Doctors on Drugs: What Florida Medical Professionals Need to Know

Last Updated: April 11, 2023

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

The television show House shined a spotlight on a problem that is more common than you might think. Doctors are not immune to drug addiction. In fact, Mayo Clinic estimates that between 10 and 12 percent of doctors, like the fictional Dr. House, have or will develop a substance abuse disorder at some point in their career.

If you are a doctor who suffers from addiction, getting help might feel risky. However, Florida drug treatment can get you through detoxification and treatment and into recovery for a lifetime.

Doctors May Have a False Sense of Security About Drugs

Some addiction specialists and researchers at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies   believe that people who know more about medications might take risks that they would never accept from one of their patients. Knowledge about the human body and the effects of drugs can make experimentation or taking a bit more than you should seem like a risk that you can manage. But addiction can gradually overtake your life.

In the Brown University study, researchers found that drug access and the ability to alter prescription levels enables some doctors to self-medicate in secret. Combined with the belief that knowledge about drugs will step in before addiction takes over, doctors are at a high risk of not just becoming addicted, but having an addiction that is out of control before they seek drug treatment help.

The Medical Field Poses Special Substance Abuse Risks

Doctors have no more physical demands than many other professions outside the medical field. However, a somewhat unique combination of factors can make doctors more susceptible to taking drugs and developing an addiction. Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a physician based in Boston, shared his story of addiction with the L.A. Times.

Grinspoon says the list of risks is long and includes these and many others.

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Long hours
  • Heavy workload
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Combined with drug knowledge and access, you may look to one drug to calm anxiety and a different one to keep up with the demands and fast pace of the job. Over time, a boost turns into a need, and a need turns into a full-blown addiction. Because addiction in the medical profession is complicated, it may be an overwhelming problem before you enter treatment.

Florida Drug Treatment for Doctors is Different

As a doctor, you can easily lose your medical license and face other legal challenges if you are found writing or altering prescriptions or tapping into drugs to which you have ready access. The risk of reputation damage and career sabotage can be enough to stand in the way of getting help. Dr. Grinspoon suggests that treatment avoidance usually catches up. If your addiction is discovered before you choose to  voluntarily enter treatment, the consequences could be dire.

Because of the stigma attached to addiction, it is difficult to make the first step. Without it, however, the consequences could easily be much more damaging. Fortunately, a professional drug treatment program helps you find recovery and can also help protect your privacy and career. Entered voluntarily, treatment for professionals balances accountability with confidentiality.

As a doctor, you are charged and trusted with caring for the well-being of your patients. Sometimes, you may put your own health at a greater risk than you would accept for a patient’s health. Knowledge about drugs does not prevent addiction. Because addiction can happen gradually, others may notice it and intervene before you accept on your own that you need help.

Florida drug treatment for doctors can save not only your life, but also your career. If you or someone you care about is battling an addiction in secret, Orlando Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about our programs designed for professionals.