Treatment for Healthcare Workers
Addiction Treatment for Healthcare Professionals
At Dr. Paul's By The Sea we pride ourselves in providing treatment for those who help others. Healthcare workers are always there when we need them therefore we need to return the favor. Whether it's something as simple as stress or more complex like addiction, we are here to help. To learn more about how you or your loved one can receive treatment, contact us today.
Substance Abuse in People in the Healthcare Industry
Medical professionals are not any more likely to have substance abuse issues than the general population. However, they do face some unique challenges. These are due to the accessibility of powerful substances as well as the potential danger they pose if working under the influence.That's why it is important to provide addiction treatment that addresses these challenges and dangers. It is necessary to do this in a way that will be sustainable going forward.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes an individual to be unable to stop taking drugs or limit their intake. A common qualification of addiction is the continued use of drugs despite the negative effects that substance abuse has caused to their health, relationships, and professional life. Her are some additional signs that a person in the Healthcare field may be abusing drugs or alcohol:
- Changing positions and employers frequently
- Preferring shifts where with less supervision
- Falling asleep during shifts
- Frequent taking breaks or unexplained days off
- Bloodshot, unfocussed eyes or eyes with small pupils
- Incomplete charts or repeated paperwork errors
What Makes Healthcare Workers Susceptible to Substance Abuse?
Healthcare professionals face a myriad of unique stressors related to their job. Some of these leave healthcare workers vulnerable to substance abuse and mental health challenges. That's why finding a treatment center that can help them cope with their unique situation is essential for healthcare workers.
Some of these unique stressors include:
Pressure and Stress
From the moment a person decides to go into a healthcare profession, they often get into a track of unrelenting pressure. This starts the first semester of nursing or medical school. The everyday pressures of careers in the medical field build over the years.
The realities of the job often deal with significant traumas and life and death situations. These add a level of stress that most people do not have when they go to work in the morning. Healthcare workers deserve attention and care for the burdens they face on the job. Instead, many find themselves using substances to cope.
From coping with stress to having to adapt to shift work, healthcare professionals may fall into a trap of self-medicating. They may self-medicate to relax or stay awake.
Sleeping pills, alcohol, and anti-anxiety meds can be used to come down. They may use these after particularly stressful events or to fall asleep when working night shifts. Likewise, both prescription and illegal stimulants may be used to keep workers awake on long shifts or night shifts. These can, however, start a dangerous track of dependency that requires treatment to get off.
Proximity and Accessibility
Proximity and accessibility to narcotics is a temptation for medical professionals. Experience giving these out to patients may also lessen the care that the average person would treat painkillers with.
Some medical professionals stop respecting the power of these drugs. They realize how much access they have to them. This can set them down a difficult path of substance abuse. The possibility of self-prescription or colleague prescription complicates this.
- Charlene, 2020
The Treatment Process at Dr. Paul's By The Sea
Our treatment process at Dr. Paul's By The Sea aims to treat the whole person. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment encompasses a series of treatments and therapies that aim to take care of the person both medically and psychologically.
To safely stop taking drugs or alcohol, patients come to Dr. Paul's By The Sea. There they will have 24/7 care while they detox from substances. Under the supervision of our medical staff, they experience a controlled withdrawal.
We start by evaluating patients to see what has been used, how much, and how best to proceed with their treatment. We stabilize them medically and prepare them for withdrawal. From detox, we set it up so that patients can enter inpatient rehab as quickly as possible to prevent relapse.
Inpatient rehabilitation removes medical professionals from both the temptations and stressors of their work. It places them in a therapeutic environment that can treat them both medically and psychologically.
Patients in the inpatient treatment program can make use of protocols such as medically assisted therapy, withdrawal management, and individual and group therapy.
Medically assisted therapy targets cravings for substances post-detox. When patients are able to ease these cravings, they can put more time and energy into other parts of treatment. Managing withdrawal helps to tackle some of the physical symptoms that arise after stopping substance consumption. It can treat shaking, dizziness, and more.
Individual and group therapy provide many options for learning coping skills, investigating where some of the urge to use substances comes from, and making a plan to re-enter life after residential treatment.
Other time in the program is spent on healthy coping activities like exercise, yoga, and meditation. Patients are encouraged to build community while in the program and learn about healthy boundaries in relationships.
For those who need or prefer to stay in their own home after detox and during rehabilitation, we also offer an Intensive Outpatient Program. They attend their program at the facility 3-5 days per week. When at the program they will go to both individual and group therapies and other activities.
It is important the home they remain in is stable and committed to their success in this program. That means removing temptations or opportunities to relapse.
Those most likely to choose outpatient treatment are patients with commitments that cannot be left undone. These limitations should not prevent them from getting help. Therefore outpatient treatment may be their best option to move forward.
Intensive outpatient programs take longer. This is simply because fewer hours are devoted weekly. They are effective options for those who cannot commit to inpatient treatment.
- Shanna, 2020