A Study on Formal Treatment for Substance Use Disorders in Physicians

The NIH published a five-year longitudinal cohort study, which is a kind of study where researchers closely follow a group of people over a period in order to learn something about a disease or other disorder. In this case, the study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of various substance abuse treatment programs for physicians. The goals of these physicians, who were all struggling with substance use disorders, would be primarily to obtain sobriety. However, they would also be working to assure licensing boards, hospitals, and others that they are capable of providing an acceptable standard of care.

In order to evaluate this effectively, the physicians were carefully monitored throughout the five-year study. They each underwent regular urine tests to check for substance misuse. Plus, the program coordinators recorded the physicians’ occupational status and formal recovery program completion status. Finally, the researchers compiled all of this data to see whether or not formal treatment is the best option for people who struggle with substance use disorders.

The Results

The overall results of the study were promising. Overall, they suggest that nearly three fourths of the physicians that went through formal treatment showed improvement. Specifically, people who attended one of the substance abuse programs in the study from 1995 to 2001 showed favorable outcomes at the end of five years of monitoring their progress in the various treatment programs. These findings illustrate the beneficial aspects of formal treatment. They show how it can affect people who are seriously dedicated to completing it. These physicians also found success with the state licensing boards. When the physician was allowed to continue practicing medicine, this obviously benefited both the physician that can potentially salvage his career and livelihood, as well as patient lives. To learn more about these positive outcomes, see the source article at the NCBI website.

This study shows the widespread impacts that formal treatment programs have. This is why Hayver wants to use technology to connect clients to the most personalized and efficient means of seeking care for substance use disorders. Contact us at info(at)hayver.com to learn more.