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Review Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(1): 387-389

Substance abuse among doctors: a review article

Mohammed W. AlMusained, Abdulaziz A. AlMahaish, Mazen D. Aljohani, Mohammed N. AlHashim, Abdulaziz K. Alqahtani, Mohammed Alabdullatif.

A substance is defined as any psychoactive drug or potentially toxic material such as alcohol, whether legal or illegal. Substance abuse affect the performance of the physician which could result in declined mental abilities and increased probability of medical error and patient harm. There is a significant difference in the literature between the prevalence of substance abuse among the general population and physicians, concluding that physicians had a higher prevalence of substance-use disorders, supporting that a high medical education is not a protective factor against substance-use disorders. Due to the fact that physicians have easy access to different kinds of psychoactive and potentially harmful substances, this paper aimed to review the literature on substance abuse among physicians. The literature was reviewed using PubMed, all articles found were in English language, through the use of certain keywords which were substance-abuse, physician, doctors, and residency. A total of 62 articles were found through the combination of these keywords together, of which only 10 articles were related to this study. International studies concluded that the physicians had a higher prevalence of substance abuse disorders than that of general population. Although physicians had a better prognosis, but it was showed that 10%-15% of physicians were prone to substance abuse during their lifetime.

Key words: Substance absue, drugs, substance use disorders, doctors, review

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