Healthcare Professionals

Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction

It’s challenging to help a loved one struggling with any type of addiction. Sometimes a direct, heart-to-heart conversation can start the road to recovery. But when it comes to addiction, the person with the problem often struggles to see it and acknowledge it. A more focused approach is often needed. You may need to join forces with others and take action through a formal intervention. Examples of addictions that may warrant an intervention include: Alcoholism Prescription drug abuse Stre...
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Is ‘Nurse Jackie’ a good portrait of addiction in the medical profession?

‘Nurse Jackie’ returned for a final season on Showtime on Sunday night and once again received praise for its realistic portrayal of addiction. At the start of last season, I asked an expert about the chances that I’d ever receive care from an addicted medical professional and if I did, would she still be able to handle the job. The answer, from Lisa J. Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida who has studied the prevalence and impact of drug a...
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Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk

Anita Bertrand doesn’t remember much about the first time she stole narcotics she was supposed to administer to surgical patients. She doesn’t remember exactly when she installed the intravenous port in her ankle so she could inject the drugs more efficiently. And she doesn’t remember how many patients she may have put at risk before getting into treatment. But she remembers how easy it was to get away with it. “I was absolutely impaired, using narcotics while working. ...
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Drug addiction among nurses: Confronting a quiet epidemic

Your colleague on the night shift is a stellar nurse. Her background, experience, and demonstrated skills are top-notch. She is working extra shifts to help cover expenses while her husband is between jobs. While raising three young children, she also cares for her severely disabled father. You wonder how she does it all. This description fit Patricia Holloran, RN, whom friends and colleagues regarded as a “super nurse”—until hospital administration and the Connecticut Department o...
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Alarm at Growing Addiction Problems Among Professionals

Experts are calling for urgent action to tackle the “significant challenge” of rising levels of alcoholism and substance abuse among professionals including doctors, dentists and lawyers. At the first international conference of its kind, in Ireland this weekend, there were calls for the UK government to help the silent mass of professionals who were “functioning alcoholics”. Rory O’Connor, the UK co-ordinator of health support programmes for dentists and veterinary...
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