While it may seem like those working in the medical field are more likely to stay away from drugs because they understand the dangers of addiction, the truth is that doctors and nurses suffer from substance use disorders just like anyone else. There are many contributing factors when it comes to nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, and substance abuse, which includes:
- The extremely high-stress levels associated with the job. Those in the medical field have a lot of pressure put upon them on a day-to-day basis – and of course, they do, they’ve got others lives in their hands all day and all night long. Doctors and nurses who work long shifts (or night shifts) might start relying on drugs to stay awake. Stress itself can be very triggering, especially for those who are predisposed to addiction. Many nurses turn to drug abuse as a means of self-medication to ease the ongoing anxiety that they feel.
- Difficult work hours, which can lead to interpersonal issues. It can be hard for nurses who work long shifts or late hours to find a romantic partner that is okay with such minimal contact. Even if the nurse already has a family, he or she might find that spending so much time away is emotionally difficult and might self-medicate with drugs to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- The availability of prescription drugs like morphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone. These are just a few examples of the powerful drugs that healthcare workers have constant access to. If a nurse is struggling with drug addiction, supporting the habit can be relatively easy. Of course, stealing prescriptions from a hospital or doctor’s office is highly illegal – but drug addiction causes extreme behavioral changes, and causes people to act in ways they would never normally act.
Signs of Addiction for Medical Professionals
It can be difficult to determine whether or not a nurse is abusing drugs because those in the professional medical field tend to function at an extremely high level even when they are struggling with addiction. If you know a nurse who might be struggling with drug addiction or if you are a nurse and believe you might have a problem, there are several signs and symptoms to look for. These symptoms include:
- Looking to pick up night shifts or requesting to be scheduled predominantly for night shifts. The truth is, nurses sometimes have less supervision at night than they do during the day.
- Going to the bathroom more than one would expect or disappearing when on break. Nurses who are addicted to drugs will find time to use while at work, seeing as their shifts are so long. This can lead to unexplained absences or frequent bathroom trips.
- Being especially friendly or communicative with prescribing physicians. It isn’t uncommon for drug-addicted nurses to try and get on the good side of doctors that prescribe narcotic painkillers and other prescription medications.
- Missing days of work or showing up to their shift late from time-to-time.
- Frequently made mistakes, like entering patient information in wrong or forgetting to complete critical tasks. Mistakes might also be made if a nurse falls asleep during his or her shift. Excessive sleeping and fatigue are common amongst medical professionals as it stands – and especially common amongst drug-addicted nurses.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar Offers Drug Detox Programs for Nurses
At Evoke Wellness at Miramar, we understand that those in the medical field might have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that they have a problem with drugs. Admitting a drug addiction might be even more difficult for a nurse than it would be for anyone else because admitting an addiction could be coupled with deep-rooted feelings of guilt and shame. Remember that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate – no matter who you are or what your profession is, you are just as susceptible as anyone else. With that in mind, Evoke Wellness at Miramar works hard to protect both your confidentiality and your career. To learn more about our comprehensive and personalized detox program, give us a call today.