Health Care Professionals Recovery Support
Our Health Care Professionals (HCPs) Advice Forum provides support for HCPs recovering from addiction or with a desire to recover. Here, HCPs post anonymously with other HCPs to gain insight of the experiences others have had navigating career choices, treatment, state monitoring agencies, and even getting their license reinstated or handling criminal charges. If you are facing challenges related to addiction within your medical career, chances are, someone else has gone through it to the other side. This forum was created as an avenue to connect us and share our own experiences, strength, and hope. It is a safe, confidential environment in which health care providers can be free to discuss their specific challenges.
Substance misuse and addiction rates are no different among HCPs than they are in the general population, and HCPs demonstrate significantly higher levels of opioid abuse. These problems are particularly troubling in a provider population, as they can lead to serious safety issues for the patients HCPs treat while under the influence.
The American Medical Association did not develop a formal policy to address HCP impairment related to drugs and alcohol until the 1970s. The problem has existed in scientific literature since 1869, referred to back then as "habits of intemperance." Prescription drug abuse and addiction among HCPs has continued to grow significantly—especially for anesthetic and analgesic (painkiller) agents. Studies in the United States have shown that 10%–15% percent of HCPs will misuse substances during their lifetime and rates of prescription drug abuse and addiction are 5 times higher among physicians than in the general population, with especially high rates of benzodiazepine and opioid abuse. Physicians are not the only HCPs affected by drug and alcohol abuse: A 2010 investigation into the Texas Board of Nursing found that approximately one third of all disciplinary actions taken against nurses were drug or alcohol related.
Of course, let's not forget the insidious and socially acceptable drug alcohol, which is also incredibly dangerous and not to be overlooked.
From the Brink of the Drink is the true story of an alcoholic woman, whom at the tender age of twelve began relying on alcohol to calm deep-seated insecurities, mounting pressures, and uncontrollable fears. Despite her dependence on the drink, she achieved great personal successes, and from the outside looking in, led an enviable life. When full-blown alcoholism took hold of her, she lost her career as a health care provider, her family, her home, her health, and nearly her life. She struggled to claw herself out of the hopeless depths of despair to rebuild her life and become sober, healthy, and happy. The harrowing and heartbreaking yet inspirational journey will have you laughing, crying, hopeful, and with a deeper understanding of the horrors of addiction.