Slightly less than 1% of US anaesthetic residents who began their training
between 1975 and 2009 had a substance abuse disorder during their residency.
Researchers examined data gathered from nearly 45 000 anaesthetic residents
during that time and found that the overall rate of substance abuse during the
study period was less than 1%. High rates in the earlier years were followed by
lower rates in 1996 to 2002, but the highest rates have occurred since 2003.
The most common types of substances abused by them were powerful narcotic
painkillers, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and anaesthetics/hypnotics, according
to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
During the study period, 28 anaesthetic residents died due to substance
abuse. Among others involved with substance abuse, 43% had at least one relapse
over the following 30 years and 11% died due to substance use disorder.
Rates of relapse and death did not
depend on the type of substance, said the researchers.
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about substance abuse.
(Photo of syringe from Shutterstock)