The number of physicians in the United States who attended for prescription drug addiction treatment, in most of the cases to pain drugs like opioids has been evaluated at 8,000, whereas the overall proportion of physicians sufferin g from substance abuse problems is as high as 15%. It has become a major problem which needs to be addressed properly, as per the Chief Medical Officer of Hazelden, the famous substance abuse treatment center in Minnesota.
Marv Seppala, MD and a improving addict who was first among the physicians in the country to be declared addict by the American Board of Addiction Medicine said that misuse and abuse of prescription medications is dramatically increasing in the population. Abuse of prescribed medications, particularly opioids, is considered second to marijuana in terms of abuse. He also said that there is also a unusual increase in cases including health care professionals.
One problem in determining physician abuse is, the reserved nature of the problem. Dr. Seppala said that generally people think percentage of doctors abuse is around 10% to 15% [of U.S. doctors], but it is difficult to find out.