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People concerned about an addiction problem often turn to their doctor as the first source of help. However, doctors can also be susceptible to mental illness and substance abuse. For them, turning to a healthcare professional for help can be a daunting consideration. Many worry about the ramifications that seeking help may have on their profession and decide not to reach out for support. The prevalence of addiction among physicians is at least equal to – and might even be higher than – the general population. The Physician Health Program estimates that as many as 10 to 15 percent of physicians may be battling substance abuse today. Those specialty areas like anesthesiology, psychiatry and emergency medicine may have some of the highest addiction rates.

Many of these professionals may delay treatment for their condition based on the stigma attached to addiction, particularly within this demographic. Unfortunately, waiting until the dependency is in its advanced stages can complicate the treatment and recovery process. It can also increase the risk of severe consequences on the personal and professional level and can create critical health issues, including a higher likelihood of overdose and death. The good news is at Center for Professional Recovery; our programs are designed for these professionals, offering them healing, hope and a chance to resume their professions safely and successfully. In addition, we work with the medical boards and well-being committees to take the burden of the requirements set by those organizations off our patients, so that they can focus fully on their recovery.

Reasons Behind the Problem

There are different reasons why addiction might be so prevalent among physicians and other members of the medical community:

  • Easy access to prescription medications that can lead to dependency
  • Demanding schedules with little time off for relaxation or time with friends and family
  • High-pressure jobs that often deal with life-or-death issues
  • Personalities that lean to high levels of achievement and even perfection
  • Pressure of ensuring they are meeting the needs of their patients
  • The potential for loss if addiction is discovered leads to hiding substance abuse as it develops

While it might seem formidable to ask for help with mental health issues or addiction, it can be devastating to one’s profession and career not to. At the Center for Professional Recovery, we offer treatment options targeted to physicians and other professionals, with the support necessary to help physicians meet all the requirements to return to their jobs once the recovery process has stabilized.

Types of Substances Abused

A study of the Physician Health Program found that the following substances are abused by physicians:

  • Alcohol – 25 percent of physicians battling addiction have a dependency on alcohol
  • Opioids – the availability of these prescription drugs to physicians has led to 25 percent of these professionals struggling with opioid dependence
  • Marijuana – 12 percent
  • Cocaine – 11 percent
  • Sedatives – 10 percent
  • Amphetamines – four percent
  • Inhalants – one percent
  • Other substances – eight percent

Help Targeted to Physicians

The Center for Professional Recovery understands how intimidating it can be for a physician to seek professional treatment for addiction. Our programs are geared toward licensed professionals like doctors, lawyers, and pilots. As you surround yourself with peers in similar professional situations, you will find that you are not alone in your battle and will be able to forge professional relationships with others on a similar path. At the same time, we will address the source of your addiction, showing you healthy ways to manage the typical challenges of your profession such as long hours, isolation and persistent stress.

Don’t let your dependency reach the advanced stages, where treatment can be more challenging. Contact the Center for Professional Recovery today at 866.298.0056.

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