San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 27, 2012
Drug use is typically associated with youth, the entertainment industry and frequent partiers, but you might be surprised to learn how many “unexpected users” exist—including licensed professionals such as medical personnel. This demographic may not be using street drugs, but prescribed medicines like oxycodone and morphine are often a problem. When that’s the case, professionals aren’t just putting their careers on the line, but also the well-being of the patients or clients who rely on them.
Attorney Stacie Patterson, who focuses on professional license and criminal defense, dedicates quite a bit of time to reflecting on the issue of substance abuse among professionals. She’s well aware that in San Diego County, prescription drug overdoses are the #1 accidental killer, a statistic that reflects the inability of prescription drug users to “self-diagnose” and see when the situation is out of control
“Many professionals who find themselves dependent on prescription drugs are caring, competent and hard-working practitioners,” Patterson said. “Even the best people sometimes seek a way to avoid dealing with stress, divorce or financial challenges, and others start taking drugs to deal with a medical issue.”
Even the most conscientious people, when they’re in pain, are simply not going to be advocates for their own benefit. They also may be unaware of the dangers of becoming dependent on prescription medication such as strong narcotic drugs. Other patients may know of the dangers but be overwhelmed with medical concerns, doctor visits and the need to get things done while not at their best.
“The question all professionals should ask themselves is this: Would I want to be treated by someone who’s in my state of mind?,” Patterson said. “If the answer is no, the right thing to do is seek help. Professionals have an obligation to be at their best when they’re doing their jobs.”
Fortunately, professionals who become dependent on controlled substances have plenty of motivation and treatment options. Many professional boards have rehab programs, as do insurance plans, and specialized treatment programs exist for healthcare professionals. Given the fact that these individuals are smart, disciplined and thoughtful enough to get the education and licenses needed to perform their duties, they clearly have a lot of the skills needed to end a dependency. Those who fail to seek help may find themselves being investigated by their licensing entity and perhaps even the criminal justice system.
Stacie Patterson is a San Diego professional license defense attorney. Whether you’re facing a professional complaint or a criminal conviction, Ms. Patterson provides honest, straightforward representation. She also practices criminal defense in the areas of probation revocation, drug charges, sexual offenses, and more.