Addiction Help Needed by Pennsylvania Doctors
Drug addiction among doctors has received considerable attention in recent months. Usually the addiction has gone on for months or years, and the docs have already endangered the lives of several patients before anything is done to ensure they get the addiction help they need.
Most recently, a doctor in Pennsylvania who was addicted to hydrocodone, an opiate painkiller, was under investigation for seven months and arrested before the medical board did anything about it. Several incidents had occured during that time – one four hour surgery took the doctor 12 hours to complete, and a patient who got a nose job was left with part of her nose hanging off because the doctor hadn’t stitched her up correctly.
The problem appears to stem, in part, from the fact that investigating agencies in are not at liberty to disclose the details of their investigation to the Pennsylvania medical board.
But, according to the article, the doctor’s condition was known about by her staff and by pharmacists. When interviewed, three of the staff said the doctor was unfit to practice, yet no one took effective action to ensure she stopped treating.
Approximately 7 percent of the doctors in Pennsylvania are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Something has to change to ensure that patients are protected from this situation, and doctors get the addiction help services they need.