In 2014, a study in substance use disorders compared outcomes of psychiatrists and non-psychiatric physicians enrolled in state physician health programs for substance use disorders. Essentially, it evaluated outcomes of psychiatrists and physicians in these programs and compared them to people within other professions. Before the study, the common belief was that physicians in emergency medicine, psychiatry, surgery, or anesthesiology may need specialized care. This belief is due to the perception that they are more likely to be more vulnerable to substance abuse disorders and mental illness than those who work in other branches of medicine. This topic of the study has become important to healthcare providers today.

This study focused on psychiatrists specifically, including relapse rates and ability to maintain their psychiatry careers at the end of the five years. The results were promising, showing that psychiatrists enrolled in various substance abuse programs tended to improve over the five years. A small sample size was noted but, based on this data, there is no reason to believe that a greater risk for these professionals is present. While the psychiatrists benefited from treatment, other physicians were also able to benefit from treatment regardless of specialty. These results concluded that maybe the individuals in these professions are not at an increased risk after all.

Main Takeaways

Even though this study suggests that specialized care for these medical professionals may not be an urgent need, it still holds relevance for the field because it still speaks to the success of substance abuse health programs. All the participants benefited from their enrollment in these programs, even if there was a negligible difference based on each patient’s profession. Substance abuse health programs clearly remain the most relevant and successful method to combat addiction. To read more about which groups of people are at an increased risk for substance abuse, read more about this topic in the source article at the NCBI website.

Substance use disorders can be devastating to a person’s career, social life and physical health. To stop addiction from hurting you and the people around you, seek professional help before it goes too far. For more information on how substance abuse programs can combat addiction, contact Hayver to ask about our personalized care options at info(at)