Ethical Issues in Addiction Treatment for Doctors
It may come as a surprise to some that doctors and healthcare professionals would ever need addiction counseling therapy or treatment. After all, they are supposed to be the pinnacle of health. They understand the dangers of addiction and drug use since they have already studied it for years. They are the ones who know how to give the addiction treatment and heal those who are treatable. However, it is important to remember that doctors and other healthcare professionals are also regular people. Just like regular people, they are susceptible to addiction and can make bad choices.
Many years ago, any doctor who tested positive for a drug or who was found to be addicted would lose their job and potentially their license to practice. It was common for this to happen. Today, as addiction is spread out rampantly through the population, there has been some revision in the harsh judgment. It is still of the utmost importance to the healthcare industry that the doctors who have the lives of the population in their hands are clear, capable, and in the right mindset to care for those people. But some addictions, especially when caught early, are very possibly ended without much damage.
There is a new program set up for doctors who are found to have abused drugs or who suffer from addiction. It is a treatment program, especially for healthcare professionals. They receive the support and guidance needed to stop addiction and are surveyed and referred to various treatment options. However, it has been found to not be totally beneficial. The way the treatment has worked has posed ethical issues for doctors. The first lies in the length of time that the treatment lasts.
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For most people, a treatment stint can last anywhere from 20 to 28 days. There are much longer treatment options, such as 60 days or 90 days. Generally, most people opt for a month. However, doctors are nearly mandated to attend 90-day treatment programs with the threat of the loss of their license to practice if they don’t.
Another unfair glitch in the system is that if the doctor is referred to a certain program or suggested to use a certain method of treatment, they generally have to do it since their license is on the line.
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Although the presented options come as suggestions, they actually are demands. Nothing is worse than the way that these specialized treatment facilities report their drug testing. It has been found that they will report any positive test results to the board, which can revoke a license to practice. Today, tests given for drug testing are so sensitive that they can detect the alcohol in hand sanitizer that was used or even the steroids from an inhaler used for asthma.
While doctors are important and pivotal members of the community, it’s important to remember that they’re still regular people. There should not be ethical issues posed to them during rehab and certainly no unfairness in the manner of the drug testing.