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Growing Addictions in Medical Personnel

Posted on :  January 8th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The healthcare industry has one unfortunate trend occurring today: men and women working in healthcare have a growing addiction to narcotics. The general public might think that healthcare workers are immune from addictions, but in fact, they are just as susceptible to these problems as people in all other industries. And, compared to some other industries, healthcare workers are more likely to develop addictions.

Stress in the Workplace

Working in health care is extremely stressful, so employees escape into the world of drugs. Nurses, especially, have dealt with more negative changes in the workplace than most other segments of the healthcare industry. Since nurses have to treat numerous patients in a short amount of time with less assistance. They cannot prescribe medications, but they have to make sure their patients have the right medication at the right time.

Nurses become the main contact for patients because they are efficient and they cost less than doctors do. This increases their stress and can lead them to addictive substances to calm the stress.

Finding Escape in Drugs

Once health-care workers, like nurses, recognize that they need an escape, they realize that they have access to an easy remedy. Narcotics are easily accessed by nurses in hospitals and doctor’s offices. With the unusual and long hours, many nurses turn to prescription drugs as a way to help relax and fall asleep. After a while, those drugs are not enough, so they turn to stronger options.

Quick Fix that Does Not Last

Health care workers understand that drugs can quickly fix a situation, even though the fix is short-lived. When nurses turn to drugs to calm themselves, this can affect the entire healthcare industry. Employers that have easy access to narcotics should be alert to the stress levels of their employees.

Managing the Emotional Pain

Another reason that health care workers turn to drugs is to calm the emotions that come with the career. Health care workers have to work with people who are suffering from diseases and death. This can take its toll on nurses and those who develop connections with their patients. When they lose their patients, it is challenging for nurses and healthcare workers to handle the losses. Drugs will dull the pain.

Availability and Maintenance

Lastly, the availability of drugs and the types of drugs contributes to the abuse by healthcare professionals. Nurses tend to use narcotics that bring sedation and relaxation. Then, pain relievers and stimulants are used to negate the effects of the sedatives. When these drugs are paired with the emotional stress of the job, healthcare workers develop dependency rather quickly.

Genetic Predisposition

Addiction happens even quicker for employees who have addition in their families. The same goes for people who have addictive tendencies. Healthcare workers need to be aware of their health history and their family histories with addiction.

Caring for Employees to Prevent Addiction

In order to slow the trend of health care workers abusing drugs, states have gotten involved. The licensing boards have started to work with healthcare providers to address this concern and help employers work with their employees. Hospitals and doctor’s offices want to maintain their employees and not have frequent turnovers.

In order to do this, they need to be sure their nurses are not overworked and that they have healthy resources to help them with relieving stress and with relaxing. They also need to learn how to manage their emotional connections to patients, especially those with terminal illnesses.

Prevention and education might not solve all of the problems with healthcare workers and addictions, but the problem needs to be dealt with to keep the medical industry properly functioning.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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