Alcohol Rehab for Physicians

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Alcohol Rehab for Physicians

Physicians are at a higher risk of burnout, as well as mental health challenges like anxiety and depression, compared to the general population. The stressful work conditions make doctors more susceptible to developing a problematic drinking pattern when seeking relief via alcohol. 

Capo by the Sea recommends early intervention and treatment of the alcohol use disorder. This allows the physician to successfully restore his or her ability to practice medicine, and to enjoy a long career in their chosen field.

Causes of Physician Alcohol Use Disorder

At Capo by the Sea, we understand the unique stressors that medical professionals contend with each and every day. Practicing medicine is a high-stress career choice. Long hours, lack of adequate sleep, and the high-stakes nature of the job make doctors more prone to substance abuse.

Some of the common reasons why doctors turn to alcohol include:

  • Burnout. Doctor burnout is the result of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by working long shifts, sleep deprivation, exposure to suffering, and a general reduction in job satisfaction.
  • Mental health disorder. A physician with a mental health struggle such as depression or anxiety disorder may be prone to self-medicating with alcohol. Over time, as tolerance increases so does alcohol consumption. 
  • Isolation. The long work hours may result in social isolation, which lends itself to drinking. This becomes a vicious cycle as the alcohol use disorder worsens and the physician becomes concerned about the drinking problem being recognized.
  • Family history. If the doctor has a family history of alcoholism, they face a higher risk of alcohol use disorder. This involves both genetic and environmental factors related to the family history of alcoholism.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism in Physicians

In many cases, a doctor may be a high functioning alcoholic, which may mask the substance misuse for a period of time. Eventually, the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder will become evident. These include:

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  • Drinking excessively at work and social functions
  • Frequently missing appointments with patients
  • Incorrect charting, medication errors, or misdiagnosing of patients
  • Consistently arriving late to work
  • Coming to work with signs of a hangover
  • Slurring speech
  • Staggering
  • Unexplained absences during the workday
  • Smelling of alcohol
  • Hand tremors
  • Defensiveness
  • Increased irritability
  • Avoidance of colleagues and supervisors

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment for Physicians

Doctors facing discipline by medical boards due to alcohol use disorder will require completion of a full-spectrum addiction treatment program. This is a condition that must be met to be able to continue practicing medicine.

Capo by the Sea provides comprehensive treatment within a safe, structured residential setting for physicians battling alcoholism. The executive program includes a variety of evidence-based and holistic treatment methods that are designed to facilitate a sustained recovery.

Alcohol rehab for physicians includes the following elements:

  • Medical detox. Drug and Alcohol Detox involves the process of ridding the body of the toxins related to alcohol. Trained detox experts monitor withdrawal symptoms and provide treatments to reduce discomfort.
  • Psychotherapy. During therapy sessions the doctor learns how dysfunctional thought patterns perpetuated the alcohol addiction. The therapist guides them toward reshaping these thought patterns.
  •  Group therapy. Small group sessions promote peer support during the treatment process. Members of the group are encouraged to share their stories, feelings, and challenges.
  • Family therapy. Family group sessions provide a chance for family members to begin repairing relationships and guidance for moving forward.
  • 12-step. The 12-step program of AA provides a blueprint for recovery.
  • Dual diagnosis. If a co-occurring mental health disorder is present it must also be treated alongside the alcoholism.
  • Holistic. Holistic methods such as yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation, art therapy, and golf therapy enhance treatment results.  

Capo by the Sea offers an executive treatment program for physicians struggling with substance use disorder or dual diagnosis. We understand the unique challenges that doctors face in treatment and recovery, and are committed to providing the ultimate in expert and compassionate care. Call our confidential Admissions team at (888) 529-2114