WellEM, May 22, 2022
Hello to all,
With May being Mental Health Awareness month, I want to discuss the topic Substance Use Disorder. It's not just our patients that misuse substance. Anyone in healthcare can become addicted to substances. The rate of addiction for physicians is the same as the general population. Most commonly alcohol is misused, with female physicians using alcohol more than male physicians. Unfortunately, the true prevalence of substance misuse is unknown, as it is underreported in the healthcare worker population. Someone may misuse substances because of high stress levels, high exposure to illnesses, trauma, or untreated depression. If you are misusing substances as a support, please reach out to me or a supervisor who can connect you to the right resources. If you notice someone being frequently late to work, having multiple unexpected absences, mood swings or weight loss, they may be misusing substances. Use the "OSCAR" technique* that we learned in Stress First Aid, or reach out to me, or a supervisor, so we can arrange the necessary support that individual may need. You can recover and continue to practice medicine, so please do not hesitate to seek help if you are having any substance or other issues.
Dr. Heidi Levine
This week is EM Wellness Week! Please see the attached from ACEP and remember to celebrate your own wellness!
picture credit: https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/101934/findings-reveal-possible-connection-to-substance-use-disorders-and-metabolic-dysfunctions/