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Why do doctors turn addicts?

Published On: 03-15-2016 in Category: Addiction, alcohol, drug abuse, drug treatment


When an Orlando pediatrician’s license was rescinded recently for being under the influence of drugs while on job, it raised quite a few eyebrows. Dr. Norbert Falasco had to shut his office because of complaints to the department of health that he was drinking and taking drugs while treating children.

It was not the first time that Dr. Falasco was accused of being under the influence while performing his duty. He has allegedly been a habitual offender. In fact, the doctor was convicted in 2003 after he pleaded guilty of attempted drug trafficking. Incidents like this raise the obvious question – why do doctors abuse drugs and alcohol.

Like general population, even doctors are susceptible to abuse drugs and alcohol, be it for genetic predisposition, childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, occupational hazards or any other reason. Let’s take a look at some common causes:

Demands of the course

There is pressure inherent to the profession which makes them soft targets to get waylaid. Studies have shown that there is rampant abuse of alcohol, benzodiazepines and prescription opiates among medical students in the U.S. Because of the immense pressure, a medical course entails competing with peers and staying abreast of the latest innovations and developments in the field, often driving medical students to abuse drugs to cope with stress.

Erratic work schedule and long working hours

There is no time schedule for doctors as it is an emergency service profession. Long working hours and erratic schedules come in the way of a happy family life, recreation and adequate sleep and exercise. All these lead to depression, anxiety and irritability in them, taking them closer to drugs and alcohol.

Chronic stress

The profession requires long working hours, workload and lack of emotional support. Those predisposed to abuse substance and alcohol become addicts while trying to overcome stress. However, doctors usually do not admit to taking drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate, reveal several surveys.

Emotional support which is vital for them to keep their sanity is seen to be severely lacking. Patient care for doctors is one of the most rewarding facets of the profession. However, at times, doctors also fail to bring relief to patients which could be very taxing for them emotionally. Lack of adequate training to manage such stress builds additional stress for them.

Easy availability of drugs

Doctors are the ones who prescribe medicines to patients, be it opioid painkillers or other addictive drugs. These drugs are easily accessible to them. At any given moment, they can lay their hands on these medicines, unlike others who have to keep pestering doctors for prescriptions.

Poor reporting of their addiction

Many doctors who are addicted to drugs or alcohol go unnoticed because fellow doctors do not report them as a courtesy call. Besides, relatives and friends of such doctors also avoid doing so because it would impact their career and financial state. This leads to a continuous abuse of drugs or alcohol by doctors.

An addiction can be dangerous for anybody, even if he or she happens to be a doctor. If you or your loved one in the family is abusing drugs, call the Orlando Drug Treatment and Rehab Center today for help. Our experts are willing to answer your queries and guide you to a de-addiction center that best suits your requirement. Call our 24/7 helpline at 407-545-6829.

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