People working in the healthcare industry suffer from some of the highest rates of addiction to drugs and alcohol. The reason for this is the combination of the emotional stress of caring for those who are suffering and having easy access to drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl.
These drugs can be used to stay alert for long hours, or to ease the mental health burden that comes with being responsible for the care of others. Over time, these drugs can become addictive.
Substance abuse among healthcare professionals is on the rise because of the increased amounts of stress and emotional strain put upon healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional work hours, more patients to care for who are suffering and need emotional support, and having to make sudden decisions that have serious outcomes for patients can take a real toll on the mental health of caregivers.
But there is hope for you or someone you care about who may be suffering from addiction. Read on to learn more and find out how to get addiction and mental health treatment.
Signs of Substance Abuse in Healthcare Professionals
Even though anxiety issues and substance abuse in healthcare professionals tend to occur at higher rates than the national average, these cases have a lower rate of admission and treatment. This could be because of a fear of negative consequences in their professional lives, the loss of reputation, or even the loss of a license to practice. There may also be a belief among doctors and nurses that they have a better understanding of mental illness and how to administer drugs, and they mistakenly believe their drug use is under control.
Signs of substance abuse in healthcare professionals may include:
- Changing jobs or locations frequently
- Working late shifts or overnight when there are fewer co-workers present
- Falling asleep during a shift
- Indications of anxiousness or stress in the workplace
- Taking frequent breaks or bathroom stops
- Excessive use of breath mints or mouthwash
- Errors in paperwork or incomplete documentation
- Volunteering to administer medications
Substance abuse and addiction among nurses and doctors can be especially dangerous because they’re not only risking their own health and well-being. They could be endangering their patients by being distracted, intoxicated or otherwise impaired, and make mistakes during treatment that have serious consequences.
Treatment Provides a New Beginning
Healthcare workers may suffer from some of the highest rates of anxiety, depression and addiction, especially during the pandemic, but they also see some of the highest rates of recovery through treatment. This could be because they have a better understanding of the medical aspects of substance use disorders and the warning signs of mental illness, and how proper treatment can lead to recovery.
Once a healthcare professional realizes they have a problem, finding the right program to help in the recovery process is a key next step. Many states ensure that a nurse or doctor who seeks treatment for depression or addiction will not lose their license to practice. And there are treatment centers that cater specifically to medical professionals because of the unique needs they have and challenges they face during and after the recovery process.
Treatment Programs For Medical Professionals May Include:
- Help with keeping your medical license
- Addressing disciplinary committees in your workplace
- Restoring your reputation
- Returning to your practice
- Avoiding unique triggers in the workplace that can lead to relapse
- Long-term monitoring programs and continuing psychological therapy
This specialized treatment program for medical professionals and the proven high rate of recovery is cause for real hope and optimism that healthcare providers who suffer from anxiety disorder, chronic depression, or addiction can really take their lives and careers back, and reengage in their commitment to help others.
The Raleigh House Offers Hope
The Raleigh House near Denver, Colorado, offers the “gold standard” for treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse in healthcare professionals. Substance abuse care begins with detox that is carefully monitored for your safety, and mental health therapy to get to the root of the problem. Then, it moves into mind and body wellness programs to regain fitness as well as mental and emotional strength. And there are nutritious, chef-made meals specially designed to heal and fortify your body and mind.
If you or someone you care about may be showing signs of addiction, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help, to heal, and to empower you to regain your personal and professional well-being.