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Veterinarians and Addiction

Veterinarians and AddictionNo individual is immune to addiction. In 2011 the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that one out of every nine Americans is affected by addiction. It is well-known that medical professionals are among the highest occupations to be affected by substance abuse, addiction, and suicide. One out of every nine American is dealing with addiction, which means roughly 11 percent of the medical population is struggling with the disease.

Why is Addiction a Problem in the Medical Profession?

Addiction is a disease that can be caused by many genetic and biological factors as well as one’s environmental influence. People with a career in the medical field are more prone to addiction because of their environmental conditions and their easy access to powerful prescription drugs.

The unique working conditions required in the medical profession also contribute to their increased risk of substance abuse. Long hours, high expectations, stress, pressure, and heightened emotions describe the common environment for those working as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, and other medical professionals. In addition, these careers can expose an individual to sad, traumatic, and upsetting situations. Working in the medical profession certainly has its rewards, but the additional stress, heightened emotions, and fatigue can easily take its toll. Many individuals in this profession see substance abuse as a way to release their stress or cope with the emotional exhaustion.

Lastly, one major cause of addiction is a mental health issue. Depression, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety disorders are just a few mental health issues that frequently arise from working in this demanding field. Addiction can develop in attempt to self-medicate the symptoms from these disabling mental health issues.

Veterinarians Lacking Addiction Recovery Support

Addiction continues to have a strong hold on the veterinary medicine profession because this is the only U.S. medical profession that does not have a national monitoring program for substance abuse and mental health issues. Because of this more veterinarians are at risk for addiction, animal safety is at risk due to compromised individuals on the job, and veterinarians struggling with addiction are less likely to get the help they need.

With a lack of support for addiction treatment assistance or acknowledgment in this profession, many veterinarians refrain from getting help because they fear losing their job or license.

Coming forward about an addiction or mental health issue and seeking help is far more helpful in saving one’s job or career, than attempting to hide the issue from an employer. A medical professional who is found hiding an addiction or mental health issue from their employer can face career-ending penalties.

Drug Rehabilitation for Veterinarians and Medical Professionals

If you’re a veterinarian or medical professional in the grips of addiction, you understand the importance of getting professional treatment now, before the addiction can progress and destroy more of your life. If you are ready to put an end to your addiction, our recovery professionals are here to help you find the treatment services right for your unique recovery needs. Recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist you with all of your questions, concerns, and needs when it comes to finding quality drug rehab programs. If you are ready to talk, a recovery professional is ready to help; please, call our toll-free helpline now.