Sadly, the abuse of opioids has affected the medical community just as it has the regular population. In fact, there are some doctors—anesthesiologists, emergency room doctors, and psychiatrists—who are at a more severe risk of becoming addicted to opioids and/or other substances. This is a serious problem that could culminate in many dangerous outcomes.
For one, doctors who abuse fentanyl, the most commonly abused drug among anesthesiologists, are misusing a substance that is 100 times more potent than heroin. As such, overdose and death are extremely likely outcomes of this misuse. Also, many anesthesiologists who abuse fentanyl and other opioids do so by diverting some of their patient’s medication to themselves. This could lead to the patient experiencing serious pain or to them being prescribed more drugs to treat their pain, which could potentially result in an overdose. Many anesthesiologists also abuse fentanyl intravenously, and if they divert the drug from the patient, there is a possibility that diseases like hepatitis C and HIV could be transmitted.
Doctors who are high on fentanyl and other dangerous drugs are also much more likely to make mistakes, ones that will often harm their patients. Many doctors know this, but with drugs so easily accessible and a work environment that is so stressful, some still take advantage of these substances.
Fentanyl is a highly dangerous drug that can cause many problems when abused. This is why we should be reaching out more to help doctors avoid and be treated for addiction, especially anesthesiologists who have a disproportionate risk of substance abuse.