The times we are living in right now are very scary and unpredictable and every one of us is thinking about what is going to happen next. Some of us are making sacrifices that put us in harm’s way but for many professions, that is part of the job. Medical professionals risk their lives for so many of us every day. They sometimes work long hours with very little breaks in between; sometimes without even eating or using the restroom. The emotional and physical stress that medical workers face its no wonder why it’s known for them to account for one of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce.
According to some studies, Across our country, more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians, and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction, mostly involving narcotics such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl.
Similar to many other working professionals such as lawyers and teachers facing an addiction, there are many reasons a medical professional might turn to drugs or alcohol. Because of their long hours they work, they may not get enough rest, therefore; they could be looking for a way to stay alert on an all-day or overnight shift or a way to escape the emotional pain from a day of hard decisions and upsetting outcomes. But what sets doctors and nurses apart from other professionals is their accessibility to highly sought-after drugs — because it’s easier for them to get the drugs, it’s easier to create or feed an addiction.
Substance abuse doesn’t discriminate between medical professionals. Every kind of doctor or nurse can have a substance abuse problem from pediatricians to obstetricians to even brain surgeons. Not one of them is immune to the mental, emotional or physical issues that come from their profession that may lead them to use drugs and alcohol as a coping skill.
According to the studies, the rate of medical workers suffering from substance abuse may be high but the rate of recovery when treated with high also. This may be because they are highly educated and their careers mean so much to them.
Signs of Substance Abuse in Medical Workers
Because medical workers are usually high functioning addicts, it can be difficult to recognize when a doctor or a nurse is dependent on drugs or alcohol. When someone is a high functioning addict, it means they can perform their everyday work and home life as if they weren’t on any substance for a long period without anyone noticing.
Common signs of addiction in doctors and nurses include:
- Changing jobs frequently
- Preferring night shifts where there are less supervision and more access to medication
- Falling asleep on the job or in-between shifts
- Volunteering often to administer narcotics to patients
- Anxiousness about working overtime or extra shifts
- Taking frequent bathroom breaks or unexplained absences
- Smelling of alcohol or excessively using breath mints or mouthwash
- Extreme financial, relationship or family stress
- Glassy eyes or small pupils
- An unusually friendly relationship with doctors that prescribe medications
- Incomplete charting or repeated errors in paperwork
Alcohol Treatment for Medical Workers
Thankfully there are many treatment options to help or medical workers get back on the right track. Depending on your situation and how much time you have there are usually two main options: Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.
- Inpatient rehab programs: this is where you stay in a rehab facility overnight and go to daily structured therapy groups. These can last anywhere from 30 days to 90 days. It is the most supported system and structured recovery process. Also by staying overnight, it eliminates patient distractions where staying focused on getting sober is key.
- Outpatient rehab programs: An outpatient facility is where you go to treatment with professionals during the day but go back to your residence at night. This option is less structured; you have less focus on your sobriety and lack of accountability.
Choosing what best suits the situation can make a difference between getting sober and staying addicted. And if you are worried about your career whether it will still be there for you when you return or if you will be fired two laws can protect you:
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a labor law that protects if you take a leave for medical reasons and can provide you with up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work annually without the risk of losing your job. The Family and Medical Leave Act also calls for existing group health benefits through your employer to be maintained during your leave. There are required requirements that must be checked beforehand to see if you are eligible though.
- Another federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees who have disabilities is The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). How this act usually works is if you voluntarily enter treatment maybe using your vacation time and an employer finds out, you are protected under the ADA and cannot be terminated. If using vacation time does not apply, you can speak to our admissions specialists here at Allure Detox and we can find a solution.
Allure Detox is Here to Help with Alcohol Addiction
The decision to enter an alcohol detox program can be difficult and frightening for many people. This is completely understandable as addiction often comes with traumatic physical and emotional repercussions. Fortunately, these fears are mostly unfounded, as the consequences of continued drinking are far worse than alcohol detox could ever be.
Patients discover this for themselves once they begin the detox process. With proper medical help, they realize that the discomfort they’ve been avoiding is minor. And after years and years of unaided struggle, they begin to sense the relief that sobriety offers. They see that alcohol detox is a ticket to a better life. Take Back Your Life At Allure Detox.