Substance Abuse Recognition and Prevention Through Education



The specter of addiction still remains a major issue in the anesthesia workplace, and each year 1–2 % of anesthesia care providers (ACPs) become addicted to the anesthetic agents they are tasked with administering to patients, leading some to ask: “Is addiction an occupational hazard for those involved in the practice of anesthesiology?” It has been reported that between 10 and 15 % of all ACPs will abuse drugs or alcohol at some point in their career, and education regarding the identification and effective treatment of the drug-impaired ACP is an essential part of the effort to reduce these numbers.


  1. 1.
    Bryson EO, Silverstein JH. Addiction and substance abuse in anesthesiology. Anesthesiology. 2008;109(5):905–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Collins GB, McAllister MS, Jensen M, Gooden TA. Chemical dependency treatment outcomes of residents in anesthesiology: results of a survey. Anesth Analg. 2005;101:1457–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    AMA Council on Mental Health. The sick physician: impairment by psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism and drug dependence. JAMA. 1973;223:684–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Malison RT, Best SE, Wallace EA, McCance E, Laruelle M, Zoghbi SS, Baldwin RM, Seibyl JS, Hoffer PB, Price LH. Euphorigenic doses of cocaine reduce [123I]beta-CIT SPECT measures of dopamine transporter availability in human cocaine addicts. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995;122:358–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baldisseri MR. Impaired healthcare professional. Crit Care Med. 2007;35(2):S106–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bell DM, McDonough JP, Ellison JS, Fitzhugh EC. Controlled drug misuse by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. AANA J. 1999;67(2):133–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kintz P, Villain M, Dumestre V, Cirimele V. Evidence of addiction by anesthesiologists as documented by hair analysis. Forensic Sci Int. 2005;153:81–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wischmeyer PE, Johnson BR, Wilson JE, Dingmann C, Bachman HM, Roller E, Tran ZV, Henthorn TK. A survey of propofol abuse in academic anesthesia programs. Anesth Analg. 2007;105:1066–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alexander BH, Checkoway H, Nagahama SI, Domino KB. Cause-specific mortality risks of anesthesiologists. Anesthesiology. 2000;93:922–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Booth JV, Grossman D, Moore J, Lineberger C, Reynolds JD, Reves JG, Sheffield D. Substance abuse among physicians: a survey of academic anesthesiology programs. Anesth Analg. 2002;95:1024–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hankes L, Bissell L. Health professionals. In: Lowinson JH, Ruiz P, Millman RB, editors. Substance abuse: a comprehensive textbook. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1992. p. 897–908.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shore JH. The Oregon experience with impaired physicians on probation, an eight-year follow-up. JAMA. 1987;257:2931–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Skipper GE. Anesthesiologists with substance use disorders: a 5-year outcome study from 16 state physician health programs. Anesth Analg. 2009;109(3):891–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Domino KB, Hornbein TF, Polissar NF, Renner G, Johnson J, Alberti S, Hankes L. Risk factors for relapse in health care professionals with substance use disorders. JAMA. 2005;293:1453–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bryson EO, Hamza H. The drug seeking anesthesia provider. Int Anesthesiol Clin. 2011;49(1):157–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and PsychiatryThe Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations