Healthcare Workers Urged to Take an Employee Drug Class

by: Mike Miller

This is the third in a series of blogs looking at the issue of drug use and abuse by our healthcare providers. I, for one, am terrified by the notion that my surgeon may be high. What are your thoughts on the issue?

Despite the potentially devastating consequences, prescription drug abuse seems to be a difficult topic for the healthcare community to address. Given the fact that many nurses and other healthcare providers are addicted to prescription medication, why do you think they do not seek help for their problem? Obviously, the answer is that they fear for their livelihood. Fear of losing their jobs, licenses, and livelihoods are among the barriers to medical staff getting help for their addictions. As reported in

Another major factor is that addiction causes chemical and physical changes in the brain that cause addicts to believe they are in control.

The scary part is that most of those healthcare providers abusing drugs are not even brought to a hearing for their drug abuse. A recent study found that disciplinary action for drug abuse by healthcare providers, such as suspension of a license to practice, is rare and often doesn't occur until a practitioner has committed multiple transgressions.

Although random drug testing is routine in the airline and other industries, drug testing for healthcare workers isn't a common practice. However, there is a renewed call for drug testing among healthcare workers.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Here at the blog for we are committed to examining the problem and trying to affect change.