We expect healthcare professionals to be there when we need medical care, surgery, or have an emergency. However, they often have a difficult time finding help and support for their own struggles. This is why addiction treatment for healthcare professionals must be specialized to meet their unique needs.
Understanding Your Situation as a Healthcare Professional
The healthcare profession is a very stressful and demanding career. Many people in this industry work long hours, further increasing their levels of stress and anxiety. Other causes of increased stress and anxiety levels in healthcare could include:
- Feeling responsible for the patients in your care.
- Having a high personal standard of care that makes you accountable.
- The potential risks of exposure to disease and illnesses.
- Low staffing with high patient demand.
- Restricted access to sufficient budgeting and financial resources.
- The risks of workplace hazards and physical injuries.
- The risks of violence in the workplace.
- Inability to provide the care the patient needs due to complex insurance requirements.
When faced with these and other stressful situations, it is essential to develop effective coping skills and mechanisms to address stress and anxiety.
Challenges Healthcare Professionals Face
Additionally, the healthcare profession can expose caregivers to traumatic situations. For example, they might have to try to help car accident victims, deal with workplace accidents, face situations where a baby is stillborn, or have to watch as a COVID patient takes their last breaths.
The combination of stress, anxiety, and repeated traumatic exposure, can bring about a sense of hopelessness. It is easy to feel like no matter what you do, it is never enough. Unfortunately, if you allow these feelings to fester and not deal with them in a positive manner, it can be the trigger that causes you to turn to alcohol and drugs as a solution.
How Can These Challenges Lead to Addiction?
Most people in the healthcare profession form tightly knit bonds with their co-workers. It is common to alleviate daily stress and anxiety by getting together for a few drinks after work. The emotional and mental relief experienced from the effects of alcohol can develop into a daily habit.
Furthermore, many healthcare providers have access to various types of prescription medications, including opioids and stimulants. As a result, they may start to abuse various substances when they need to take the edge off.
For instance, a doctor working double shifts might use a stimulant to help them remain focused and alert. As a result, they may continue to use stimulants to function during long shifts. Eventually, this practice can result in dependence and addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction in Healthcare Professionals
It can be difficult to notice any signs and symptoms of addiction in healthcare professionals. Many caregivers are skilled at hiding their symptoms or saying that the symptoms that do present are the result of a stressful day at work.
No one is really going to question if they notice a healthcare provider that seems tired or rundown. Nor are they quick to ask coworkers about substance abuse when they might seem to be having mood swings, as they figure mood swings are just a side effect of the stress and anxiety of working in the healthcare profession.
Additionally, no one is going to question a doctor or nurse with prescription medication in their possession. They will either assume it is for them, or they got it for a patient.
However, there are a few telltale signs that could indicate addiction in healthcare professionals as follows:
- Calling off sick or constantly showing up late to shifts.
- Not taking care of personal hygiene, such as bathing, wearing deodorant, etc.
- Disappearing frequently during one’s shift.
- Spending an unusual amount of time in the bathroom.
- Questioning the processes to obtain prescription drugs from the hospital pharmacy.
- Noticing there has been a change in job performance, such as an increase in errors.
- Irrational or unethical behaviors that put the lives of co-workers and patients at risk.
- The number of complaints from staff, patients, or their family members increases.
Treatment Options for Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare professionals need specialized treatment programs and options to help them overcome their addictions. Unfortunately, most caregivers are slow to admit they need help for their addiction. They often seek out treatment centers that offer confidentiality and privacy when they do.
Additionally, they may seek help out of town or out of state because they do not want others to know they are in rehab. When looking at treatment options for healthcare professionals, look for a facility like Casa Colina that offers the following:
- Co-Occurring Treatments
- Customizable Programs
- Trauma Therapy
- Equine Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
- Family Programs
- Convenient Location Just Outside Dallas
Addiction Treatment for Healthcare Professionals in Dallas
At Casa Colina, we offer a wide range of treatment options for men in the healthcare profession, including prescription drug and alcohol rehab. Our objective is to help you choose the best path forward to overcome your addiction and learn effective coping skills for the healthcare industry.
For further information about our addiction treatment for healthcare professionals in Dallas, please feel free to use our contact form or call us today!