Poor economic status and unemployment are connected with addictions.There are definitely cases where some people lose everything they have as a result of the addictions they have, which includes their savings and jobs, it’s also true that some people manage to keep their job, raise their families, keep their dignity while they suffer from serious addictions that threaten their physical and mental health.Those with concerns such as this might be reluctant to divulge them, however those who are able to can take advantage of specialized therapy to address their condition and concerns.
Social Determinants of Health
Everyone is different. We all exist in a more comprehensive social and cultural structure that affects our health. Here are examples of the wats social factors affect our health:
- Access to health care. Some people dint have access to good health as compared to others. Preventative maintenance and early treatment can reduce the risk of developing or dying from serious illnesses. The inability to afford health insurance makes peoples health worse. People who live in regions with poor access to quality providers may not receive adequate care. Some people may not seek health care because of fears about the quality of care.
- Access to lifestyle factors that promote good health. People who live in food deserts may struggle to eat nutritious food. Families with limited finances may not be able to afford quality food. A person with little time may be unable to exercise.
- Exposure to dangerous substances. Lead, air pollution, and asbestos are hazardous and can cause severe health problems. Pollution and other toxins are more prevalent in deprived communities.
- Inclination in healthcare. Almost all health care providers have an implicit bias that can influence treatment efficiency and outcomes. According a study, doctors prefer to ignore women’s discomfort. In emergency departments, women wait longer to see doctors and are less likely than men to have their condition identified as urgent.
- Health care cultural expectations and behaviors Different communities may have different ideas about what signs are typical and how to treat them. A devoutly religious culture, for example, may advise praying about a sign before seeking medical help. Some organizations have a natural aversion to medical professionals. For example, a parent who has not vaccinated their child
- The consequences of injustice. Members of more impoverished populations are more likely to receive low quality health care, resulting in poor health. Racism’s daily stress may have long-term consequences for people of color’s health. Discrimination may raise cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. As a result, elevated cortisol levels may hurt one’s health.
Professionals Medical Personnel
The medical profession, especially anesthesiologists, doctors, and pharmacists, faces intense temptations, as they can easily access drugs. The practitioners may also be expected to deal with chronic fatigue, intense schedules, and persistent sadness any time cases do not end happily. Several studies conducted for the AORN Journal found that around 10 per cent of nurses are struggling with addiction. Even so, there are medical personnel who have habits they have hidden that need to be rectified.
These issues are addressed with great severity because medical professionals who are addicted can easily cause harm to their patients. When these medical professionals are made aware that the problem exists, they are pushed to adhere to treatment programs, and are asked to provide samples periodically showing compliance. Many therapists choose to stay with the therapy because a slip can lead to a loss of license and possibly even an inability to make ends meet. Their prompt motivates them to be compliant.
It may be that they don’t want to use treatments commonly available to the general public; however, they may be worried about encountering former patients or colleagues. Choosing a treatment facility in a different state or an executive program can be the best option to preserve a person’s reputation while receiving treatment for addiction.
Substance Abuse In Health Care
One of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce is doctors and nurses. “Across the world, more than 100,000 physicians, nurses, technicians, and other health professionals struggle with violence or addiction, many to opioids like Oxycodone and Fentanyl,” according to USA Today.
Like many other working professionals struggling with addiction, a medical professional can turn to drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons. They may be looking for a way to remain alert during an all-day or overnight shift or cope with the emotional pain of a day filled with difficult decisions and disappointing outcomes.
What distinguishes physicians and nurses from other professions is their easy access to highly sought-after medications; since they can get the drugs more efficiently, it’s easier for them to start or feed an addiction.
Doctors and nurses have a high rate of addiction, but they also have a high rehabilitation rate after they receive care.
Signs of Addiction Within Medical Professionals
Recognizing drug or alcohol dependence in doctors or nurses are often difficult because many are considered to be highly functional addicts. This suggests that they’re ready to maintain their career, home life and drug abuse for a period of your time without others noticing.
