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Health care/social assistance | Drugs

Docs say stress leading them to abuse prescription drugs: study

October 9, 2013

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Gainesville, FL – Work stress is one factor driving prescription drug abuse among doctors, according to a new study from the University of Florida.

Researchers conducted nine focus groups with a total of 55 physicians who were in treatment for substance abuse. Many doctors described self-medicating with prescription drugs to alleviate physical pain, emotional issues such as anxiety or depression, or stress from work or personal issues. Other reasons for drug misuse included recreational use and to help with drug withdrawal symptoms, the study abstract states.

To help reduce prescription drug abuse among doctors, researchers recommended addressing substance abuse during medical training and recognizing the signs in co-workers.

The study was published in the October issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine.