Drug and alcohol abuse amongst anaesthetists | Association of Anaesthetists
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Drug and alcohol abuse amongst anaesthetists


The vast majority of anaesthetists will be unaffected by substance abuse, but for those few that are the consequences can be devastating both for them and their patients. Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem for some anaesthetists, as it is in the general population. Anaesthetists are more likely than other doctors to abuse narcotics as a drug of choice, to abuse drugs intravenously and to be addicted to more than one drug. The most immediate risk is of harm to patients. This guideline provides advice and information on drug and alcohol abuse in anaesthetists and trainee anaesthetists, including:

  • Factors influencing drug abuse
  • Warning signs of alcohol and drug abuse
  • How to raise concerns and what actions should be taken
  • The GMC and substance abusing doctors
  • Treatment, support and monitoring
  • Returning to work after a drug or alcohol problem