Addiction Treatment Center in Orange County, California
Nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and paramedics often face a high risk of substance abuse and addiction due to the daily demands and pressures related to their jobs. Many of these healthcare workers fail to seek the treatment they need at drug rehab for reasons such as fear of losing their jobs, shame or embarrassment about their condition, or because they are unaware they have a problem in the first place.
Fortunately, medical professionals who suffer from substance and alcohol abuse can receive private, science-based treatment at Dana Point Rehab Campus, offering specialized programs for addiction and co-occurring disorders.
Why Do Medical Professionals Abuse Drugs and Alcohol?
Healthcare workers are often subject to a wide range of stressors that put them at risk for drug and alcohol abuse. Risk factors for substance abuse among medical professionals include long work hours, low staff-to-patient ratios, regular exposure to disease and hazardous waste, and the potential for physical injury and violence from patients. The journal Nursing Research reports that additional risk factors associated with substance abuse among medical professionals — particularly nurses — include having easy access to drugs and being knowledgeable about the effects of medications.
Addiction in the healthcare workplace puts coworkers and patients at great risk, as working under the influence can lead to distractions, errors in judgment, and mistakes that potentially result in death. Therefore, it’s critical that medical professionals seek addiction treatment as needed to keep themselves and their coworkers and patients as safe as possible.
What Are Signs of Addiction in Medical Professionals?
Sometimes it can be difficult to spot signs of substance abuse and addiction in medical professionals since many of these individuals are able to adequately function in their work and home lives.
According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, common signs of addiction in medical professionals may include:
- Taking frequent naps at work
- Taking frequent bathroom breaks
- Unexplained disappearances at work
- Volunteering to give controlled substances to patients such as opioids and benzodiazepines
- Drug diversion tactics (dropping pills on the floor, overfilling syringes, “forgetting” to give drugs to patients)
- Smelling like alcohol, breath mints, or mouthwash
- An increase in errors and mistakes related to charting and medications
- Complaints from patients about reduced pain relief
- Volunteering for extra shifts or showing up on days off
What Is Drug Rehab Like for Medical Professionals?
Drug rehab centers that cater to medical professionals offer a variety of evidence-based therapies and services that focus on helping these individuals restore their careers and reputation, and prevent them from losing their licenses and healthcare practices. Common drug rehab therapies for medical professionals include dual diagnosis therapy for co-occurring mental health disorders, stress management training, relapse prevention training, and education on how to manage triggers in the workplace (such as having easy access to prescription drugs).
Addiction treatment usually begins with detox to treat drug and alcohol withdrawal, followed by behavioral therapies and counseling in an inpatient residential rehab program. Additional therapies may be used to address the root causes of the patient’s addiction.