The following are common signs of addiction in doctors and nurses:
- Frequently changing jobs
- Prefer night shifts because there is less monitoring and more medicine available.
- Sleeping on the job or in the middle of a move
- Volunteering to prescribe drugs to patients regularly
- Concerns about working extra shifts or overtime
- Taking regular bathroom breaks or missing work for no apparent reason
- Using an alcoholic odour or using breath mints or mouthwash unnecessarily
- Glassy eyes or small pupils due to extreme financial, relationship, or family stress
- Doctors who prescribe drugs have an amicable relationship with me.
- Incomplete charting or a pattern of paperwork errors
Why Medical Professionals Turn to Drugs of Alcohol
A doctor or nurse’s career has many characteristics that make them more likely than other professions to develop a drug addiction.
The quick access to potent opioid drugs that aren’t adequately accounted for when administered is a common explanation of why medical practitioners might be tempted to misuse substances like Oxycodone or Fentanyl and get addicted. They also have a thorough understanding of the impact these drugs have on people, which can lead them to attempt to replicate these experiences to achieve a high or euphoria.
Medical professionals are expected to make spur-of-the-moment decisions about their patients’ health and well-being in addition to their unpredictable and stressful work hours. If they feel guilty for a specific result or regret a decision, it can significantly impact their feelings and mental health, contributing to drug abuse.
The Effects of Addiction in The Workplace
A medical professional who is addicted is more likely than their non-addicted colleagues to cause a workplace accident or neglect their patients’ health. They can be distracted at work or leave crucial appointments or surgical procedures to use medications.
I used to look like I had the flu while standing in the operating room. So I’d excuse myself, go to the bathroom, and eat 10 [Tylenols with codeine], and in maybe five or 10 minutes, I’d be normal again.
– Richard Ready, former chief resident of neurosurgery at a prominent Chicago hospital, LA Times
Doctors and nurses who are addicted endanger their own health and the health of the people they are caring for. It might be difficult for a doctor to admit they have an addiction, but the earlier the addiction is addressed, the better. This will help avoid workplace accidents and overlook critical symptoms of health problems in patients.
Legal Practitioners and Other Professionals
Lawyers and executives might easily access powerful drugs, but can be pressured to:
- Get as many patients or cases in each month as possible
- Beat competitors in skill and prowess
- Manage hesitant employees
- Make shareholders happy
There can be further pressure, leading to excessive substance use and abuse. Therapies can help these professionals set boundaries and learn to refuse offers that provide them with too much stress, but since these professionals have unique concerns that might not apply to the average addict, they might also benefit from enrolling in executive drug rehab programs. In these programs, they’ll have access to understanding peers that can provide vital support and problem-solving techniques.
Some professionals take this idea one step further and enrol in programs specific to their profession. Lawyers, for example, might choose to enrol in assistance programs provided by the bar association in their state. The Lawyer Assistance Program in California, for example, offers individual counselling, peer support and group work that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of members of the legal profession. This could be just the type of targeted help some professionals need to beat their addictions.
Treatment for Addiction Among Professionals
Although physicians, nurses, and other professionals work in a highly regarded and valued field, they are not resistant to addiction. Fortunately, recovery services are tailored to professionals and provide them with a fresh start.
A variety of states have services to assist professionals recovering from addiction while ensuring they do not lose their certification or ability to practice. These services also help professionals in their rehabilitation by teaching them how to prevent triggers once they return to work.
The following are some of the topics that will be covered in drug treatment:
- What steps do you take to reclaim your job and reputation?
- Returning to clinical practice is a lengthy process.
- Licensing and disciplinary issues will be addressed.
- Keeping a safe distance from possible causes at work and at home
- Monitoring program participation
- Creating a long-term follow-up plan
Professionals have a much higher than average rate of sustaining sobriety following treatment, so there is reason to be hopeful when in rehabilitation.
If you’d like to know more about tailored programs just like this, please contact us. We can tell you about the Foundations Recovery Network programs that might be just right.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.