions. The problem is in places like England many professionals can function in their jobs even though they’re addicted to drugs and alcohol. The professionals include doctors, nurses, bankers, and so on. Another issue is that many companies tolerate addictions among professionals although that it’s not an official policy to do that.
In fact, it’s quite common for people in the healthcare industry to have a wild social life. However, many experts believe that the problem can be dealt with effectively. They point out that the UK was effective in dealing with smoking and now the smoking rates are much lower than in the past. So it’s possible the UK, US, Australia, etc. could deal with the problem effectively.
Another issue is professionals might find it tougher to get help from their industry colleagues. The reason is there’s the mindset to work hard then play hard. The healthcare industry can be quite stressful so workers often look for a way they can unwind after putting in tough schedules.
In fact, sometimes drug/alcohol addiction starts as early as medical school. The habit sometimes starts then after continues when the student becomes a medical professional and starts working as a doctor, dentist, and so on.
However, it’s still an important step for professionals to take. There’s the public safety issue of dealing with people’s physical/mental health when they’re impaired due to drugs or alcohol. Such addictions can also have a negative effect on other aspects of their lives that involve their friends and family, for example.
In fact, it’s important to take into account all the possible effects of workers who are under the influence of drugs/alcohol while they’re on the clock. Studies show that they’re more likely to make mistakes, miss work, or get injured.
Here are some of the key statistics to consider:
- Over 30% of workers who drink heavily also use illegal drugs
- Nearly 15% of workers report heavy drinking
- More than 60% of workers know someone who worked while influenced by drugs/alcohol
Drug/alcohol addiction is a major issue in different sectors including business, finance, and law. A maximum of 90% of malpractice claims is linked to substance abuse. It is often due to professionals hiding their substance abuse for years before they seek treatment. Another issue is that many legal professionals deal with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior. It makes the situation worse regarding drug/alcohol addiction.
The key problem is that the professionals keep functioning at a high level. It allows them to hide their substance abuse for several years before they get professional help for their problems. There are various issues fear of social/legal results, substance abuse taboos, and so on.
There’s a lot of physical/mental/emotional pressure that’s put on people in the legal sector. The good news is there are various sources for help. That includes professional assistance programs and rehab programs. They help to deal with the problems the professionals are dealing with.
There are also residential treatment programs that allow the patients to deal with the stressors/triggers in their daily lives. It allows them to focus 100% on the process of recovery. When patients are looking for more flexibility/autonomy, there’s out-patient treatment. It allows them to continue their work while they’re in the recovery process.
Medical professionals might think that their professional know-how about medical info might make keep them free from addiction. It is especially true regarding addictions to prescription drugs. In fact, this type of addiction has reached sky-high figures in the total population. However, the type of addiction is quite high among doctors and nurses since they have easy access to various types of narcotics.
An interesting study of doctors with substance abuse problems found that nearly 70% of doctors had misused prescription drugs. The reason was the deal with a dress, prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms, or as recreational drugs.
Most medical professionals know about the dangers of substance abuse but are still hesitant to get help. There’s the stigma involved and also the fear of losing their license, job, and income. There’s also a chance they could face criminal/legal issues.
Several peer assistance programs can help healthcare professionals to recover from their addiction and get back to their practice in a safe way. The programs take a fair approach to substance abuse, and they’re an alternative to various disciplinary action. They include different factors including support and monitoring following the person returns to their medical practice.
There are various types of treatments that professionals can undergo including:
It is used to help the body get rid of the drug it’s addicted to. Various types are used, and a medical professional can determine which one is the best option based on the particular drug a person is addicted to. It is an important issue to make the detox effective and safe.
These are used for alcohol, tobacco, or opioid addiction. Here are some of the most common ones or opioid addiction:
A physician can pick the best medicine for a particular patient. It is based on various factors like the drug the person is addicted to another factor. Opioids are accessed easily by medical professionals, so they’re a common substance that’s abused in the industry. Fortunately, various drugs can effectively treat addictions involving the substances.
- Mental Health Issues
It can include various ones like anxiety and depression. These types of factors are common in high-stress sectors like the medical industry. It’s important to deal with them to effectively treat drug/alcohol addiction.
- Behavioral Counseling
There are various types of counseling involved in drug rehab. One of the most common ones is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It focuses on developing coping strategies for the patient that deal with various problems/cognitions the person is going through. For example, the cognitions that can affect their drug/alcohol addiction include beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes. It’s important to deal with these things to help the patient recover as quickly as possible from their situation.
For people to get help for their drug/alcohol abuse, it’s important to know some of the most common signs that they’re abusing the substances. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- Diluted/constricted pupils
- Quick weight changes
- Abnormal brain functioning
- Attitude/personality charges
- Social network changes
- Financial issues
- Financial problems
- Criminal activity
- Bloodshot/glazed eyes
- Habit/priority changes
It’s important to note that a person who shows 1 or 2 of these symptoms isn’t necessarily dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. However, if the person exhibits several of symptoms in the long-term, then there’s a higher chance that they’re dealing with drug addiction. In that case, it’s important for the person to be evaluated by professionals as soon as possible. That will help to determine whether or not they’re addicted to a substance.
A major mistake that many people make is thinking that recovering from alcohol/drug addiction is just a matter of willpower. That’s simply not the case in part because there are strong chemicals involved that are causing addiction.
It’s important for professionals to get into drug rehab/recovery as soon as possible. In many cases, professionals in the business, legal, and healthcare industries are hesitant to enter in rehab. There are various reasons such as the stigma of rehab, losing their license, embarrassment among peers, and so on. However, it’s an important step so professionals can get back on track to their practices.
It can be toughest for people in the healthcare industry like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and so on to get help for the alcohol/drug addiction. One of the main reasons is they’re in the business of helping people with physical issues. So they might feel that it’s impossible for them to become addicted to drugs themselves and especially when they’re prescribing or administering them. However, it’s still important to get the treatment they need.
There are several types of drug rehab/recovery programs. It makes it easier for a person to pick one that’s right for their particular needs. For example, they can pick a program that they’re most comfortable in, which will help to produce the best results. It might involve staying in a facility for several days or weeks or even being an outpatient.
Regardless of which type of program a professional picks the most important step is first to admit that they have a problem. Once they do that they’re certainly on the right track to getting the help, they need to deal with their alcohol or drug addiction.