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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094


ALVES, Hamer Nastasy Palhares et al. Clinical and demographic profile of anesthesiologists using alcohol and other drugs under treatment in a pioneering program in Brazil. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2012, vol.62, n.3, pp.360-364. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Anesthesiologists are the majority in impaired-physician programs that assist physicians who abuse psychoactive substances. The aim of this paper is to show a descriptive study about the clinical and sociodemographic profile of a sample of chemically dependent anesthesiologists treated in a reference program. In addition, the objective is to cite the psychiatric comorbities, the most frequently used drugs and the psychosocial and professional repercussions of substance abuse. METHOD: A cross-sectional and prospective study was conducted, and a socio-occupational questionnaire and a structured interview were carried out to diagnose mental and psychoactive substance use disorders, according to the International Classification of Diseases (the ICD-10). The questionnaire and the structured interview were carried out by two skilled researchers. RESULTS: Fifty-seven anesthesiologists were interviewed. Most of them were male (77.2%), and the mean age was 36.1 years (SD = 8.5%). A high prevalence of abuse of opioid (59.6%), benzodiazepine (3.1%) and alcohol (35.1%) was observed. Opioid users sought treatment earlier than other substance users and usually they were under pressure from their colleagues and the Regional Council of Medicine. The incidence of drug abuse for self-medication was high in this subgroup. CONCLUSIONS: Anesthesiologists may present a different profile concerning the risks of opioid use. Opioid abuse usually begins during medical residency or during the first years of clinical practice, which supports the hypothesis that addiction to opioids is an occupational issue among anesthesiologists.

Keywords : anesthesiology; occupational diseases; opioid-related disorders; mental health.

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