Rehabs are still open!

Learn More

Is your loved one struggling with addiction?

Get Help

Questions about treatment?

Get 24/7 help. Call now for:

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive assistance
  • Financial assistance options
(877) 648-4288

Find the life you deserve to live

Get Help

Featured Treatment Center

Paid Advertising
{{ __('Thumbnail photo of', 'sage') }} Mount Regis Center

Mount Regis Center

Opioid Abuse In Medical Professionals

Medical professionals endure extreme stress, depression, and anxiety and can turn to opioids to cope.

Medical Professionals, Mental Health And Opioids

Opioid abuse has been a public health concern for years. Much of the opioid epidemic occurs from patients who suffered major bodily injuries and needed strong medications like Methadone, codeine, pharmaceutical fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine to recover. Eventually, they begin to develop a tolerance to the drug and seek out stronger alternatives. This tolerance has resulted in patients seeking extremely deadly opioids like synthetic fentanyl, heroin, carfentanil, Gray Death and Black Tar heroin. Unfortunately, millions of Americans began to abuse opioids due to its ability to provide euphoria. The American Medical Association cites 3% to 19% of people who take prescription medications become addicted. Furthermore, 45% of people battling a heroin addiction transitioned from prescription medications.

Individuals who work in the medical field suffer unique and high amounts of stress. Constantly caring for sick or dying patients can induce feelings of depression, anxiety, burn out, and fatigue. Having the responsibility to provide exceptional assistance to sick patients, along with comforting family members makes for challenging days at work. Furthermore, doing so under stressful circumstances adds more pressure to the equation. With the rise of COVID-19, medical professionals have had changes in their mental health. Spikes in depression, anxiety, insomnia, and isolation have also affected nurses and doctors providing care to patients. As a result, medical professionals have had to cope with troubling emotions in a variety of ways—some of which are not healthy.

Help is out there

Reach out to a dedicated treatment professional and learn how you can create the life you want.

Medical Professionals And Opioid Abuse Findings

Physicians are 5 times more likely to abuse opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines, and anti-anxiety medications. Additionally, some studies have cited 10% to 12% of medical professionals struggle with addiction.  Another 5-year study observing 904 physicians found 35.9% of them had an opioid use disorder after 50% battled alcoholism.

Medical professionals have immediate access to morphine and fentanyl and can take it for a variety of reasons at any time while working. In the case of opioids, those who take stronger ones like pharmaceutical fentanyl can become addicted after 1 dose.

Rehabs are still open!

Learn More

Medical Professionals, Opioids, And Risk Factors

Risk factors can contribute to the abuse of opioids in medical professionals as well as in the general population such as: a history of substance abuse, their environment (highly stressful, depressive, traumatic, or accessibility), and a family history of drug abuse and a history of poor mental health. Being around people who they help deal with a variety of health conditions can create the temptation to begin using drugs readily available to soothe pain.

A 5-year study observing 904 physicians found 35.9% of them had an opioid use disorder.

Medical Professionals’ Access To Opioids

Doctors sneaking doses of drugs and taking it on the clock is not unheard of. Being around the environment of drugs only makes it worse. Opening up about addiction as a medical professional creates much uncertainty. Doctors and nurses could lose their medical license, risking social embarrassment, job loss, and shame. If they are struggling with addition or mental health challenges, getting help may be more difficult in their minds since much is at risk of being lost. Nevertheless, getting help for such a powerful class of chemicals is best, rather than risking the health of the medical professional and their patients.

Take action & empower yourself

Call now to be connected to a compassionate treatment professional.

Signs Of Opioid Abuse In Medical Professionals

Doctors and nurses who use drugs and are under the influence of an opioid risk impairing their ability to help sick patients. Signs of opioid abuse a medical professional may exhibit are, but are not limited to:

  • Poor job performance
  • Not showing up for work
  • Drowsiness on the job
  • Tardiness
  • Admitting to excessive opioid use
  • Jokes about taking opioids for unauthorized reasons
  • Problems sleeping
  • Poor productivity
  • Errors in medical documentation
  • Increasing opioid dosage
  • Poor hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Problems concentrating or decision making
  • Intense cravings
  • Mismanaging money, stealing money or spending on drugs

It’s helpful to be able to spot signs of opioid abuse, especially in medical professionals. Since they have to be alert and healthy to save lives, noticing any irregular patterns of behavior could help them realize they have a problem.

Questions about treatment?

Get 24/7 help. Call now for:

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive assistance
  • Financial assistance options
(877) 648-4288

Treatment For Opioid Abuse

Fortunately, medical professionals have unique treatment options that can help with sobriety. For starters, there are rehab facilities with detox programs ideal for medical professionals. Other facilities offer privacy for professionals, giving patients the confidentiality needed. Rehab facilities offer state of the art medications with monitoring for quality care. Common treatment medications for opioid abuse include:

  • Methadone (prevents cravings, withdrawal symptoms. This can be addictive and needs to be monitored or regulated.)
  • Buprenorphine (Reduces the effects of opioids by blocking them off. This drug also reduces withdrawal symptoms caused by opioids.)
  • Naltrexone (Blocks the feelings of opioids and eliminates euphoric feelings caused by opioids.)

In addition, if someone experiences depression or anxiety post-treatment, they can receive medications and counseling to uncover motives behind substance abuse.

Ready To Take Control Of Your Life?

Opioid abuse is a slippery slope that only gets worse with time. Sometimes opioid abuse can have fatal outcomes. If you or a loved one struggles with the grip of opioid abuse, contact a qualified treatment provider risk free. You deserve to heal and live a life of sobriety.

What are you struggling with?

There are many different forms of addiction. Get the information you need to help you overcome yours.

Treatment specialists are waiting for your call

(877) 648-4288

or

Treatment specialists are waiting for your call

(877) 648-4288