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Drug Temptations for Professionals

Drug Temptations for Professionals

Professionals with access to prescription drugs may be tempted to abuse them

When most people think of drug abusers or drug addicts, they picture someone with no job, no money, and little self-control. However, drug use is a problem that can affect any person, regardless of location or socioeconomic status. According to the 2010-2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), as many as 4.48 percent of Kentucky residents aged 12 and over reported using prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes. Opioid painkillers are the most commonly used drugs in Kentucky, followed by marijuana, cocaine, stimulants, and heroin. Even professionals in cities like Louisville are faced with the temptation to use these drugs, and many end up giving in.

Factors Influencing Drug Use

One of the greatest factors leading professionals to use drugs is work-related stress. A professional may become overwhelmed with a big work project or a close deadline and turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, many professionals turn to drug abuse as a means of coping, and may eventually develop an addiction. Work-related stressors can also lead professionals to abuse stimulant drugs to provide the focus and energy needed to finish a project or work long hours.

Availability is another factor that may tempt professionals to use drugs, particularly for those working in the field of healthcare. Nurses, doctors, and pharmacists are just a few examples of professionals who must constantly handle prescription drugs. With time, these professionals may become tempted to use the drugs that they are frequently giving their patients.

Detecting Addictions in Professionals

It can be difficult to detect when professionals suffer from addiction, as they are often able to maintain their responsibilities. These individuals, called functional addicts, may even feel that they do not truly have a problem. Though functional addicts are able to maintain their work, family, and social lives, they still experience many signs and symptoms of addiction, which include the following:

  • Mental preoccupation with using drugs or acquiring the next dose
  • Frequently consuming more drugs than initially intended
  • Experiencing drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not used
  • Making excuses for the drug use or denying that there is a problem
  • Unsuccessfully being able to reduce or quit using drugs
  • Using drugs despite health, social, or legal consequences
  • Needing to take larger doses of a drug to achieve the same effects

While many professionals who suffer from drug abuse are classified as functional addicts, this is not true for all. A large number of professionals find that they are unable to maintain their duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, these individuals often find that their professional life suffers. They may face work-related consequences, such as a demotion or termination from employment. While these consequences may be a wakeup call to some, they often contribute to worsened drug use for others.

Get Help for Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a serious concern that should be treated with the help of a trained team of healthcare professionals. If you or a loved one in Louisville suffers from drug addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about drug addiction treatment.

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