Anesthesia Drugs Growing in Interest Amongst Addicts

Isolated anesthesia drug

An area of substance abuse that we often do not consider is that of substance abuse in the medical community. Unfortunately, doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, nurses’ aides, orderlies, technicians, support staff, and many other medical field experts are quite prone to falling prey to substance abuse habits.

A new study found that, due to ease of access to pharmaceuticals combined with extreme career-based stress, medical practitioners are experiencing increasing substance abuse rates, especially with anesthesia drugs. A new study was actually able to prove this, showing that we’ve turned a blind eye to the need for health and happiness amongst our hard-working and diligent medical experts.

Propofol; The Drug of Choice Amongst Medical Staff

Propofol is a very common anesthesia drug and can be found in any hospital. It can also be found in family doctor practices, in orthodontic offices, and in various specialty medical practices.

Of note, Propofol was one of the drugs that played a part in Michael Jackson’s death.

Propofol is well-liked in the medical community because it is effective, it acts rapidly, and when used correctly, it has few side effects. Because of this, the medicine is very common and very frequently used amongst medical professionals in a variety of fields.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most pharmaceutical drugs, Propofol does have its own negative effects when it is used for a purpose other than what it was intended for. When medical practitioners self-medicate on Propofol, they subject themselves to risk for injury, for dependence, for psychological addiction, and for accidents.

Doctor holding propofol drug

According to the writings of Dr. Paul Earley and Dr. Torin Finver in the “Georgia Health Professionals Program Inc.”:

“Propofol addiction is a virulent and debilitating form of substance dependence with a rapid downhill course.”

Propofol addiction is a virulent and debilitating form of substance dependence with a rapid downhill course.

At this time, it is still a small percentage of overall medical staff who self-medicate on Propofol. But that fact that anyone self-medicates on this drug is risk enough.

Addressing Addiction in Medical Experts

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, twelve percent of medical professionals suffer from a substance abuse habit. This is at least three percentage points above the national average for substance abuse habits amongst Americans. It comes as a surprise that doctors struggle with more addiction crisis than average Americans do, but that is the cruel truth of the matter.

In a direct quote from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Approximately ten percent to twelve percent of physicians will develop a substance use disorder during their careers, a rate similar to or exceeding that of the general population. Although physicians' elevated social status brings many tangible and intangible rewards, it also has an isolating effect when they are confronted with a disease such as addiction, which has a social stigma.

Medical practitioners need expert help and real care in addressing their addictions. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are constantly assailed with difficulty and stress just as a nature of their careers. And as they are constantly exposed to pharmaceuticals that carry a risk for abuse, it is no wonder that medical experts will fall prey to substance abuse at such significant rates. To help them, we must offer them the best care possible.

Medical staff who are stricken with chemical dependence and behavioral addiction to that substance will, of course, need inpatient drug rehabilitation services. Only with a deep and personal approach such as this do such medical experts stand a chance at shirking their addictions and being able to get back to their careers one-hundred percent. Anyone can be hurt by addiction, no matter their status or career. Luckily, anyone can be saved from the grip of addiction too.




After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.